While many of us can’t fly off to faraway places at the drop of a hat we can all get nearer to our travel goals with some good money management.
Timing: School holidays are the most expensive from the UK, but also check your destination’s annual events as arriving a week after a national holiday will be cheaper than a week before. Generally, booking flights 10 months to a year in advance will get you the best deal.
Compromise: The Burj Al Arab in Dubai may be your hotel of choice but if you set your sights at a more realistic place to stay you could still visit for cocktails and enjoy the views.
How To Save For Travel
Don’t Spend Coins: Every night, empty all the coins out of your purse and only use paper money or cards to shop. Of course, be sensible with your card purchases, always pay off the balance, and use a credit card that gives you something back such as reward points, cashback or air miles.
Coffee Time: So many of us grab a coffee every morning and then relax in a cafe at the weekend. Get an insulated mug and take a coffee from home and invite friends round instead of always going to the cafe. It’s not about stopping all treats but about reducing unnecessary costs.
Gym Membership: The Direct Debit for occasional visits are probably costing more than you realise. Running is a great way to keep fit and requires nothing more than good running shoes. If exercising in public fills you with dread then use a program on the Wii or a workout DVD. These DVDs can often be picked up in charity shops really cheaply.
Car Travel: Do you really need a car? There are lots of car clubs available and cheap car hire, so why not consider selling the car and not have the worry about insurance, tax, servicing, breakdown cover, etc.
Sell What You Don’t Need: Selling on eBay is simple and if you price items low they will usually shift. Does it matter that you spent £100 on that cashmere sweater and it sold for £20? You can also sell used books on Amazon which can be slower than eBay but is you just wait for a buyer to find them. It can help to visualise what you'll do with the money such as ten books sold equals a massage.
Saving While Travelling
Daily Budget: Make a budget and stick to it. If you want to do a special activity, or go on a tour, save from the budget and then splurge on something fun. Travel is supposed to be enjoyable.
Drinking: Don't drink your money away. Alcohol can seriously dent a bank account.
Transportation: Check all options from trains, buses and cheap car hire to see which works out best for each route. And don’t be afraid to share costs with other travellers as a car might be the most economical but obviously be sure about who you travel with.
Eat Like a Local: The best restaurant in town may not be the most expensive so find out where the locals recommend. And remember you don’t have to eat out for every meal – you wouldn’t when at home – so use markets and grocery stores to create simple picnic meals or cook at your accommodation, if possible.
Travel is not beyond your means; if you are flexible and plan well you too can go on the trip of your dreams.