There are two absolutes about travel that everyone will agree to: it’s life changing, and it’s expensive. While you’re undoubtedly going to have the time of your life, you’re also going to ransac your bank account doing it. Between flights, hotels or Airbnbs, paying for experiences and visiting restaurants and bars, you’re bound to burn more than just a hole in your pocket. But travelling doesn’t have to be so costly. In fact, if you’re a savvy enough traveller, there are a number of different ways in which you can cut costs and save money. We’re going to discuss a couple of them in detail with you below.
Know your passenger rights
If you’re a frequent flier then you absolutely should know your passenger rights, and one in particular which could land you in a lot of money very quickly. It’s called Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004, and it’s enshrined in European law to protect travellers against airline negligence. What this basically means is that if you find yourself delayed or your flight in cancelled and it’s the fault of an airline, then they have to pay you up to €600 in compensation depending on the length of the delay and the distance of the flight. Even if you’re denied boarding, compensation is still rightfully yours, all you have to do in ask.
Be flexible with your flight days
Next time you travel, try not to have a specific day in mind that you want to depart and land. Being flexible with your dates means you can shop around for the most affordable flights rather than being stuck with the most expensive options the airline has on offer. It also means you can fly during off peak times when tickets are usually way cheaper.
Set up flight alerts
If you have a particular place that you want to travel to on a particular day, set up a flight alert. That way, whenever the price of the flight fluctuates, you’ll be alerted immediately. All you have to do is keep an eye on the price, and if you see it reach a low and decent price, snag it immediately. Google Flights as well Airfarewatchdog are good sites to utilize in this regard. Deciding on when your flight has dropped to its lowest possible price is kind of like prospecting on the stock market, so if you see that a flight is a great place, grab it before the price shoots up again.
Pack light and eschew the hefty baggage fees that airlines charge for hold luggage. Most airlines, even budget ones (except Ryanair who changed its baggage policy recently) allow you to bring up to seven kilograms of hand luggage with you for free. That’s a ton, especially if you only plan on doing shorter trips of a week or less!
Stay in one place for longer
If you have the luxury of time, consider staying in one place for longer. Travelling frequently between destinations requires a lot of actual transporting including buses and flights, and the costs incurred here can quickly add up. Staying in one place longer allows you to mitigate these costs, and also allows you to really explore and get to know the city or town you’re currently visiting.