5 Simple Tips for Planning Cheap Holidays

Planning a trip can be equally enjoyable and frustrating, especially if you have a limited budget. Travelling to exotic locations may be out of the question for budget travellers, but you’ll be surprised (and delighted) to learn that there are many simple tactics you can employ to make your holiday cheaper without compromising on fun and comfort.
As a budget traveller, I am always looking for ways to travel cheaper while still making sure I get to experience everything a destination has to offer. Here are my tips for planning cheap holidays.

1. Hunt for holiday deals

When you’re busy comparing flights and accommodation prices, it’s easy to forget that there are websites and apps where you can find great deals on package holidays. Latest Deals is an amazing platform for finding holiday deals, including cheap flights and accommodation, and discounts on holiday package bookings.

2. Be more flexible

This may sound obvious, but if you’re flexible with your dates, then you’re more likely to find great deals on flights. Many of us tend to pick a particular week and plan the rest of the trip around those dates, without considering the possibility of travelling a few days earlier or later. Check out these tips for finding cheap fights.
While work and family commitments may restrict our travel dates, you can also try to be more flexible in terms of location. For instance, if you’re thinking of going somewhere over the Christmas holidays, consider choosing a destination that’s less popular during this busy period. Instead of heading to Central Europe for the popular Christmas markets, you could perhaps visit a place that is normally teeming with tourists in summer but is generally quiet in winter. My fiancé and I once spent Christmas in Rome, and we got to see the main tourist sites without spending long hours in queues.

3. Do your research

If you are a bit apprehensive about exploring a city on your own without a tour guide, doing some homework before your trip can help dispel those fears and uncertainties. Start by reading different blog posts about free things to do in your chosen destination, or by looking for free walking tours in the city. I once joined a free tour of Madrid and I learnt so much about the city in one afternoon. If you’re into museums and historic sites, you might also want to consider getting a sightseeing/tourist pass to save money on entrance fees. You can purchase your tourist pass from Viator.
If you are a bit apprehensive about exploring a city on your own without a tour guide, doing some homework before your trip can help dispel those fears and uncertainties. Start by reading different blog posts about free things to do in your chosen destination, or by looking for free walking tours in the city. I once joined a free tour of Madrid and I learnt so much about the city in one afternoon. If you’re into museums and historic sites, you might also want to consider getting a sightseeing/tourist pass to save money on entrance fees. You can purchase your tourist pass from Viator.
Finally, make a list of eateries that are popular among locals. These may not be in the heart of the city, but their menus are normally reasonably priced. A good way of finding good and cheap restaurants is to ask your taxi driver or receptionist where they would go for a meal with friends and family.

4. Consider doing a work exchange

Are you willing to spend a few hours a day working on a farm, decorating a new café, or teaching English in exchange for free accommodation and food? A work exchange does not only help you plan an affordable trip, but it is also a great way of immersing yourself in local culture and exploring a destination beyond the guidebook.
For more information about work exchanges, check out this article about volunteering via Workaway.

5. Get off the beaten path

There are many underrated places out there – and travelling to these destinations is often cheaper than spending a day or two in a big city. Getting off the beaten path doesn’t necessarily mean you should hike through remote places or stay in a dodgy hostel. Consider staying with a local family in a traditional village or exploring non-touristy neighbourhoods in cities. Homestay is a great platform that connects travellers with locals through safe and cheap accommodation.
This post contains affiliate links. This means that I may receive a commission on any purchases made through the links in the post at no extra cost to you.
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Daniela Frendo

Daniela Frendo

Hi! I'm a Maltese blogger based in Scotland. I created Grumpy Camel to help travellers connect with places through culture, history and cuisine.

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