You want to travel, but you have a fairly limited budget? Are you looking for good deals for cheap travel? We listed you 16 tips for finding a cheap trip.
Compare the prices
Going through a comparator for your flight, for your accommodation or for your car rental will allow you to save money. In one click, you can compare the prices charged by several companies, hotels and rental companies. I recommend Skyscanner to compare prices:
Take your trips with cashback sites
The cashback system is known to everyone, but a little reminder, when you place an order via a partner of the cashback site, the cashback site reimburses you for part of your order, generally this amount is a percentage. Cashback also works with the travel site. Imagine a 10% cashback on a €1000 order, that’s €100 refunded on your trip. On Igraal for example you have a 6% cashback on Expedia, 4% on Auto Europe (car rental), 4% on Booking, on Lastminutes up to 60€ reimbursed. Poulpeo meanwhile offers 7.2% on Hotels.com and 12% on Groupon. If you haven’t registered yet, you can do so when you register on the 2 sites. You have a welcome bonus of €5 on Poulpeo and €10 on iGraal directly credited to your kitty. Think before taking your trip to go to the cashback sites and compare the amounts between the sites.
–> Igraal registration (10€ offered for registration)
–> Poulpeo registration (5€ offered for registration)
Exchange your house
To get free accommodation during your vacation, you can exchange your house. The principle is simple: you agree with a traveler who wants to travel to your city by offering him your accommodation, and you will travel to his city on the same date while benefiting from his accommodation. You will have to pay an annual fee on the leading platform Homeexchnage, for example, and you can exchange your house unlimitedly for 12 months. Without subscribing to the subscription, you can also welcome travelers to your home and thus accumulate points, which you can then reuse for free accommodation.
Sleeping with locals (couchsurfing in English) allows you to sleep somewhere for free. Couchsurfing works on a social principle of exchange: the goal is to meet people from all walks of life and from different cultures. This allows the traveler to immerse themselves in the culture of the country, to be in contact with real locals, to visit the country from a local and non-touristy perspective, to exchange good addresses, tips, etc. By being part of the community, the traveler can also welcome couchsurfers. You can join this community of couchsurfers here: Couchsurfing.com
Carpooling is an economical solution consisting of sharing the cost of a journey. Whether you are a passenger or a driver, this solution is very interesting. To find carpooling routes, you can use the number 1 site: BlaBlaCar.
Buy plane tickets in advance
According to an Opodo infographic, buying plane tickets at the right time can save you a lot of money. The month, the day of the week, as well as the time between booking and departure are important if you want to pay less for your ticket. For example, the infographic tells us that you have to buy your plane ticket for a flight to Europe between 91 and 100 days in advance. This infographic is very interesting to help you find the right flight at the right price, so I invite you to consult it!
Do not buy your plane ticket at the last minute
Contrary to what one might think, buying a plane ticket at the last minute does not make it possible to do business. As airlines do not want to fly with an aircraft that is not full enough, they have implemented an intelligent pricing system that lowers or increases prices depending on the level of aircraft occupancy. Thanks to this system, a few days before departure, most planes are full… and if the plane is almost full (which is often the case a few days before the flight), then prices increase. According to Challenges.fr, the last-minute flight prices would thus be 29% higher !
Master the tracing of IP addresses
Tour operators use IP tracking software to record our searches, in order to influence the price of a plane ticket or a trip. The objective is to play on the urgency: the plane fills up quickly, so you have to book as soon as possible. The more you search, the higher the prices and the more tempted you are to book. To play even more on the urgency, the tour operators even display annotations such as “only 2 places available”, “xx people are viewing this stay at the same time as you”, etc. Tour operators clearly play on the urgency effect because they know very well that you want to go to such and such a destination thanks to their tracking software.
To counter this, do your price comparison somewhere other than your home, such as your workplace, and then book the flight home. Above all, favor the private browsing mode of your browser.
Buy your tickets on the right day at the right time
By choosing the right time and day to book a flight, you can save up to 30%. On weekends, prices are higher: avoid booking a ticket on Saturday or Sunday. The companies have understood that you have more time there to book and compare prices, and therefore apply higher prices than the rest of the week. To pay less, it is advisable to book a flight in the middle of the week (Tuesday to Thursday), the ideal being during the night of Tuesday to Wednesday. The time also has an influence on the price: between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m., the companies tend to reduce, or even offer, the administrative fees, which makes it possible to reduce the price of the ticket.
Prioritize lesser-known destinations
Prices in popular areas are much higher than in a less popular area. For example, the cost of living in Bangkok (Thailand) is much higher than in Vientiane (Laos). By favoring this type of destination, you will travel cheaper. You will also discover a country still preserved from mass tourism.
Be careful however, if on the spot, the cost of living is lower, the flights are more expensive because there are fewer companies serving this type of destination. Prices are thus driven up. To take my example, if you want to go to Laos, it is best to go to Bangkok and then take the plane or the bus there to go to Laos. Internal flights are inexpensive. By being more flexible on your trip, you will obviously save money.
Be flexible on dates
Every summer my wife and I go the last week of August. Do you know why ? Quite simply because stays are cheaper on this date. It is clearly not the stay that interests you the most because it is at the last moment of the holidays, but it allows you to make great savings! My point is that by being flexible on your dates, you can find good prices. Tour operators apply lower prices on dates that do not attract crowds. For example, try to book a stay in Europe between November and March: you will see, the prices will be lower than from April because fewer people travel during these periods.
This is the principle of supply and demand: the less demand there is, the lower the prices. For example, I went to Bali for 10 days outside the school period, on a flight + hotel stay, half board and transfer for just under 1000€. Unbeatable price ! But it was in January, the rainy season (although it rained very little!). In summer the prices would have been much higher.
By being flexible on your dates, whether in terms of the day or time of departure and the type of flight (long connection), you will pay less for your trip. Especially if you book outside school periods, with a departure and arrival in the middle of the week!
Low-cost airlines are not always interesting
When you see the prices charged by low-cost airlines, it makes you dream… But beware, these companies are not always interesting depending on the distance of your trip! If they can sometimes be interesting on short and medium haul, this is not the case on long haul… These companies have indeed many costs. I thus remember having taken a Guadeloupe-France with XL Airways (since closed) with just the flight included, and if I wanted a screen, I had to pay, the same for headphones, a duvet, etc. Many services offered by traditional companies are not included in low-cost airlines and they are often charged very expensively. So yes, you can save money with low-cost airlines, but only for short destinations (France, Europe).
Recently I flew with Easyjet and if my bag had exceeded a certain size I would have had to pay, even to have a suitcase in the cabin. I had to buy a special bag for the occasion, which complied with Easyjet’s recommendations!
The prices are therefore attractive, but beware of the costs which can quickly increase the bill. It is therefore necessary to compare between low-cost and classic, with equal service, which is the least expensive… and it is not always the one we believe!
Go on vacation by car
Traveling by coach is a very economical solution, much more so than the train and the plane. Although the bus is longer, the price is definitely worth it! A few years ago, for a Paris-Barcelona, I paid 110€ round trip, an unbeatable price. So yes, the trip was long, but when you’re young and you have a small scholarship, it’s a good solution! With the liberalization of coach transport, there are now many companies that make domestic journeys and in Europe: FlixBus, Blablacar Bus, Eurolines…
As a family, favor all-inclusive clubs
Going to an all inclusive club regularly and often comparing other types of trips (camping, flight + hotel), I can say that the all inclusive club is an economical solution because everything is included. Psychologically, we tend to believe that the club costs more because it’s the type of trip where you have to take out the most money at once… But on closer inspection on the spot, you spend less , food and drinks are included, you are less tempted to go to a restaurant outside the club and therefore spend money. In a club, you also benefit from facilities such as a swimming pool and you do a lot of activities (sport, dance, etc.) which are also included in the price.
Very often abroad you can bargain. If in France, it is not anchored in our culture, it is nevertheless the case in many countries! Do not hesitate to negotiate the price of your hotel room (especially if you see that it is not full), excursions, souvenirs… Negotiation is important, especially when you know that in many countries, there is a “special rate” for tourists.
Use a travel budget app
A travel budget app is essential if you are traveling with other couples/families. Difficult to know who owes money to whom and to keep track of all expenses: one day, you pay the restaurant; the next day, it’s your couple of friends who book the hotel… How do you know who owes you money? How to distribute the expenses equitably depending for example on the number of children you have? Thanks to a travel budget application, you will be able to know what each owes to the others, which will save you from paying more than you should have. You will pay the fair price, depending on the number of people in your family.
See also my techniques for eating cheap.