Stay free and book backwards: 9 easy ways to vacation for less | Economy travel

VSCutting costs and going on vacation do not necessarily go hand in hand. In fact, a trip is often the first thing to do when money is tight – but why are we so reluctant to let it go? Is it because in the hustle and bustle of life, we know how beneficial a vacation can be? The good news is that getaways don’t have to break the bank, and with a little imagination — and these handy tips — you might be surprised what you can afford.

Book your vacation backwards

Forget the destination and start with accommodation first. Sites like Airbnb, Vrbo and let you type in entire countries, and even continents, leaving you free to use the filters to find exactly what you’re looking for at the right price.

Pay nothing for your accommodation

No, it’s not too good to be true – it’s possible to stay for free in homes around the world thanks to holiday home barter. Whether you’re caring for a pet or just watering someone’s plants, there are several websites that help you find owners who need someone to tend to their home while they’re away. absence. Check TrustedHousesitters, nomador and HouseCarers – once the annual fee has been paid, you can make as many journeys as you wish.

Experience ‘van life’ for a five

Thanks to the growing #vanlife trend, getting away in a motorhome has never been more popular, but when customers only want a one-way rental, it forces companies to bring the van back to base. This opens up a great opportunity for bargain hunters, as rental companies will offer these return journeys for as little as £5 for an entire journey. Check Independent campers, iMoova and Just go. If you are just looking for a car, lead me offers a similar deal with one-way rentals from just £1.

Explore Britain’s railways with a secret rail pass

An underrated travel hero, a Rovers and Rangers The ticket offers incredible value if you’re hoping to explore the UK by train. There are over 100 options based on the networks you wish to use and the number of days you wish to travel, which can be found on National Rail – a good deal is usually the Explore South Wales ticket which gives you four days of unlimited off-peak travel over an eight-day period for just £69 for an adult, £45.55 with a rail pass and £34.50 for a child. However, you cannot buy them online and will instead have to buy them in person at a train station ticket office or from a conductor on board the network of your choice. Given the general lack of awareness of this type of ticket, I would go with the former and give you some extra time to sort this out.

Explore Europe using the night train network

Do you want to spend a cheap holiday in Europe, but you don’t feel like flying? Night trains are the solution. The most important thing is to get to a rail hub where these sleeper trains are ready to take you while you sleep, from just €29.90 (be sure to book months in advance to access these fares ). Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam are all good options close to the UK and will connect you to Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. Plus, there are new routes and all-new sleeper trains coming in 2023, so it’s going to be a really exciting time for slow travel. To get started, take a look at by Nightjet routes and departure Seat61 for more train inspiration, plus detailed guides on what to expect from your chosen trip.

barter house watering animals and plants

Work for your stay

Working a few hours a day in exchange for accommodation isn’t just for gap year students, and it can provide an amazing learning experience for those traveling with children. From learning about new cultures and understanding the importance of teamwork to simply disconnecting from constant screen time, there are many reasons why this type of vacation can be a fantastic getaway for anyone. the world. To try work away and Worldpackers for opportunities like farm work, decorating, and even web development.

Use data to find the best value destinations

There are two things to keep in mind if you’re trying to get the most out of your pound while on vacation: the strength of the pound against the local currency and how much things will cost when you get there. Although there has been a lot of noise around the fall in the value of the pound in recent months, this is not the case everywhere; in Turkey, the amount of liras you can exchange for pounds has doubled in the last two years. For daily expenses, use Numbeo which compiles prices for everything from milk to fast food for over 11,000 cities around the world.

Pack smart

With budget airlines charging up to £36 each way to take a large piece of hand luggage on board, now is the time to streamline your packing. Start by listing all the outfits you plan to wear with one or two hero pieces that can be worn multiple times. Next, invest in hand-rolling vacuum bags to make the most of your space. If you’re heading for self-contained accommodation, use stackable mini cosmetic jars for salt, pepper and sugar and don’t forget a little olive oil in a small bottle of shampoo. Finally, pack it in a backpack rather than a suitcase – even if you find one small enough for your airline’s dimensions, you give much-needed interior space for the wheels, the handle and even the suitcase itself!

Get a free room upgrade

Free room upgrades aren’t just for those celebrating milestone birthdays and anniversaries. It’s just worth expressing how excited you are about staying at the hotel and asking if you might be considered for an upgrade if they have availability. Of course, if it’s a special occasion, you should definitely add that too, but the key is to be kind, free, and never expect anything free. When it works, it’s the best feeling ever.

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