How to save money on holiday

No-one wants to cut back on their holidays, but with the economy in the state it’s in, and the pound faring badly against other currencies, saving money while you’re away has never been more important. But that needn’t mean having a less enjoyable experience – in fact, some tricks for making savings can actually enhance your trip.

Travel off-peak

If you go during off-peak or shoulder dates, not only will you find the main costs of your trip such as travel and accommodation are significantly reduced, you’ll be able to see the sights much quicker as there’s far fewer other people around. Plus the locals tend to be more relaxed and friendly when their pavements aren’t thronged with camera-toting tourists.

Couch Surfing

A lot of people nowadays earn a bit of extra cash by offering up their sofa, spare room or entire flat to tourists looking for a cheap place to stay. This is a great opportunity to meet interesting new people, pick up some tips on the best places to visit and eat, and stay in a much more comfortable and friendly environment than a hostel or hotel. And you can always rent your own place while you’re away, which could pay for your holiday!

Sharing transport

If you’re planning on doing a lot of excursions on your holiday, consider joining up with other people to share the costs of taxis. Not only do you get to make new friends, but you save money and it can often be safer in some parts of the world.

Eat where the locals eat

A common travel truism is that if you stay away from more touristy areas at meal-times and head to restaurants in the quieter back streets where the locals eat, you’ll not only get a better price but also a better meal as well.

Travel light

You can sometimes get a significant reduction in your flight price if you don’t stow hold baggage. Mostly this is only applicable to business travellers or people travelling for a long weekend, but if you really cut down on the amount of clothes you take, and roll up the ones you do, then it’s often possible to go away for a week, especially somewhere hot, and get away with just a couple of pairs of shorts, a few t-shirts and a beach towel. Plus you’ll skip the queues at the baggage collection point.

Work your way on holiday

For example, a thoroughly enjoyable way to see the Greek islands for an extended period of time, and for very little money, is to find work as a deckhand on a yacht. No experience is required usually, just a willingness to help out with the daily tasks and chip in for fuel and food. Potentially you could travel for months, to many different parts of the world, for a few hundred pounds a month.

Book last-minute

You can save considerable amounts by booking last minute, especially on less-popular routes, as airlines desperately try to fill the last few seats before departure. It doesn’t always work of course, but for single travellers or those who like to take a risk it’s a great option.

Stay at home

Staycations, as they are commonly known, have really taken off since the recession began. Take a week off work but don’t go abroad, instead stay at home and explore your local area. How many times have you taken the bus to the office and passed numerous museums, art galleries or parks but never taken the time to visit them?

  • Rob is looking forward to camping with his family this summer and saving a whole heap of cash at the same time.

Author: Muzi Mohale

Hi there, am your host and I blog about the tourism industry in South Africa. You're also welcome to contribute your expert content on matters affecting the industry. You can reach me on muzi[at]

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