There was a time when going to Portugal once a year with mum and dad fulfilled our travel needs for the year, but that is no longer the case. Nowadays if you don’t do at least three city breaks, a long haul beach break with your beau and a festival abroad with the girls is life even worth living?
Keeping up with the Kardashians is a pricey hobby so let SMS give you some top tips on how to save money and still have the lifestyle you deserve.
Booking.com is no longer a pro-secret, everyone knows about it but that doesn’t mean it’s any less cheap. Booking.com allows you to look for hotels, hostels, apartments and more filtered by price range, location and guest reviews. Booking.com offers reserve now pay on arrival deals and free cancellation on a lot of properties right up until the night before arrival.
The premise of Airbnb is mi casa es su casa. People rent out their homes either in its entirety or just a private room at a fraction of the cost of hotel rooms. Now available in literally every city in the world there are some real gems up for grabs.
Once the sites of horror movies (literally) hostels have had a makeover. Big chains like the Generator hostels are just as fancy and quirky as any boutique hotels without the price.
Or if you want to stay somewhere for free why not try house sitting? Other people (who have money) will let you stay in their house for free if you agree to look after their cat, dog or houseplants. There are sometimes amazing properties with pools, hot tubs and more all at the sitters disposal. Have a look on Mind My House to see what’s on offer.
Set a Budget
- If you are doing a big holiday or gap year make sure you save in advance. Plan what activities you want to do and find out how much they will cost then save up in advance.
- Check exchange rates in the weeks leading up to your trip. If the exchange rate is good you can always change some cash up early. After all €20 can make all the different to a good night out in Barcelona.
- When you finally make it away split out your spending money and allocate a budget for each day. As tempting as it is to dip into the money for other days, resist! You will thank yourself in the long run. Check out the Dos and Don’ts of Travel Money for more information.
Hand Luggage Only
Pack light! Where possible take only hand luggage especially if you are going away for a week or less. Most airlines offer hand luggage for free and charge heavily for hold luggage to make up for it. If you are flying with Ryanair or Easyjet and want to find out who wins in the battle of the budget airline when it comes to luggage allowance check out the SMS guide.
- Blag a free flight upgrade
- Student Flight Comparison & Deals page
- 16 Money Saving Hacks for Student Flights
- Flight loophole - slash your ticket price in half
- Ultimate flight hacks for students
- Flight delayed? Get up to £430 compensation
SkyScanner & Kayak
Before booking any flights get yourself on flight comparison sites Skyscanner or Kayak. They both work in similar ways showing all available flights on set dates to destinations from different providers. You will hear some people saying one site is better than the other but the best way to be safe is to use both. Set alerts for the flights you want so you can track price changes.
STA Travel is a student travel company that offer bespoke gap year adventures but also offer cheaper long haul flights for under-26s.
Read our guides to cheaper flights and flight loopholes:
Holiday Pirates is a site and app run by bloggers who put all the time and energy into finding cheap flights, hotels and package holidays so you don’t have to. The deals are updated daily and there are always step-by-step instructions on how to get the deals online.
·It’s always advisable to prebook a transfer for when you arrive at the airport. The earlier this can be done the more likely it is to be cheaper then picking up a taxi on arrival. Whatever you do try and avoid picking up a taxi at all costs, you will be ripped off!
·If you aren’t organised enough to pre-book then ordering an Uber can be the cheapest option in a lot of big cities. Sao Paulo, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Tel Aviv, Cape Town and more all have Uber now so there is no reason to get in an overpriced cab again.
Don't Risk Roaming Charges
Forget to turn off your data roaming and you could come back to a massive bill. There are a lot of phone providers who offer free data roaming in Europe now. But beware as what counts as ‘Europe’ is not the same for every provider. Countries outside of Europe also have varying rates so make sure to read our extensive guide on how to spend less money on mobile roaming.