If you’re paying a mortgage, budgeting for travel is always a bit of a tricky task. Although it doesn’t have to be that way – if you’re clever enough, you can still go on that overseas trip without having worry too much about how to pay the bills at home as well. Here’s our tips and secrets to how we balance our home and travelling life…
Pick your travel time wisely
The price of flights and accommodation can vary considerably depending on the month, day and even the time you travel. This is probably an obvious one but make sure you always avoid the school holidays and if you consider travelling out of the usual peak season for that destination you will get yourself a cheaper deal. To save money either travel on a Sunday or avoid the weekends all together – a flight travelling from a Wednesday to Wednesday rather than a Friday to Friday could really make a difference. Also consider travelling during the least sociable hours you can bear. Okay it’s probably not going to be the most comfortable of journeys but if you’re person that still functions okay on not much sleep, you could be quids in.
Many people wait around for a last minute deal but we’ve actually found it’s more cost effective if you book as far in advance as possible. Many hotels and airlines operate on a fairly sneaky pricing policy – the prices go up as availability goes down so it’s best to get in there quick. Also you may have already noticed that if you hesitate on making an online booking the prices often mysteriously increases the next time you visit the same website. It used to be thought of as a bit of an urban myth, but many websites do actually place cookies on your computer (this is how they magically remember your name and address details).
Look for private rooms in hostels
Budget accommodation usually means staying in slightly dodgy bed and breakfasts or a hostel. Although sharing a dormitory isn’t going to please everyone – for starters there’s the snorers and the sleep talkers which will encroach on your precious sleep time. If you still want to save money don’t discount hostels all together though, look for a top quality hostel (there’s some amazing boutique stye hostels cropping up all over the place now) and see if they offer private rooms. Some will even offer en-suite rooms so you can even skip on the dreaded bathroom sharing.
Eat like a local
Always stay away from expensive tourist zones where prices of food and drink can be twice the price (and quality isn’t all that great either). Just going one block one can make a huge difference in price and the food will be far more authentic. Embrace the local culture and eat in a quiet back street French bistro or scour a street market for that perfect $1 Pad Thai.
Take advantage of e-newsletter deals
Try subscribing to a few travel newsletters – for example Travel Zoo and Deal Base produce a list of current deals available on the net for any given time period. Deal Base even offer unadvertised sales and offers that you won’t find anywhere else.
Plan out an itinerary of free things to do
Wherever you plan to go, every destination will always have plenty of free things to do. Immerse yourself into the local culture and watch street entertainment, swim at the local beach or a lake, visit a market, window shop or catch a sunset from a known viewpoint. Don’t spend money on expensive tours either – research and plan out a few walking routes for yourself before you head off.
Ditch the timeshare
Timeshares have always been controversial and they aren’t always the best investment even for long-term travel. Save your money and invest it better ways instead by getting out of your contract. Not sure where to start head over to an expert site like TS Elimination who will tell you how to get rid of a timeshare. They tell their clients and their families just how to experience the freedom from the burden of their timeshare contract, mortgage and maintenance fee bill.