Traveling is expensive, right? Wrong – or rather, not always. It doesn’t matter whether you’re going to New York or Salzburg, a big trip often looks like it’s going suck every last penny right out of your bank account before you’ve even left the airport tarmac. But while traveling isn’t free, it’s certainly not the bank-breaker that everyone makes it out to be. Thanks in large part to the proliferation of budget airlines and an overall surge in the number of people traveling each year, seeing new parts of the world has actually never been easier or cheaper. Of course, certain expenses are unavoidable, but with a little foresight and ingenuity, you can really reduce the impact they have on your wallet. Below we’ll take a look a few ways to spend less and travel more.
Book Flights in Advance
The fact that many people still book last-minute flights is slightly unnerving. By doing so you’re paying the highest possible price for a seat on that plane. Instead, planning your trip in advance can do wonders for your travel bill. It will allow you to be more flexible with your time and therefore pick cheaper days and offpeak times, and will also net you the best possible deals on flights. Prices for flights tend to fluctuate, so by keeping an eye on them several months ahead of the time, you’ll be able to pick one when the price is lowest.
Claim Back for Delayed or Missed Flights
Not many travelers are aware of this, but if your flight is severely delayed, you get bumped off your flight, or the flight is canceled altogether, you may be liable for some hefty compensation from the airline at fault. It’s because a law called Flight Compensation Regulation 261 that guarantees passengers receive assistance and compensation in the event that an airline makes a grave error regarding your flight. To claim compensation you have two options. You can either contact the airline directly and ask for it (this is generally quite a lengthy process and can take months), or you can enlist the help of third-party claim companies who will handle it for you. If your flight is delayed, it’s an expert way of saving money if you understand how to claim it back.
Stay in Hostels
Watch any Hollywood movie and you’ll be convinced that the only way to travel is to stay in a three-star hotel and drink overpriced bottles of tiny whiskey from the complimentary fridge. This is nonsense. Hotels are, to put it bluntly, overpriced and outdated. A much cheaper and equally comfortable way to travel is to stay in hostels instead, especially if you’re a single mum (or dad) looking to meet new people. You’ll be sharing one room with a number of other people, but you’ll be doing so at a tenth of the price. What’s more, hostels are a wonderful way to meet people and really get a local feel of a city or town.
Take Public Transport
Many people advocate using an Uber or local taxi to get from the airport to your destination. Sure it’s easy and time efficient, but it’s also extremely costly. Depending on where you’re going, taking public transport is a hugely cheaper alternative that’s environmentally conscious too. Almost every airport worldwide will have some sort of bus or train system to ferry passengers from the airport to town, and once there transport routes will be able to get where you’re going for the fraction of the cost of a taxi. Taking public transport is also a great way of mixing with local people and getting your bearings when it comes to navigating the town you’re in.