Here are eurochange's top ten ways to save money on your travel throughout 2017.
1. Where to go?
If you’re not precious about where you’re going, last minute bookings could be the way to go. Now, when we say where, it could literally be anywhere in the world. Just imagine it; you get back into work on the Monday following your return from holiday, and your friends ask “Where did you go again?” To which you reply…”We just closed our eyes and pointed.”
Honestly, you could end-up just about anywhere. Don’t get us wrong, if your finger finishes on a country on the Departures board you really don’t want to go to, don’t. But tell us you haven’t dreamed of going somewhere on a whim?
2. When to go?
So, you’re chosen your surprising location and now you’re off to an island you’ve never heard of via 4 changes and a bus, but when to go? Well. Taking a very early flight could be the difference between sitting by a screaming child or a rotund businessman in economy. Think about it. See our ‘Tips on getting the best deals on flights’ post.
3. Save money on your accommodation.
Booking your hotel mid-flight can be the difference between paying over-the-odds or getting a great knock-down rate on a room the hotel didn’t fill. And don’t limit yourself to your regular holiday accommodation searches. Just because you usually stay in a cheap chain hotel, doesn’t mean you have to. It doesn’t hurt to look around – after all, you have all the flight and airport waiting rooms to browse the internet and who knows, you might find yourself staying in somewhere really rather interesting.
4. Change your currency in advance.
Yes, we’re biased, but just read around and you’ll see we know what we’re talking about. Bureau de change in airports are notoriously bad for giving the best rates, you can get 15% more when you buy with us. We know what you’re saying now, “You just said ‘fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants’, well, we did, but traveller's cheques work nearly everywhere and if you’d prefer, you can take a pre-paid Currency Passport – load it with up to 10 foreign currencies and you-re good to go.
5. Download a travel guide.
Don’t get weighed-down with bulky travel guides complete with pull-out, pop-up maps, scratch and sniff pages and built-in GPS. Just use your WiFi before you leave the house or the free Internet in a chain coffee shop at the airport and download a guide. Save some money and a good few pounds in carry-on weight. Google Maps even works offline now, too, saving you a bundle on those pricey ‘roaming’# charges abroad.
6. If it’s FREE, use it, take it, eat it and definitely drink it.
Travel is never particularly cheap, however you approach it, so save where and whenever you can. In Spain, Tapas is often given to customers Gratis – buy a cheap beer and eat like a Spaniard. Many cafes and shops have Free WiFI; browse the shop and the internet together. Concerts and performances pop-up all over Europe – watch and dance whenever you get the chance. Oh and if there happens to be a walking tour passing you, tag along. What’s the worst that can happen?
7. If you have to pay, go cheap.
It doesn’t have to be nasty. Nip into the supermarket and get snacks/lunches and dinners on a budget. Let’s be fair, you’re walking around constantly and you’ve a limited time available, why waste it in cafes and restaurants – they’re just over-priced. Grab a sandwich and don’t miss a major sight because you can’t afford the entrance fee.
8. Tired of walking?
Most of Europe has bicycles available very cheaply to hire. For a few Euros a day you can rent a tour bike and get around that much quicker. Who knows, you may even get back off holiday fitter than when you left?
9. Ask the locals for advice.
The travel guide can tell you a lot, but it can’t tell you where a party’s happening or a true hidden gem only they know about. They can also warn you about incorrect translations and over-charging restaurants. The local’s know it all; be polite, smile and try a little of your heavily-broken foreign language. They like laughing like everyone else.
10. Why did I pack a bikini for Iceland?
If you packed incorrectly for your summer holiday and randomly selected the wintery climes of Iceland, don’t be embarrassed to wear all your clothes. Not every country has a Primark (apparently) so dress to be warm and comfortable rather than to impress.