Travelling on a budget has never been easy, but you don’t have to compromise on too many things to get the holiday you deserve (because life is hectic and we all need a break!). This said, it’s easy to rack up thousands of pounds in holiday bills because ‘one more drink’ turned into twenty and then you lost your phone in the taxi, we’ve all been there. So start off by booking a reasonably priced location to begin with and then work around your budget to match whatever you want to do.
Flights are a great way to save money, especially if you’re booking a holiday in advance or not set on a certain location. Ryanair offer flights from a tenner and companies like Jack’s Flight Club and Secret Flying constantly find deals from every corner of the internet, meaning you’ll save a fortune before you’ve landed in the country! But be warned, cheap flights doesn’t automatically equal a cheap stay. Copenhagen for instance, is one of the most expensive cities in Europe, but you can still find a return flight for £20!
So what kind of destinations should you look at for a budget friendly trip?
The luck of the Irish seems to keep prices steady enough to enjoy a Guinness fuelled night out and explore the history of Ireland’s divisive past. Head to Dublin to explore city life and gin palaces, or head to the countryside for beautiful Game of Thrones views! Hiring a car is much cheaper than paying for taxis if you’re planning on moving around but the real steal are Ryanair’s flights for a fiver! Yep, you heard me right! Every few months you’ll find flights from London, Manchester and Liverpool for the same as a pint! Make sure you’ve got your calendar set and sign up to their email list so you can cancel your weekend plans and make the 45 minute flight!
A wise colleague said to me before my first trip that ‘no matter how many times you go to Dam, it will never be enough‘, oh and how he was right! There is so much to see and do in Amsterdam, that I promise you will find yourself booking another trip as soon as you get home! The city is renowned for it’s quirky eclectic artsy vibes and rich history, which can make it an expensive city to travel to. But due to its popularity, there are loads of free tours and happy hour deals, making it more than possible to spend less than £50 a day.
Here’s my suggested itinerary to balance expense with experience:
- Day One: Van Gogh Museum & Ice Amsterdam Markets (click here)
- Day Two: Anne Frank House, Red Light District & Hard Rock Cafe (click here)
- Day Three: Ice Skating, Flower Markets & Clothes Shopping (click here)
- Day Four: Xtra Cold Ice Bar & Lights Festival Tour (click here)
- Day Five: Travel from Amsterdam to Eindoven (click here)
In light of Sri Lanka’s recent tragedy, I do think it’s important to highlight how beautiful and welcoming this country is, not to mention low-cost. Travelling through the centre, from Colombo to Pinawalla to Kandy to Ella, it is possible to spend no more than a tenner on accommodation and travel, especially if you choose to take the breathtaking and instagram iconic blue trains! Sri Lanka to me, is about natural beauty from communities that will treat you like family.
Here’s my suggested travel itinerary for 10 days in Sri Lanka:
- Day 1-3: Exploring the capital in Colombo (click here)
- Day 4-5: Living with Elephants in Pinawalla (click here)
- Day 6-8: Finding your inner child in Kandy (click here)
- Day 8-10: Witnessing the natural beauty of Ella (click here)
Another backpacker favourite, Thailand! It’s cheap drinks and once-in-a-lifetime activities make it the perfect place to unwind, relax and make new memories. Famous for its street food, Thailand offers endless dishes keeping budgets down, and the parallel of luxury escapes with cheap drinks means that you can live your 5* life, but without the price tag. Head to the beach clubs in the day, hire a cabana for free and then head back to your 3* room at the end of the night. Best of both!
Controversial as this option may be, it is possible to spend less in Australia than you would in Europe. Maybe not on flights (especially if you’re coming from the UK), but don’t discount Australia based on it’s harbour bridge prices! There’s plenty of free things to do: in Sydney, head to MoMA for rich Aussie history in visual form or visit Circular Quay to see the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge for yourself (it’s free after all). Head two hours north to the Central Coast for white sand secluded beaches and pay as little as $8 for national park hiking days or relax in one of their many happy hour bowling clubs!
So why on earth do I think this is a feasible budgeting option? Because I did it, for eight months!
Here’s some activities to keep you going in New South Wales:
- Head to one of the Central Coast’s many beautiful beaches (click here)
- Find some quiet in Sydney’s Chinese Garden of Friendship (click here)
- Take on a temporary job to make your dollars go further (click here)
But if you find yourself in Queensland there’s still plenty to do on a budget:
- Live like Irwin at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (click here)
- Scuba Diving in the Great Barrier Reef (click here)
- Kayak with Dolphins in Byron Bay (click here)
- Go chasing Waterfalls in Nimbin (click here)
Where’s your favourite place to travel on a budget? I’d love to hear from you! Comment below or become my Twitter bestie x