10 saving tips to make your travel experience more affordable in 2020
Before I jump in I also created video address these 10 tips. So if you are someone who prefers to listen or watch.
We all hope to travel well, to visit some exotic places else, experience new culture, new climate, and new ways of doing things. Travelling is rewarding in so many ways. I find people who have well-travelled to be broad-minded. They are calm and patient and tend to listen before speaking. These are just some of the characteristics of travellers I have observed. They are willing to take a step back, observe, ask questions and try new things without judging the experience they are having. Curiosity is a wise thing to have, I don’t know about you, but these are some of the characteristics I would like to have.
Today, I wanted to share 10 ways you can reduce cost and make your travel goals more affordable and achievable. Say no more to, ‘I can’t afford it’, ‘it is too expensive’, ‘I will do it when’…, ‘I can’t take a holiday now because of ‘… There are just some of the most common excuses, and come back 3 years later and it is still the same excuses. The question should be, ‘How then can I afford. How can I change my life to incorporate this lifestyle I hope for?
Here are 10 ways I always implement to help save, reduce cost and enjoy my travel experience. It didn’t come naturally, it all started with failure, trails and errors until I was able to point, and say that is it, that is how I am losing money, why I can not afford this, how I am not saving at all.
1. Plan: As cliche as it sounds, planning is the pillar to your budget. It is what will determine how much you will spend, and without it, you have no budget in mind. I am not talking about planning a month before your actual holiday, no! I am talking about a year ahead, oh hell 2 years ahead. Create a separate saving account called a ‘Holiday’, just like how you have a bills account, or goal savings account. Placing aside as little as $50 a week is all you need to book that end of the year.
2. Everyday Rewards: Many stores these days have loyalty membership where you can collect points, and can be used on flights and hotels. What a great way to start saving while you spend on your everyday shopping. I am talking about velocity frequent flyer membership or the one I use already the Qantas frequent flyer membership. My upcoming Singapore trip was paid in full using my Qantas point and I couldn’t feel more rewarded than I did. All that is required is for you to be a loyal member to their affiliate stores, eg, Qantas and Woolworth our affiliates. This means, doing groceries at Woolworth, fuel at Caltex, drinks at BWS. They are also affiliated with some credit cards like American express, meaning each time you use your Amex you are rewarded with points and that is how they accumulate. I believe when used and followed appropriately you can certainly benefit from these programs and can save enormously.
3. Activities: Once you have a place in mind, chances are, there are popular attractions or activities you would like experience as highlights of that trip. Often times these experiences or tours would have a standard fee for them and can at times, be pre-booked. Pre-booked activities are usually cheaper than purchasing at the gate, also as the price rarely fluctuates, you start paying for these from your holiday savings. Activities that can be pre-booked give your stay structure and a plan to stick to. Often times you can not cancel meaning you can not just change your mind and do things that were not part of your plan. Yes, this might be a negative thing but is a positive thing when it comes to saving and sticking to the plan and budget you set in mind.
4. Location: Location Location, this is very important when it comes to saving and I have had to learn the hard way. Lucky for you, you don’t have to repeat I went through. Let me explain: I was browsing for a ticket to Sydney on Skyscanner departing from Melbourne. One ticket, departing from Avlon airport was $180, and the other from Tullamarine Aiport was $220. That’s a difference $40, isn’t that great? Well no, I didn’t think about the location of each of the two airports. Avlon was 60km away from my house costing me about 2 hours to get the place. Also, being a small airport, there is no shuttle bus no train to get there, the only option I had was a taxi or uber, which cost me $140. Tullamarine, on the other hand, is the largest airport in Melbourne, hence they have plenty of shuttle services to and from the airport at regular intervals costing only $18 dollars, in fact, that time I can to figure they were running a promotion to purchase a Skybus express at $1 when they introduced their new service. In this instance, I was quick to pick the lowest price but it ended up costing me $320, which is $100 more if only I had considered the location, transport and time of the day. What a devastating experience. This applies to hotels as well. When looking for a hotel to stay, consider the location, how far is it from public transport, from the centre of the shops. This makes a huge difference in your savings because you would rather pay a little extra living withing the city than a cheaper option but having to spend more on transport to the city. Not only will you be spending more, but you will also be wasting time, that would rather be spending on other activities.
5. All-inclusive deals: Deals like these are created with the goal to make your life easier. These deals can be pricey than putting them together yourself, but someone else had to, and they have to be paid for their work. However, I still recommend hotels that comes with breakfast. It saves you time, money and the hassle of finding breakfast each morning. I find that when breakfast is included, it is cheaper than having to organise your own breakfast, even if it means making one yourself in an Air BnB. You really do not want to miss that tour or get out for half the day because you were preparing or looking for some breakfast. Lunch and dinner can easily be bought while outing. Sites like Skyscanner and Booking.com allow you to filter hotels offering breakfast as part of the total cost. I was you to head over there and just compare, tell me what you think of the price difference. Is it worth it?
6. Compare the Market: If you aren’t comparing you are probably paying the highest price. What you see first of a site is usually promoted and if promoted it means more money has been invested to be seen by you. As a result, they have to add the cost of that to the original price. Also, be careful of brands. Qantas, for example, is an airline service and no doubt their airline is one of the best in Australia, their service is great and sits are comfortable but when it comes to hotel, they partner with hotels just like other brands like Booking.com or Trivago. Often times you find similar hotels having a higher price when sold on their site. The very same hotel you saw being 40% lower in price somewhere else. This is why I always use Skyscanner to compare multiple sites before dedicating to just one price. The best thing is, if you are not ready to book, you can set a reminder to be notified when the prices are low, that the beauty of planning ahead.
7. Travel light: Not only does it make your travel experience less hectic, but it can also save you cash. Extra luggage is costly and if you go over even in grams, it could cost you more than whatever you are trying to fly across. This is why I recommend travelling light. You do not need to pack everything. Somethings are easily bought at your destinations. Things like shampoo, thongs, sunscreen or some clothing outfits can easily be bought at the destinations. You can easily find a digital luggage scale to keep track of the weight on Amazon. You will almost always, visit a supermarket, and having al list of things you already need, means you will not just be doing window shopping. I have packed little travel kits with shampoo and shower gel which only lasted me 2 nights because buying a large container more than 100ml meant it will be thrown at the security check at the airport. Why spend more for less. Also, the kind of travel bag can also affect your saving. Get yourself a strong, light travel bag with a large volume for your essentials. Here are some recommendations from amazon.
8. Time: Time is very important when travelling. You probably know of someone who missed their flight because of some reason. This is because time goes on. It does not wait for someone. If you paid for it and make for it, you lose both. This is why again, planning is important. If you have pre-booked activities, flights and hotels, it allows you to ensure you are at the right place and at the right time. And always allow a few minutes as a buffer for some unseen circumstance.
9. Travel Insurance: Some will say this is essential when travelling but the point here is to cut cost not add. So how they are insurance relevant here. The thing is, having travel insurance can save you hundreds if not thoughts when disaster happens. If you are not on time for example and you miss your flight or cruise, you can get compensated for it. If you feel sick and would like to return to your home country you can get that flight paid for or rather if you lose your luggage, they can compensate. Yes, you have to pay money for this, but what you get when you do use will save you. You can browse here to see the price for the travel Insurance you could pay at random destination of your choosing. This leads me to my next point.
10. Be Vigilant: Have your eyes open, for opportunities/ deals that can benefit you, watch out for possible dangers, that may cost you. Lastly, take care and plan that getaway.
Thank you for reading until the end. These are the 10 ways I believe can assist in cutting down cost, making you able to well on a budget you planned for. Let me know if you find this helpful. If you have other means of making your travel experience more affordable, share with me in the comment below. We are all hearing to help each other save and live the life we derve.