Hello and welcome back…or just welcome, if your new around here. This post is part two, partner to the post I put up last week about travel on a budget and how to stretch your money (missed it? find it here. Your welcome!) . I’m writing this with family travel in mind because that’s what I do, but most things can be applied across the board. Also apologies for the really dull post titles.I did try to think of an interesting title or lead in, but….nah, got nothin’. So this is just a bit does-what-it-says-on-the-tin.
So…in no particular order, here are the things we do to make our budget work for us when we are traveling.
- Get the best value out of your accommodation. Whatever you stay in, make it work for you. Look for well located lodgings. Miles out might be cheaper when you book but its going to cost you time and money during your trip. Look for accommodation that offers free extras…breakfast, WiFi, parking, tea and coffee, free to use leisure facilities. This will save you time, money and make your break that little bit nicer.
- Think about what you want to see and do. Do you actually need to spend to do it? Do you really need to see every museum and attraction just because its been hyped up on every travel blog or Instagram? Probably not. I actually think some of the most iconic attractions are best enjoyed from afar. Take, for example, the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the TV tower in Berlin. We loved seeing them on the city skyline, exploring the area around them, learning about the history of each . But standing in an (hours) long queue to part with big bucks to go to the top? No thanks. We still had an Eiffel tower or TV tower experience just in a different way, for less money. Spend the money saved on something else. For us it was a HOHO bus in Paris to help make the most of our short time there. In Berlin, an afternoon spent in the Menschen Museum…something a little different,that we all really enjoyed.
- Look for alternatives. Taking the example of the TV tower in Berlin. Ticket prices vary but a standard observation deck ticket for a family of four will cost around €45. At Panoramapunkt Berlin a family ticket will cost €17.50. For this ,you still get views across the city , a café at the top to enjoy a little something along with the views, access to an informative exhibition about the history of the area and a ride in Europe’s fastest lift.
- Food, glorious food. And drinks. When we travel we tend not to do three meals a day. It takes up time and money to do that. We tend to do a hearty breakfast at the hotel and a good late lunch/ early dinner as a main meal. In-between we just grab a snack. We try to make that a bit of a local experience… Cranberry tart on Terschelling , waffles in Germany, hot chocolate and trdelnik in Prague. We also like to visit the supermarkets. Not only do we then get to see how and where the locals shop and what they really eat, but we can also pick up refreshments on the go that don’t break the bank.
- Check out the freebies! Most destinations will have some parks, monuments, gardens that are free to visit. A city park can make a good stop off, especially if you have children who need to blow off steam. Many European cities have some great free museums. Some paying attractions will be free on certain days. Ask your hotel staff for local event listings, see what is on while you’re in town. Do your research, you might be pleasantly surprised at what you don’t need to pay for!
As always, I hope you found something helpful or interesting here. Do you have any tips or tricks that help you stretch the travel budget? Lets chat in the comments, it makes my day to hear from you.