Last year I did so much travelling I felt rather spoilt. From Amsterdam to Canada I had 4 months of random jet setting and it was amazing! I learnt a lot in that time, especially when it comes to tips and tricks on saving money while away! Now we have Baby C these gems are going to come in handy when we decide to take our first holiday. So I’ve managed to cut down all my learning curves from travelling and here are my top 5 ways to save money on holiday.
GETTING TO THE AIRPORT
First things first is getting to the airport. Unless you live right next to a direct line to the airport (or if you can’t drive!) I would always recommend driving and parking at the airport. I’m pretty well organized and I always book my parking in advance which makes it pretty cheap. Last year, for the first time I didn’t drive and I just assumed I’d be able to get a train to and from the airport. What I didn’t account for was the train strikes that made me panic I’d miss my flight to Canada and vowing that I would never get the train to the airport again! Worried about the cost? Trust me, you’ll be surprised at how cheap airport parking can be. To help you out Cheapflights.co.uk have created a helpful guide on how to save money on Airport Parking. It’s so convenient and if there are a few of you travelling, you could end up spending half the amount you would on return train tickets.
PICNIC IN THE SKY
If you’re flying long haul, chances are your meals in flight will be included in your ticket price. If you’re travelling a little closer to home you’ll probably have to purchase snacks etc. yourself. I’ve yet to get on a plane and see the people around me dismiss the food trolley. Whether it’s a packet of crisps or a bacon sandwich, it’s like people cant resist the temptation of the in flight service! Well I learnt something last year while en route to Turkey. You can take your own food on the plane! I knew you couldn’t take liquids over a certain amount on to flights and have always had to grab my bottle of water in duty free, but I didn’t realise you CAN take food through security. So, if you know you’ll be peckish on the flight, pack your own lunch and save a fortune. Even better if you’re veggie or vegan as the in flight options are far from appetising!
Last year I stayed in my first Air BnB and it was a great experience. We had almost 5 days in a lovely house for the price it would have cost for 1 night in a hotel in the centre of the city. We stayed close to a station so we could travel around easy and it has definitely changed my opinion on places to stay. I was definitely a hotel person, but the Air BnB house was welcoming, clean, fresh and in a perfect location.
If you definitely want a hotel, try and research new hotels, or hotels that are just about to open. When we went to New York we stayed in a newly opened boutique hotel right next to the Rockefeller centre and it was a real bargain. They were offering discounts on stays when they first opened in ‘celebration’ but obviously it was to fill the rooms while they were getting their name out there It was one of the best hotels we’ve stayed in and we were literally two of the first people to stay!
BOOK BEFORE YOU GO
This is something I wish I had done on all my previous holidays. Research and book the most popular excursions at home. When we went to Paris I was adamant I wanted to go up the Eiffel Tower. What’s the point in going otherwise? Well, I decided to book tickets online and they were sold out. We would have to go on the day, queue for hours and spend a fortune. But after a little research I actually found out we could beat the queues and for the same price, have lunch on the Eiffel Tower! Obviously this seems like something that would be really expensive but it wasn’t. It was like killing 2 birds with 1 stone but at the same price. So my tip here is to pre book the most popular excursions and to look at things in a slightly different angle. Want a boat cruise? How about looking for a breakfast cruise? Or a night cruises? Looking at different times etc. can make a massive difference to your time and pocket.
Those are my 5 tips to save money when going on holiday. Do you have any tricks up your sleeve you can share?