Do you want to travel but you don’t want to break the bank?
Totally get you! – I want exactly the same
Sometimes it feels overwhelming to actually take this trip because you are not sure you are getting a good deal. There is so much choice and so many sites. I have put together an easy step by step guide to help you find the best sites to travel on a budget. This is perfect if you don’t want to spend too much or if you have a large family and you love to travel with all of them.
Read more tips: 7 Tips for the Savvy Muslim traveller to plan a holiday
This is when things get tricky. When do you start planning your trip? So many opinions and so much choice that it can be confusing and frustrating at the same time. Thanks to CheapOair below is a good indication for booking your trip in 2016.
Personally, I prefer booking about 4 – 6 weeks in advance just because I find these times work best for me especially for European breaks. I like to be flexible (4 weeks is a good indication of my plans) and believe it or not prices are still good. Most people I find try to book something 2-3 weeks before just when prices can jump.
If I am travelling internationally, many offers and deals come up so unless it is an error fare, I am comfortable with booking 6 weeks ahead.
Earning Money On Every Purchase with Cashback
Many people don’t realise that cashback can save you hundreds of pounds a year that you can use to have a free trip (depending on your family size and spending). You can find anything and everything on cashback websites.
Every little helps on saving money! It is easier than you think to start with cashback.
What is cashback?
Cashback is a form of incentive that many companies give customers in a form of a %back from their shopping. There are many websites that facilitate these transactions.
How to save with cashback?
You can save on pretty much anything with cashback. It is super easy to use, you just have to visit a dedicated cashback site and click through there to your chosen retailer.
UK & USA Cashback sites
- Topcashback.com / Topcashback.co.uk
- Ebates.com / Quidco.co.uk
Hotels can be very expensive especially when travelling with children or extended family. There are tips and tricks to save money on them and you should definitely check the travel hacking section and loyalty programs as well for even more savings.
Below are some of my favourite websites that help me save money and make sure I get a good deal. We should always remember that not every website actually shows every property. So I always check 2-3 sites that I know will be able to give me a more rounded and true picture of all the properties available.
Accor Secret Hotels
The very generous “Happy Monday” Promotion has been replaced with the current Secret hotel promotion. It is not as generous as the previous offer unfortunately but if you are heading to one of the destinations available you can save some cash. To find out more about the deal check their new site here.
SPG Hot Escapes is a weekly offer by Starwood hotels starting every Wednesday until the following Saturday. You can find worldwide properties on offer that are available to book for up to 6 weeks in advance. Every week there might be different properties and prices with up to 50% off.
Many times people don’t realise that you can book directly with TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor aggregates prices from various sites and hotels for you when you read the reviews on their site. On several occasions, I have managed to get a great deal with this option and I always check it before booking.
Priceline is a US based company and very popular. They are also an aggregator but what they do have also is an option to name your own price. You select the area, the star rating and you “bid” based on the average price or less. Of course, it is a little bit more complicated than this but I have had several people win their desired property for fracture of the advertised cost.
All the website below are aggregator which means they check hundreds of websites giving you the best price option available. Sometimes they have deals with the sites making it even cheaper if you book with them than the original site. The sites I personally use and have saved money are below:
For Hijab free holidays or large families I love using villas with a private pool to make things even better. It is cheaper than you think!
Everyone struggles to find the best offers on flights. When do you book and how much do you spend. Flights are very volatile and there are so many factors that determine prices such as competition, taxes and seasonality.
Depending on your circumstances, flexibility and the type of traveller you are you can save a lot of money on your flights. You can also use loyalty programs for even more saving. Many websites don’t show all the flights so it is again important to start with few sites to get an overall feel of the real prices.
The below websites are my first post of contact when it comes to flight searching & booking:
Your Next Steps:
- Watch the Skyscanner training on finding cheap flights
- Watch the Video on How to save money on your flights
- Read the Loyalty programs guide
Making the most of your trip for less
Saving on Food Costs
A very big expense is not only the trip cost itself but also your expenses while you are there. If you don’t have loyalty status and your breakfast is not included you can rent out an Airbnb and save money on your food costs. By cooking a breakfast or an evening snack for your family.
Exploring a new city with free walking tours
Free walking tours are an awesome and cheap way to explore a new city. You can find them in pretty much every country in Europe and I love them.
Using long layovers
One of my best way to explore a city without breaking the bank is to book myself into long layovers. Watch the video here.