Spending less, travelling more: was this one of your New Year’s resolutions?
I’d love to help your realise this resolution. The idea of this post was inspired by the people at the Overnight, a new travel startup that is on a mission to get people to plan less and travel more in 2017. They plan to focus on connecting last-minute travellers with hosts around the world. Think Airbnb meets Hotel Tonight .In this post, I’ve shared with you a bunch of vouchers , articles and ideas to help you get 2017 off to a cracking start.
Disclaimer: Note that some of the following products contain affiliate links. I earn a commission if you buy them, at no extra cost to you. This is one way I manage to maintain costs of running this website.
1.) Save money on accommodation
Click here to earn €15 off any stay with Booking.com ( Discount applies on completed stays. Minimum purchase value of £30)
Overnight are offering $25 off your first stay. Just enter promo code BUDGETTRAVELLER to earn credit towards your first stay.
I know most of you are not new to Airbnb but if you are, click here to get £25 off your first stay.
Not so much a money saving deal but a free drink is a free drink (especially in Paris and London) : Hostelworld are offering customers booking stays at Generator London or Generator Paris a free drink for stays booked between now and 31st January 2017.
2.) Money saving deals on bus and trains in Europe: Fares from as little as £1
Travelling to Europe soon? Eurolines are currently offering rates as little as £15 one way from London to Paris. Hop over to Eurostar to checkout their brand new SNAP fares where you can get fares for as little as £19 one way booking 7 days in advance. The SNAP fares available at selected time times and the next snap fares will launch later today so stay tuned for that deal. Also Megabus which operates now under the name of Flixbus have fares as little as £1 one way (+50p booking fee) across Europe.
3.) In the UK or travelling to the UK?
Best Western Hotels are currently offering 50% off hotel stays in UK and Ireland during their winter sale. Stay dates are from 15th November 2016 up until 31st March 2017.
Low cost bus company Megabus are currently offering 20000 seats for free on their UK network between the 9th January 2017 and the 9th February 2017. National Express offer £5 one way fares on many of their routes.
Virgin Trains are offering 50% off their routes (travel between 30th Jan-31st March 2017) which means a train ticket from London to Edinburgh is just £20 one way and £35 first class. Book by 13th January 2017.
4) Earn free airmiles with Rocketmiles
If you are not on a frequent flyer programme already, sign up to one. They are fantastic, especially if you are planning to travel and fly a lot in the near future. I am with Star Alliance and also One World. Try to focus on the one programme and airlines, hotel partners within that programme. One way for gaining airmiles is to signup to a hotel booking website like Rocketmiles where you gain on average 500-1000 airmiles with every hotel booking you make. Airmiles or points are credited to the frequent flyer programme of choice. Signup via this link to get 1000 miles/points sign-up bonus ( rewarded upon completion of your first stay )
Here are some general tips and advice on saving money
5. How to find those amazing last minute cheap flight deals
If you haven’t already, visit Skyscanner . Type in your date of travel and your preferred destination and hey presto you have a choice of destinations. If you are not fussed about where and when you are going, just choose the ‘Everywhere’ option and the month you would like to travel in, see where the cheapest flights are and book. Some insane deals can be found. For example from London, I’ve discovered £13 return flights to Copenhagen in April ( 18th April-22nd April, from Luton).
Other great sites you should bookmark are Holiday Pirates where you can find last minute deals like £194pp including flights and a 7 nights stay at a 4 star hotel in Morocco.
My other favourite site for finding cheap flight deals is Secret Flying.
They have mastered the art of finding ‘error fares’ : fares that appear because of a glitch in the website of an OTA. Sometimes these fares are honoured and sometimes they are cancelled so you are taking a chance here.
To give you an example, on the site you can find a return flight deal of $190 return from Johannesburg to Hong Kong and New York to Manila return from just $634 return!
Another tip is to subscribe to the airlines newsletter (Or in the case of Ryanair, their twitter account) to be the first to know of any major sales.
Plus if you haven’t read it already, checkout my guide to low cost airlines in Europe.
6. How to find budget friendly places to stay
If you are on a tight budget and want to save money on accommodation, then it is definitely worth looking into Couchsurfing, a 5 million community of people from all over the world who will allow you to stay in their homes & apartments for free. The hosts are verified and guests can leave reviews so it is safe.
If you have a little bit of money to spend, definitely recommend staying at one of the Luxury Hostels featured in my guidebook to Luxury Hostels across Europe which you can download for free from the blog till the 31st January.
The other option to consider are Homestays. You get to stay with a local host and often meals are included in the cost of stay. Just google ‘Homestays’ and the name of the destination you are planning to visit.
If you are looking to travel long-term, another option to consider is Housesitting. You can live rent-free in exchange for assuming responsibilities such as taking care of the homeowner’s pets and looking after the maintenance of their house in their absence. For a comprehensive guide to Housesitting, here is an excellent guide by James Cave
7.Find the cheapest destinations to visit in 2017
If you are planning to travel more in 2017 and make your dollar/pound/euro stretch further it is definitely worth visiting countries where your money will stretch the farthest.
In Vietnam for example you can have a bowl of Pho soup or a Bahn Mi baguette (world’s best sandwich!) for under a $1, sip on local Bia Hoi beer for as little 30 cents while you can stay in a 3 bed private room for €5 per person (January 2016 prices, hostelworld.com) in the excellent Hanoi Blue Star Hostel.
It is also worth looking at countries where the currency has been devalued: Thailand, Indonesia , Turkey, South Africa and Russia have all faced a major devaluation in their currency, making them significantly cheaper to visit in 2016.
Plus some countries have always been very affordable to visit: India, Cambodia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Serbia are countries that always offer great value for your money.
Go local-have a microadventure!
You don’t need to travel far or have money to have an adventure. When I lived in Dundee, Scotland and was living off pennies as an international student, I spent a lot of time doing day trips and exploring Glasgow, Edinburgh and lesser known but beautiful towns along the east coast like Montrose and Arbroath for example. You can get great value day return fares on local buses or trains. Sometimes, if time permits, I would extend my stay by choosing to sleep the night in a hostel dorm.
Or you could spend the evening going for a hike with friends in a local area of natural beauty.
We all have busy lives and sometimes even a small break can help refresh and refocus you.
This is the concept behind the the term microadventure , coined by British adventurer and author Alastair Humphreys . It is defined as an overnight outdoor adventure that is “small and achievable, for normal people with real lives.”
Hop over to http://www.alastairhumphreys.com and get inspired by Alastair’s crazy wonderful 5-9 microadventures.
Those are some of my top tips to travel more in 2017 without breaking the bank. If you’re looking for more tips and visiting Europe, definitely recommend reading my 75 tips to save money in Europe post. Also for tips for cheap places to eat, checkout my cheap eat guides section.
Finally, if you have any cool tips to share, please leave them in the comments section below.
The photo of the Bia Hoi Beer corner is by the talented Robert M and used here, courtesy of the Creative Commons license. Big thank you to the lovely folk at Overnight and good luck for their launch. Folk don’t forget to sign that pledge to travel more in 2017.