Tips to plan a budget-friendly holiday
By The Holiday Navigator
Many believe that one has to be rich enough to go on a vacation. Well, off course you need to have sufficient money for staying, transportation and food but it need not be all fancy and luxurious. Travelling is much more than staying in exotic hotels and eating at expensive restaurants. You can create special and meaningful memories with humble moments. There are many ways one can create a budget friendly holiday. Here are few tips to go on a vacation without going heavy on your pockets.
1. Choose a destination that is near-by
Transportation takes major share of your holiday expenses. It is better to choose some place near-by so that the cost of travelling to the destination is less. For example, if you want to travel to a beach destination or a hill station choose the one that is located closer than the ones that are far. Same way you can choose a domestic holiday over an international destination and save on expensive flight tickets.
2. Room only booking
Although it is more convenient to have breakfast at the hotel that you are staying, and also in most cases the breakfast comes complimentary. But booking a room without breakfast is mostly lesser in cost. The lavish spread of breakfast on a holiday is definitely appealing but if you are looking at a budget trip, choose a room only cost and eat at a local restaurant. You will probably save much more and yet eat a hearty meal.
3. Book in advance
This is an old school trick to minimize your trip cost. You can get almost everything on discounted price by booking in advance. Air tickets and hotel rents always have the prices low when booking is done earlier than a last-minute booking when there is a high demand. So, if your holiday plan is secured then reserve in advance and make use of the attractive discounts.
4. Club near-by destinations
Most of the time we come back from a holiday and then realize there were places close by that we could have covered or probably added a day or two and visited them too. When planning a holiday it is a good idea to research and find out good places located close by which can also be covered in the same trip. It only makes sense to club the places and visit in one trip than visiting it again. You will definitely save on your travel expenses and probably make the most of the trip.
5. Travel with a group
Travelling with more people not only gives you good company but also shares the expenses. Find out if your friends or colleague or family would also like to take the same trip. It can be a little challenging to plan a trip that involves more people because you need to make sure everyone is fine with the final plan. Best is to plan in advance so that everyone has enough time to evaluate the plan and finalize over it. The more the size of the group is, the better (well, just do the math).
6. Self-driving or taking a public transport
Having a car and driver all for yourself on a holiday is definitely convenient but heavy on your budget. If you are planning to reduce the cost, plan taking a local transport like bus, metro rail or taxis and auto rickshaws. You definitely need to know the local language to bargain and going around easily in the city. But if you have got this sorted you can save a lot. Also there are options to self-drive cars or bikes. In such cases having a valid driving license along with other valid documents like ID cards, passport in case you are in a foreign country may be necessary.
7. Explore on foot
Well, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, if you are fit and strong enough to explore the city on foot, you save on your transport. Also in many countries travelling on foot is most suggested as attractions are located close enough to walk with spaces for pedestrians.
8. Avoid travelling during peak season
Although there are so many offers to travel to a place during peak season but if you wish to avoid the crowd and go budget friendly, travel during off seasons. Do not forget, there are many offers or discounts even during off seasons to attract travelers. Also you need to understand that it is not the best time to travel to the place most probably because of extreme weather, it could be super-hot or very cold or experiencing heavy rains that is the reason it is off season. Yet, if you are planning on a budget trip you can make use of this and save money.
9. Avoid highly touristy destination
Choosing a place that is highly touristy will only increase the price. Such places have expensive hotels and transportation and not to forget even simple restaurants charge really high price on food. Going some-place that is less touristy yet can offer similar experiences will allow you saving more.
10. Pack lightly to avoid excessive baggage cost
Travelling light not only gives you more comfort so as to travel around easily carrying your luggage but in case you are travelling by flight it also saves on the baggage cost. Domestic flights that have attractive lower flight costs are mostly “seat only” fares that allow minimum baggage to be carried on board. So, if you wish to make use of this attractive pricing you need to pack lightly taking only the things that are most important.
11. Learn some basic local language
It is always recommended to know some basic words like ‘How are you’ and ‘Thank you’. Local people get delighted to hear tourists speaking their language. This will help in negotiations while buying souvenirs in a marketplace or taking a local transport to go around the city.
12. Claiming taxes on purchases during international travel
Technically as a tourist sometimes you are exempted from paying taxes. So when you purchase during your international trip you can claim back the GST whenever possible. In countries like Singapore, Australia, France, UK, after checking in the return flight, there will be GST refund center in airport. Provide the bills of purchases made and if the value is above the threshold value set by each government then the taxes are refunded.
13. Book through a travel agent
Getting help in planning and arranging your vacation from the experts is the best tip that is there to give. Well, they have been doing this for so long and they know how to get to the best deals so why wasting all your time and energy into planning and organizing everything. Although there are so many online platforms to book your flights to hotels to all sorts of activities on a holiday but it becomes a tedious job to compare and find the best cost. Also all the comparisons happen only with what is available on line and not knowing your travel agent might have a better deal. Also it becomes very useful to fall back on someone who can help you in case of cancellations and getting refund then doing all that yourself.