It goes without saying that most people are not satisfied with staying in the same spot for very long. We love to travel, whether it be a week-long family holiday to the south of France or a month spent backpacking around south east Asia with some friends from University.

The only thing stopping many of us from doing this frequently is the money it inevitably costs. However, there are a number of things that you can do to save money on holidays that should make it cheaper without taking away from the overall experience of a long-awaited holiday.

How to Save Money On Your Holidays

Where possible, buy in advance

This one especially applies to plane tickets, which if booked a few months in advance are several times cheaper than if purchased the week before you jet off. Depending on the type of holiday you are planning, as well as your own personality, you may want to either book as much a possible and have a clear path laid out for what you plan to do, or you may prefer to arrive at your destination and then go wherever the wind takes you.

If you are traveling to multiple locations with friends or on your own then pre-booking hostel or hotel rooms may not be ideal for more than a couple of nights, but if you are staying in one area or just like your plans to be structured then try to book accommodation in advance. This won’t save you as much money as buying flights way in advance, but it’ll definitely save you enough to treat yourself to something!

Use public transport

Hiring a car can be expensive, and getting used to driving on the opposite side of the road in an unfamiliar city can be an absolute nightmare. So, why not take full advantage of public transport and get someone else to do all the work for you? Lots of popular travel destinations and big cities have stellar public transport networks with easy-to-use bus and train/metro passes.

Lisbon tramways by Pedro Ribeiro Simões (CC BY 2.0)

Think about when you’re traveling

Nobody wants to touch down in an exotic paradise to find it packed full of drunken louts or families with small children. School holidays do not just mean that flights are much more expensive, they also have the potential to turn your relaxing backpacking holiday into a fortnight spent struggling to get onto overcrowded beaches and into booked-up hostels.

Being forced to spend more money than you hoped for can lead to disastrous consequences in a foreign country, and without money lenders like Wonga to get you out of a tight spot, it isn’t a situation that anybody would want to be in. Be sure to have properly checked when is the best time to embark on your holiday you’ve planned.

Pack for every situation

Even if the location you’re heading to hasn’t had any rain in the last month, that doesn’t mean it will be shorts and t-shirt weather for your entire stay. You shouldn’t take a large winter coat, but failing to take some jeans and an anorak may force you into spending fifty euros when the heavens finally decide to open.

Take advantage of free entertainment

Museums, art galleries, theater and music gigs can all come at a steep price, or they can be seen for free if you know who to ask or where to go. Instead of paying 15 euros to get into an art gallery full of tourists with bored or screaming children, why not try to look for same smaller venues and exhibitions around the city that contain stunning art in a much more intimate, and cheaper setting. Websites like Tripadvisor can help you find some stunning events.

Matt Small Exhibition by (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Don’t eat out every night

Eating out at local restaurants and cafes is admittedly appealing, and indulging occasionally is encouraged, but eating out for lunch and dinner every day can rack up a hefty bill. Foreign cities don’t just have good places to eat out, they also tend to have quality food shops like bakers, butchers and even takeaways that can give you a taste of culture that you otherwise may not have had.

It’s also much cheaper! With internet access in foreign countries now relatively easy if the correct research is done beforehand, a quick look on online will give you the necessary information for a pleasant home-cooked meal.

How do you save money on your holidays?

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*The unedited beach image by Paris /CC-BY-NC-2.0