10 Essential Money-Saving Travel Hacks

Get out of the city centre

Convenient it may be, but staying in the city centre (or at the hotel closest to the resort) is sure to cost you more, and not just in hotel fees. If you really want to be in the centre of it all, you can still opt to eat at restaurants in the suburbs or away from all the main tourist traps – not only are they likely to be cheaper, the food will probably be better value and better quality.

Go incognito while searching for flights

Repeatedly refreshing your window while looking for cheap deals on flights and hotels may cause the price to go up based on changes in demand. Avoid this by clearing your cookies to delete recent searches or use an incognito search window to compare prices.

Eat your main meal at lunch

Many restaurants offer their best deals at lunchtime, when you can often sample a set menu of dinner dishes at a much cheaper price than what you would have to pay in the evening. Another money-saving travel hack is to make the most of outdoor markets serving up hearty plates of paella or rotisserie chicken at a very reasonable cost – just be sure to get there before they sell out!

Buy a city card

Many cities offer a tourism card offering everything including free entry to museums and use of public transport, discounted tours and rates and special deals on local restaurants and shops. You can usually either buy these in advance from the city’s tourism website or once you arrive at your destination. Some are better value than others, so it’s always worth checking whether you would take advantage of the deals. Students, be sure to take your ID cards with you – many cities offer a reduced rate for anyone still in education or under 25.

Get a free tour

Whether you prefer guided walks or doing your own thing, there are plenty of ways to see a city without paying a fortune. In some places you can find locals or students offering free walking tours or pay-as-you-like tours for tourists, often advertised on the city’s tourism website. If you prefer to go at your own pace then try an app like Musement or Lonely Planet Trips which offer local knowledge and tips on your destination, restaurant reviews and easy booking for events and attractions.

Search for fares, not destinations

If you’re not settled on your destination then searching by fare, rather than destination, is a great way to spot the best flight deals. Kayak’s Explore Tool allows you to search for plane tickets by price and date, allowing you to see all the places in the world you could go and filtering out all the flights above your chosen amount.

Book in advance (transfer)

It may seem obvious, but the later you leave it, the more you’re likely to pay. This applies to everything from your flights and hotel to museum tickets and transport. If you already have your heart set on visiting Barcelona’s Sagrada Família or Anne Frank’s House in Amsterdam, save yourself some cash and the time spent queuing by buying your pass online. Similarly, don’t wait until you get to the airport before you arrange your transport to your hotel. By pre-booking an airport transfer with HolidayTaxis you can get some great prices on shared transport or enjoy a private taxi into town at a reasonable cost.


Everyone knows airport food is overpriced (and often terrible) so don’t rely on expensive sandwiches and tiny drinks to keep you going. Bring your own food for the road (double check you can bring it through security first, depending on your destination) and stock up on bottled drinks once you’re through security, before you get on the plane.

Chose a rental over a hotel

Sometimes, renting a villa or city apartment can work out cheaper that staying in a hotel, especially if you’re splitting the costs between a group of people. The other benefit of having the whole place to yourself is that you can save a fortune on meals. Spend a leisurely morning at your rented accommodation enjoying home-brewed coffee and patisseries from the local bakery, before heading out with your own picnic (made from food bought at the local market) that you’ve prepared in advance.

Make the most of the sales

While everyone else is busying buying up TVs and electronics that they don’t need, Black Friday and the Boxing Day Sales are the perfect time for you to grab those holiday promotions – get yourself online and bag yourself a bargain!

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