Holidays can be expensive, no matter where you go. You have to factor in flights, accommodation, transportation, food and spending money. As a new graduate with no fancy grad scheme job I’m here to give some tips on how I travel for relatively cheap.
Travel apps are your starting points. Apps like Lucky Trip will allow you set your budget and your type of holiday. Would you prefer adventure or do you want to relax on the beach instead? Decide and hit search. It’ll give a destination, a hotel and something to see. If you’re not interested then hit search again and it’ll offer you something different. Found it? Decided on the place you want to go?
Good! Now, all you need is your EasyJet app with your post notifications switched on. When there’s a sale you know it’s go, go, go! Don’t be afraid to book more than one holiday. I find that when you see a good deal, it’s hard to resist. Two holidays to somewhere nice in Europe for a few days across two months? Why not? With flights out the way there’s one less thing to worry about. Wondering where you’re going to sleep on all these trips? Carry on reading…
Accommodation can be expensive, depending where you want to stay. For me personally, staying in a swanky hotel isn’t my top priority but it's always nice to do so and there’s always a way to do it.
My next app recommendation is Booking.com. After I’ve booked my flights I take a look on there, browse through the options but I’m not eager to book anything. A lot of the time hotels have deals, some obscure discount like 38% off, I wait to see one of those; check the location; rooms and reviews. Then I book it. Accommodation is sorted. What next?
Transportation. Getting around in a foreign place can cost a pretty penny. Taxi from the airport to your hotel? Using local transport to get around? It adds up. My next recommendation is to get a city card, most European countries have them. Despite the country you’re visiting the cards typically work the same way. You select the duration of your stay (you don’t have to get it for the full time you’re there). It’ll include free travel on nearly all transport and free entry to 50+ museums, galleries and exhibitions. The general sightseeing most people want to do. More importantly, it’ll give you discount in numerous restaurants across the city. Who doesn’t want to eat for cheap whilst still having money for other things? Which leads me onto my next point.
Spending money. How much you chose to bring is entirely up to you. With a city card you’ll find you might not need to bring as much money as you ordinarily would just because transport and most sightseeing is covered. Really all you’ll need money for is food and if you want to buy anything.
My most important tip of spending abroad is to do it on a card. Open an account with Metro bank and make your Metro card your travel card. Top it up with cash before you leave and use it to make transactions. Metro doesn’t charge you per transaction whilst you’re aboard. Using a bank card rather than cash to pay means you just don’t have to fiddle with cash. Withdraw cash from their machines if you need to and it’ll give you the most recent currency exchange rates. It just means you don’t lose out anything whilst you’re there.
My second recommendation is to see if you’re eligible for an American Express. Using your Amex where its accepted means you’re getting something back for spending your money. Depending which card you get, for every £ you spend you can get 1 point. Those points can then be converted into Amazon vouchers or more importantly, air miles. I opted for the gold American Express, which allows discounts on participating airlines. It might take you some time to rack up enough points to take you to Thailand and back, but if you can get £300 off a long haul flight then it’s definitely worth it.
Via their website you can check whether or not you’ll be eligible for an American Express, and the check they do doesn’t affect your credit score *phew*
If you’ve been approved they’ll contact you via email and your card will be on its way. If you decide an Amex is a route for you then use my referral link.
Those are my tips of getting around, especially in Europe, for relatively cheap. If you take my advice on your next trip let me know how it went. You know where to find me. – Message me on Twitter or Instagram or drop me an email via my website.