By Dale Western on 20 March 2015
Travel can be expensive - but it doesn't have to be, if you know where to look for deals.
We've been trawling the internet for the best ways to slash the cost of your trip. Here are the best of the bunch.
- Airline tickets: Plan in advance and visit discount websites to see if there are better deals. Even though these sites might charge you a service fee, they'll usually be able to shop around on your behalf and make sure that you're getting a good deal. Skyscanner, Travel Supermarket and Travelocity are good starting points for trying to find a good flight.
- Connecting flights: It's tiring and boring but it may well save you a lot of money; don't write it off just because it's inconvenient..
- Pack sparingly: Airlines are starting to charge for everything now and if you have two bags or more, expect to be charged for it.
- Try old for new: If you're planning on buying new clothes on your travels, pack old clothes, then bin them as and when you replace them.
- Always check for round trip tickets: Sometimes, for no good reason, a return ticket is cheaper - so just buy the return and don't use it. Yes, this will offend your British sense of 'waste not, want not', but just deal with it.
- Return to the same airport: Flying in and out of the same airport is almost always cheaper. Fact.
- Plan your meals: If you can, eat in - or at least make a packed lunch. If you're eating out, eat your main meal at lunch, and snack during the evening, as most restaurants charge more at dinner. Oh, and don't be surprised if you pick a few duds after you've been drinking - always make your eating decisions sober. If you fancy being really cheeky, you can nab food from breakfast such as bread rolls and fruit, and carry it with you until lunch.
- Pay attention to rail fares: If you are travelling to Europe, research multi-trip discounts. Many cities offer passes that cover two, three, five and seven days. Don't waste your money buying a new travelcard every day.
- Travel at night: If your onward journey's going to be long, consider travelling at night to save on accommodation costs. Many people have a tough time sleeping on these, so don't forget earplugs, and eye mask, and your iPod.
- Don't take a taxi: Are you made of money? Local taxis will spot you're a tourist, and some less-reputable types will make a journey taking five minutes last half an hour. Always take the bus or train if you can - if the rest of the area's inhabitants do it, you can, too.
- Be cash-savvy: If you're unfussed about your travel destinations, consider the exchange rate when you travel. This sometimes makes the biggest difference.
- Avoid exchange rate centres: The commission they charge is appalling. Do your research online to find out good places to get cash in the local currency.
- Stay a few stops away: It's often cheaper to stay in an area just outside of where you want to be. Yes, you may add an extra 15 minutes onto your journey when you need to get into town, but you may enjoy the walk. Or the bus ride. Or the train journey. Either way, you'll save money.
- Duty free and tax refunds: If you need something expensive that you can't go without, getting it at the airport tax-free might be a viable option. Don't forget about possible tax refunds - some countries let you get all or part of the retail sales tax back. Be prepared to fill out forms and show proof but if large purchases are made.
Calling all writers - here's how to become the ultimate travel blogger.
Want to know how to avoid holiday rip-offs? Here's your answer...
← And they're off! The Arctic V begin the race of their lives in Greenland