I HAVEN’T BEEN EVERYWHERE, BUT IT’S ON MY LIST.
– How to travel more, without breaking the bank –
If you’re anything like me, then you’ll absolutely love to travel. Travel is something i’ve been fortunate enough to do a lot of since I was little, and exploring the world has become a huge passion of mine as an adult too. As a child my grandad was sure I was going to be a travel news reporter, based on all the adventures I went on and the stories I loved to tell on my return, I don’t suppose he was far from getting it right given I started mediamarmalade.com and share my travel stories, tips and recommendations with you here.
Travel fuels my soul, my happiness, my imagination and my compassion for culture, people and history. I love to travel and try to maximise my time away from work for holidays, city breaks, staycations and general travel adventures.
But whilst travel is one of my absolute favourite things, it’s of course fair to say it’s not the easiest of things to spend your time doing, whether it’s cost, time or simply logistics, travelling can be one of those luxuries that ends up sitting at the back of the life list if you’re not careful.
But fear not, over the years I’ve found ways to travel as much as I possibly can, as often as I possibly can, without breaking the bank or missing a months rent. Most years I manage to squeeze in around 6 to 8 trips minimum, whether it’s visiting new places in the UK, taking a weekend away in Europe or having some adventures in other continents. So today I thought i’d share some of my personal tips with you, because who wouldn’t want to travel and explore as much as possible?
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.”
FIVE WAYS TO TRAVEL MORE WITHOUT BREAKING THE BANK
BOOK FLIGHTS IN ADVANCE
Often one of the biggest barriers to travel are the costs associated with it, especially as an adult when you want to start travelling in a little more luxury the costs can start to rocket. But actually there are a few tricks of the trade which can really help with having the 5* experience you’re looking for without paying the world. The two tactics I most commonly use when booking my trips away are early bird flights & last minute accommodation.
For my two most recent trips to Asia I booked my travel nearly a year in advance, they were big trips which I knew I desperately wanted to do. Both flights cost in the region of £350 given how early I booked them, to book them a month or so out I would have been looking at £600 – £800 for each. The other great way of getting cheap travel, is booking flights when the sales start, they key here is being open minded as to where you would like to visit, and simply booking the best deal you can find. Travel roulette if you will.
Secondly, I find the counter with accommodation, generally speaking hotels don’t want to leave rooms empty, and so last minute deals are always a huge opportunity for late bookers. I tend to always book my ski trips a week or two before we plan to go, and most my travel when I’m exploring cities or travelling around an area (like I did in Thailand) are booked relatively close to the trip itself, you’re far more likely to find yourself a bargain that way.
START A TRAVEL POT
No matter what bargain you manage to bag yourself (and trust me, there are definitely deals to be had), travel still costs a lot of money. From airport travel, to flights, to accommodation, and not forgetting the expense of exploring a new city when you’re out there (and I for one certainly don’t like to hold back when I’m away), it’s not cheap. And that’s why I thoroughly recommend starting a travel pot, think of it as your own little piggy bank that any spare penny’s get put into for safe keeping.
This pot of money is your rainy day fund, ready to book flights when a good deal crops up, or take that spontaneous weekend away when you so fancy, or to help fund that big adventure and tick off your bucket list. If you’re able to, putting some money aside each month can really help build your travel pot into something quite special.
LAST MINUTE STAYCATIONS
Travel doesn’t have to mean adventures in Asia or far flung locations on the other side of the world. In fact, some of the best and most relaxing trips away can be right on your doorstep, whether that’s a staycation in your home country or even a city break somewhere only a short flight away. Living in the UK we’re super lucky to have Europe on our doorstep providing so many opportunities for weekends away, often with inexpensive flights and only short travel times, making it a great option for last minute travel. But also the UK itself has so many beautiful locations that are often only a short drive away.
Whether it’s booking through the likes of Secret Escapes, Air BNB, or other last minute providers, there’s always a last minute deal to be had in the UK or in Europe. I personally love to plan little weekends away every now and then, a spa weekend in the Cotswolds or a visit to a country mannor house, they don’t have to cost the earth but provide the perfect opportunity to explore a little more of the country and get an escape from the everyday. I’m actually spending a weekend at Soho Farmhouse again in a couple of weeks which I just cannot wait for.
RELOCATE AND LIVE LIKE A LOCAL
Often the greatest travel experiences are had when you’re able to ‘live like a local’ would, the extended duration of time means you truly see and experience the culture of the country, you understand the local way of life, and you find yourself at one with your new surroundings. But not only that, it provides you with a new base to explore surrounding towns, cities or countries. Not always can you, or do you want to take a year out to go travelling the world, equally not always is it practical to visit far afield countries on every trip you take, and that’s where relocating can provide the perfect opportunity to explore more of the world, whilst still having the stability of a job and a salary but simply from a new base.
I personally would absolutely love to move to New York for a year or too, it’s been my dream for a long time. Not only would that allow me to truly see a side to New York that even my annual trips don’t allow for, it provides me with a new base to take weekend trips around other parts of the East Coast. A friend of mine is currently living in Hong Kong (you may remember me visiting her earlier this year), but from her new home, not only is she experiencing Hong Kong to it’s fullest, she’s maximising every bit of annual leave and weekend where she can to explore neighbouring countries (like The Philippines, Thailand, and other parts of Asia) that otherwise would require a 12 hour trip & a hefty cost to get to.
VISIT FAMILY & FRIENDS
But perhaps the cheapest way to travel, see more of your home country or even explore other countries is by visiting family or friends who perhaps live elsewhere, or even better have holiday homes in other countries.
Family and friends provide a ready made accommodation option for you, save you all the additional costs of hotels (which is often one of the biggest things to budget for), and sometimes even travel when you’re there, plus they give you a great opportunity to explore a new area from the eyes of a local.
Not everyone is lucky enough to know people living in farfetched places or have family with holiday homes, but if you do, it’s certainly a great opportunity to see more of the world without a huge price tag.
WORK . SAVE . TRAVEL . REPEAT
There you have it, my travelling tips, tricks and saving advice. For me travel is such a huge part of my life, I want to spend as much time as I can exploring, having adventures, and experiencing the world, so maximising every opportunity and taking every chance I have to get away is always on my agenda. This year, aside from having already visited Hong Kong, The Philippines & Val D’isere, I’m plotting and planning a ton more trips for the remainder of the year, and am planning on sharing a whole lot more of Europe on the mediamarmalade.com travel pages.
Do you have any travel plans in the pipeline? Where’s on your 2017 bucket list?