Planning a Trip on a Budget

Travel app images

A common misconception is that you must spend a huge amount of money to travel, especially with a family. Of course it does cost more to travel with your family but if you put the time in to shop around for the best deals then you can save a lot.  I also use cashback sites, friend referrals, price comparison sites and specialist deal finding sites.  When searching for motor home rentals in New Zealand the first price I got was over £3000 for 5 weeks.  After many, many hours of shopping around and emailing different companies, I managed to get the exact same vehicle for £1500.  That was a huge saving and meant that we could actually afford to go! So never ever go with your first quotations as it really does pay to shop around.

Here are some of my tips for planning a trip on a budget…….

Image result for rome2rio   – I use www.Rome2Rio.com to find all the possible routes to our destination.  Sometimes time is not an issue, and if this is the case then we can consider making a road trip part of our plan.  If we only have a certain amount of time for the trip then we will find the quickest route which is usually flying.  The best thing about this website is that it tells you all the available ways of getting somewhere (flying, public transport, ferries, driving etc) and then the cost of each, including the cost of driving your own car so you can make a true comparison.  It also gives links to the different airlines, ferries and local public transport companies etc so this is a great research tool.

Image result for google flights

If we are flying then I use Google Flights to work out the best date to fly and the cheapest airlines.  Best features of Google Flights are:

  • The “date tip,” which will appear at the top of the screen shows you how much money you’d save if you changed one or more of your travel dates.
  • You can see how much you can save by flying to or from a different airport.
  • One of the most useful features is the ability to compare prices using the site’s “calendar” or “flexible dates” features. The “calendar” feature shows you how the price of a particular itinerary is likely to change over time. The “Flexible dates” feature shows you the cheapest itineraries you can book, sorted by departure and return dates. When you check your tracked flights and destinations, you’ll also see a graph that shows you how the price of a flight has changed over time. If you frequently travel on the same route, you can use this graph to gauge when your flight is usually at its cheapest and anticipate future price dips.
  • The “price tracking” feature will send you notifications of price changes so you can keep an eye on the best time to book.

Image result for skyscanner

This is a free flight finding site and according to their website….. “Skyscanner is an award winning site recommended by: The Independent, The Guardian, Which? Travel, BBC Radio 1 and more! Skyscanner has been consistently found to be comprehensive, fast, and the best way to find cheap flights.”  They also find cheap hotel and car hire deals too.

Image result for trivagowww.trivago.co.uk is a fantastic price comparison tool for finding the best hotel deals. It is ridiculous how much prices differ for the exact same room! So I use this site to find the cheapest deal and then go to that website and book.

Image result for airbnbI have found some really beautiful rentals through airbnb.  When travelling with kids sometimes it’s really nice to have the home comforts such as a washing machine (I’m easily pleased) and not be stuck in a hotel room after the kids have gone to bed.  When I was looking for an apartment in Oahu, Hawaii I couldn’t find anything within our price range for the 5 of us. Our youngest child was 4 at the time and was happy to sleep in our bed, so when I found a great little apartment that slept 4 I contacted the owners directly and explained the situation and they were happy to accommodate us.  So sometimes you will get more flexibility with a private rental than with a big chain hotel who have to stick to the rules.  They also loaned us snorkelling equipment and body boards etc which saved us a lot too.  Again, they have a ‘refer a friend’ scheme so don’t forget to sign up!  Here is my referral link:   www.airbnb.co.uk/c/ksansom6

Image result for topcashback

I always shop through Topcashback whenever I’m booking rooms, hiring a car, buying travel insurance, booking airport parking, and if I’m lucky my flights too! I have earned hundreds of pounds by doing this and it soon adds up.  Here is my referral link to sign up: www.topcashback.co.uk/ref/kerensansom

Image result for booking.com

http://www.booking.com  Don’t forget to use the ‘refer a friend’ feature on this site as it gives you and your friend a £15 credit!  Here is my referral link:  https://www.booking.com/s/34_6/sansom37

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