Top tips for every traveller
Airlines are squeezing passengers with one
extra charge after another, the pound is virtually bedridden
against the euro and the dollar and holiday companies are
reducing their range of packages, if not actually going bust,
in the face of reduced demand.
Tip #3– How to travel smart throughout the recession
With all this uncertainty you’d be forgiven for never
wanting to travel again. But think twice. Travel smart and
you can make savings in some areas in order to splurge in
Consider changing your mobile phone tariff for the period
you are away. The bigger providers offer free add-on deals
that will bring down the cost of making and receiving calls
O2's International Traveller package saves you up to 80%
on incoming and outgoing calls compared with standard rates.
Making calls overseas costs 30p a minute and receiving them
18p a minute. Another option is to buy a global or local
sim card; try Go-Sim, for example, whose card allows you
to make calls in 175 countries.
Take local cash with you abroad and, whatever you
do, don’t get it from the airport – the exchange
rate is too poor. The best place on the high street for
exchanging currency, according to a recent Which? report,
is at Chequepoint bureaux de change (£500 buys 935.55
Australian dollars, no commission is charged).
Online, according to the report, the best deals are from
ICE (£500 buys AU$988.15) and Travelex (£500
buys AU$985.05). ICE will deliver your foreign currency
if you exchange more than £300; Travelex will deliver
if you exchange more than £500.
3/ Choose your destinations
somewhere up-and-coming for your holiday. Less-visited places
such as Indonesia can make good financial sense despite
the longhaul flight. You’ll easily recoup the airfare
thanks to low prices when you get there.
Closer to home, try eastern European destinations such as
Slovenia and Hungary that not only have loads of appeal
for tourists in terms of natural and cultural attractions
but also remain largely unspoilt and, best of all, cheap.
4/ Be flexible with your holidays
Consider taking holidays in bite-sized chunks rather than
a traditional week or fortnight. By being flexible with
dates and travelling at off-peak periods you can find amazing
travel deals, ranging from mid-week penny flights from easyJet
through to cross-channel sailings for next to nothing.
Always check prices for different dates, and then check
again as they change on a daily basis. Don’t be scared
of the off season either – you’ll dodge the
crowds and you stand to find much better accommodation at
a better price.
your homework -Thanks to the internet it’s
easy to keep an eye out for online hotel and agency promotions
offering free upgrades and meal deals. If you don’t
see it offered – ask!
And while online, read other peoples’ experiences
in online travel forums. You’ll get a much more rounded
picture than that given by a travel agent or someone with
a vested interest in the area. Also, save money and time
by borrowing travel guides and maps from your local library.
Use your debit card wisely - If carrying
around cash makes you nervous and you travel fairly frequently,
then it might be worth opening an account that you use only
for travel overseas. Nationwide's FlexAccount, for example,
does not charge you for withdrawing cash abroad.
things to do for free -
It’s surprising what you can see and do for next to
nothing. A bit of research on your destination can reveal
stacks of things to do that won’t cost a penny.
Ask the locals what they do. People usually love sharing
stories and tips about their own neck of the woods, or look
out for vouchers and money-off coupons, either at airports,
cafes, petrol stations and tourist information offices.
Even in the UK, there are plenty of budget events to make
your pound travel further: just ask local tourist boards
or read our article on 30 free things to do in the UK.
buy food at the airport - Remember to pack
some food from the supermarket prior to setting off for
the airport. Stopping at service stations or treating the
family to a slap-up meal when you get to the terminal could
prove a needless expense. Even a few bottles of water packed
beforehand will save you money better spent overseas.
10/ Travel lighter - Travelling
light has never been more imperative. Security regulations
have made carrying things such as toiletries a real drag.
If you’re going somewhere with a good exchange rate,
buy them when you get there.
Similarly, baggage restrictions are getting tighter and
budget airlines make you pay a dividend for checking luggage
in and for carrying extra bags. Be ruthless and take fewer
clothes. If you can stick to hand luggage, you’ll
save a packet.
only when you need to
Petrol prices can really hurt, so leave the car at home
if you're travelling in the UK. Some cracking public transport
deals are right there under your nose. For example, the
Scotrail overnight sleeper from London to Scotland starts
from just £19 one-way; also factor into that price
the saving on a night's accommodation.
Or combine train and boat if travelling abroad. Get from
London to Europe via the Hook of Holland for just £25
one-way by train and Stena Line, which sells rail and sail
Once overseas, instead of hiring a rental car, choose public
transport, ride a bike or simply walk. You'll be doing exercise
while saving money and seeing things at a more leisurely
pace. But if you have to hire a car, make sure you research
the best deals. Try a budget car hire search site such as
Holiday Autos or search online.
12/ Speak the lingo
Better deals, nicer locations and top tips from locals will
all be yours if you muster up the courage to try a few sentences
– not to mention a warmer reception. Taking a quick
language class at home in conversational Spanish, French
or Turkish, say, will not only save you money on location
but is a reliable way to meet new friends (and possible
travel companions) and keep your brain sharp.
13/ Try house swap
Moving into a stranger's house temporarily may take a little
getting used to but house-swapping can reap big benefits,
namely no hotel costs as your house-swapping partners take
advantage of your empty house back home and you stay in
Rent your house out and stay in someone else’s overseas
without paying a thing. Homelink lists houses to swap in
75 countries worldwide; you can also swap cars, so you're
getting free transport thrown in, too.
Slaving over a hot stove might not be your idea of a holiday
but the money saved by self-catering will make it feel like
less of a chore. Find an apartment or chalet with a decent
kitchen, and get the whole family involved in a team effort.
Try offering a treat or prize for which of your offspring
is most helpful.
Consider a good old camping trip, and don’t write
off the new breed of hostels either: they are more family
and couple-friendly than ever before. Tents these days aren't
the torturous things of yore. Most have lightweight, flexible
poles that enable you to assemble the tent, after practising
once or twice, within minutes. Good models are available
for under £100.