Flight-Delayed's travel tip #14: Vacationing on a budget
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
We all love going on vacation and during the summer this has top priority, but what do you do if your budget is limited? Each year, 7 out of 10 Britons go on vacation, whether to a destination abroad or within the UK. Budget plays a major role in deciding where to vacation, and due to the recession, many tourists are likely to seek cheaper ways to enjoy their summer holiday.
The most obvious way to save money would be to simply limit the number of days of your holiday, and to take a holiday fewer times a year. On the other hand, if these limitations mean you can't get your well-deserved rest and you're unable to enjoy your summer to the fullest, then what's the point of even taking a holiday? We have compiled a list of budget tips that will allow you to have your cake and eat it too!
1: pick a cheap destination
A flight to Barbados will of course cost you more than a flight to Germany. But also keep in mind that the local prices at different destinations can vary tremendously. In Hungary, for example, the prices of hotels and restaurants are on average 50% lower than in the UK. In Norway, however, prices are generally twice as high as in the UK! The countries that are relatively inexpensive are located mainly in Eastern Europe. For example, Poland, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Slovakia are around 30% cheaper than the UK. Spain and Portugal are also relatively cheap countries to vacation in.
If you have no clue as to where to travel on a budget, this site could help you out http://geniusflight.com/. Submit your intended budget, your available dates and the location of your departure. The website will show you a list of holiday destination that match your chosen budget. Truly ideal!
2: don´t travel too far
The longer the flight, the more it will cost. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out. But if you do not want to stay within your own country, then why wouldn't simply visit your closest neighbours? (Western) Europe has some great places to visit and offers something for every budget. Have you considered a festival such as Sziget in Hungary or Melt! in Germany? If you prefer the beach, perhaps you could visit the golden beaches of Bulgaria or take a cheap flight to Spain. If you prefer nature and hiking, there are some beautiful places in Germany or Poland. Check out this site, for instance: http://www.germany.travel/en/index.html
3: stay at others people's homes instead of at a hotel
When on a vacation, you don't necessarily need to stay at an expensive hotel. Have you ever considered renting someone's house? This is often much cheaper than staying at a hotel or commercial lodging, especially if you're travelling in a group. There are websites where people offer their own home for rent, informing you about the price and availability. However, keep in mind that these houses may not always be rented out empty: your hosts themselves may occupy a part of the house while you're there. This can be a nice way of connecting with locals.
4: swap houses with someone
Instead of renting someone else's home, you can also swap homes. That way, your home or apartment won't be collecting dust while you're away, and you may be able to cut costs for lodging completely. It may take you some time to get used to the idea of giving your house to a stranger, so make sure to arrange the swap using a house swapping website so you don't give your house to just anyone. For example: http://www.guardianhomeexchange.co.uk/
5: go couch surfing
Couch surfing is based on the same principle of renting out your home, but in this case people rent out their couch only: www.couchsurfing.org. This is usually for free, so certainly cheap, though also somewhat adventurous. Even though this is in general quite safe, always check if the host is actually verified - which means that his/her data is verifiable. Other guests also have the option of writing about the hosts, which may soothe your mind. Skyping or Facebooking with your host in advance is always a good idea. Obviously couch surfing is more about the experience, so do not expect too much luxury.