If you haven’t noticed, cheap holidays are IN! For the majority, travel in the next year or two is going to be on a smaller budget. By choosing your destination carefully, you can still afford to travel. You will need to be willing to lower your comfort expectations. But the reward will be trying something you may never have contemplated, when you could afford a more luxurious vacation. These 5 Top Tips should help you decide the most affordable destination for your vacation.
5 Top Tips for Choosing Cheap Holidays:
1) Look for countries that have a good exchange rate with your own currency. If you “make” a little on your currency exchange, it will give you more money to spend in your destination country.
2) Choose a destination that has a good variety of inexpensive activities you enjoy, such as hiking, camping, cycling, swimming or exploring on foot, seeing the culture at work and play. Or where you can indulge a hobby such as painting, photography, fishing etc … something that doesn’t have a price tag to go with it. A beach holiday will be much cheaper than a skiing holiday!
3) Go for a destination with an overall relatively cheap cost of living – research current prices on forums such as Travel Advisor or Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree.This will ensure your living costs will be reasonable if you use the local markets and transport. Many countries that have been cheap in the past, are no longer very cheap destinations .e.g My daughter was in Laos last month. She met people who were on their third return trip and commenting prices had doubled in three years. They were surprised at the high prices for some things. Do NOT assume all third world countries will be a very cheap destinations!
4) Use travel search boxes for comparing airfares to find the best deals, through the internet. And keep a close eye on your local newspapers for cheap travel deals that come out and be ready to make a quick decision. Sometimes they are limited offers that are booked out quickly. Be aware of any extra charges and taxes, and what the deal is if you cancel for any reason. They do vary considerably.
5) Choose accommodation that may be basic, but will be an experience. Homestays, cheap B&B’s, hostels, camping, all offer a roof over your head for a very reasonable price.
There are many ways you can stretch your dollars or pesos, or dong, once you reach your destination. These all add up over a few days or weeks.
A more rustic, back to basics holiday often leads you to really experience the destination at a more interactive level with the locals. This can be much more rewarding than the aloofness of using luxury tourist places where you are a spectator, rather than involved.
Be prepared to be adventuress and flexible when eating and getting around. Travelling in an open air public bus, rubbing shoulders with the locals, will surely be more memorable than a taxi ride? While local markets, restaurants, or street stalls, will have you sampling delicious local food, for next to nothing.
Start planning your cheap holidays now…it takes a bit of time researching and coordinating everything, but I think half the fun of a holiday is in the planning, so enjoy the process.
Hi, I’m Gail Gillespie, a New Zealander traveler. After visiting or living in more than 75 countries, I have experienced travel in many modes, usually on the cheap! I have written this list of ideas to help you too, enjoy travel whatever your finances.