Over the years, I’ve gradually learned a few ways to make my holidays cheaper, and I would like to share them with you. So without further a due, here are my tips.
A friend showed me Azuon a few years ago, and I haven’t looked back since. It’s a great flight search tool to use, with tonnes of features. You can search for flights from lots of airlines, in a flexible time frame, you can search for the cheapest two week holiday to multiple destinations (e.g. Italy, Greece, Spain.)
You can find out the cheapest possible way to get from A to B, whether that means flying to Italy via France, or flying back home to a different airport that is near your home. The only downside is that its a paid service, which €20 a year. Don’t worry, you’ll make back that money in savings on flight prices in no time.
I used to be a hotel snob, preferring to stay in a fancy room, despite it costing most of my holiday budget. Then gradually I began to open my mind to the idea of staying in hostels instead. If you’re a hotel snob like I used to be, that’s fine, we’re allowed have nice things. But consider these reasons why you should stay in a hostel. They’re so much cheaper, which leaves you with money left over to travel around the area you’re visiting, eat better foot, drink more beer. All good things. And if you’re travelling alone, hostels with a bar or shared dorms are the perfect way to meet new friends.
My boss used to travel a lot, and he summed it up nicely. He said to me “Hostels are great, you just arrive, throw your bag on your bunk, look across at the strangers you’re staying with and say ‘what’s up?’” Instant holiday buddies. Ok maybe not, and maybe they snore. But stop being so negative, you might just become good friends.
- Live Music in BarsOkay, technically we paid for this gig, but we went to free ones mainly.
Whenever I go on holiday, I run around asking locals where I can find live music. I almost always find it. The good thing about music in bars is that you usually don’t have to pay.
Which is good, because usually you won’t know the singers in the paid gigs, so its a gamble to pay to see them. If you want to really stretch your money, buy one pint, and sip it all night. Although that won’t win you any friends among the bar staff.
- Buy a weekly/ monthly bus ticket
Often even if you’re only staying 2 weeks, it’s worth buying a monthly bus ticket for the area you’re in. You may tell yourself that you won’t use it enough to make it worthwhile, but if you want to see a lot, you probably would benefit from buying monthly instead of paying each time.
- Make friends with locals
If you can make friends with locals, you may not even have to ask before they invite you to hang out with them, whether to go for food at their house or go to beach. Of course, this depends on where you are.
I have been invited to eat with locals many times on my travels. In some places, locals love meeting tourists, but in places that get high volumes of tourists will not usually be that interested. Which brings me to number 6.
- Avoid the tourist traps and tourist resorts
Okay, hear me out. I see so many people who just go on holiday and do every canned, basic, expensive experience the area has to offer. They go to an overpriced tourist restaurant when almost always, there’s a cheaper restaurant, with better food, within walking distance.
All I will say is this: Ask the locals what and where they think captures the culture of the area. And ask more than one, so you know that they’re not just referring you to their uncle’s priest’s restaurant. Also, if you’re going on a bus tour, and don’t care about what the tour guide is saying, get the tour in the local language. I saved $40 doing this before.
So there you have it. I hope something from that list helps you to save some money in Cuba or elsewhere. If you have any other suggestions, feel free to share it in the comments below.