Looking at planning a holiday? You lucky thing, you! Not planning on spending a small fortune? I hear ya!
My partner and I have been travelling to the UK three times a year for close to 10 years now. We go there so often because the 3 major championships for the calendar year are held there so it’s an absolute must for a serious ballroom dancer. Throw in another dozen flights around Asia and Australia and not only are we racking up the points but it also racks up the $$$. This is why I have a few go-to things that really help alleviate some of the stress that can come with all this travel. I thought I’d share some of these tips with as maybe they will help you too!
The first thing I rely on pretty much every time I’m travelling abroad is airbnb.com. This website has been a game-changer for me when it comes to booking accommodation. Gone are the days where I have to message every Tom, Dick and Harry that I know, seeing if they know a friend with enough space to put up 2 people for a few weeks. Now its as simple as heading over to the website a couple of months before I travel and I have an abundance of options at my fingertips! Even better is that not only do I have a bed to sleep in, but I also gain a kitchen to cook in! Double win 🙂 This saves soooo much cash that is usually spent buying food out. If you haven’t had a look at the website before then click here and it will take you there. It’s really simple to book and the filter is also helpful as it takes into consideration what type of dwelling you are after (share house, whole house, granny flat, Buckingham Palace etc). We have stayed at many people’s homes through our travels and the experiences have always been welcoming and easy. Oh and did I mention the options are usually much cheaper than staying at a hotel? Using a mobile device? They have an app for that too!
This leads me onto my next tip, which is to try to shop at local farmer’s markets! If you are lucky enough to have a kitchen whilst you are away and want to save some coin then cook some of your own meals man! I’m not a massive ‘eating out’ fan anyway unless it’s for a special occasion or to meet up with friends, otherwise I much prefer to whip up my own food. It can sometimes be tricky with food requirements (see vegan) and eating out for every meal can easily suck the life out of your holiday savings account. Sometimes, if the conversion rate is a bit dodgy it can be just as expensive shopping for food at local stores. This is why I always try to seek out a local market, they offer so much fresh produce and it is usually at a fraction of the price. I once bought 10 avocados for the equivalent of $2AUD! No joke the guy at the stall said to me “Fill the bag love”, so I did! Generally I try to buy all my fruit and veg at the markets and anything else I need eg. bread, rice, pasta etc, from the local store.
Another thing that I find really helps when travelling is to buy a local sim card. We all rely so heavily on our little devices these days and no one wants to go without their phone cold turkey! So rather than setting up some sort of plan with your carrier at home, I would recommend buying a sim card when you arrive. They are super cheap and you simply plonk it in your (unlocked, hopefully) phone and away you go! This way you can have easy access to your social media, messaging, emails etc. and you will also have GPS for those times you get mega lost. I did go through years of sneaking into any Starbucks I could find and taking full advantage of the free wi-fi, but now Steve and I tend to book a hire car while we are away so GPS is a must! It can get pretty heated in the car if you are travelling blind!! As a quick side note, try to book your car through an independently owned car hire service as it is usually a lot cheaper. If you’re going to the UK, Kendall Car Hire is awesome. I tend to keep my Australian sim card safe and sound in between my phone and phone case and switch it out whilst on the plane.
And lastly, one idea I just recently had and am going to put to the test on my next trip in September/October is to take a blender. This may sound absolutely ludicrous but sometimes when there is absolutely no food about I can simply buy a buttload of fruit and make a filling smoothie! I’m also thinking it will be great for those nights when you have been out all day and come home late and want something quick. Also, my blender is pretty small so packing it shouldn’t be too much of a pain and besides I just can’t bear the thought of not having my brekkie smoothie every morning 🙂 So, I will definitely let you know if that turns out to be a fail.. but I have a feeling its going to be the best idea ever!
What are some of your tips for travelling on a budget? Comment below..