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A guide to traveling on a budget – cheap flights, accommodation, time management, saving, and online income…
‘A common misconception about travel is that it is expensive…
Not true – if you travel wisely.’
This year I have been 3 trips to Spain – Salou (6 days in April), Benidorm (5 days in May), and Malaga (6 days in June) – I am off to Canada (17 days) at the end of July, Nepal (25 days) in October, and Amsterdam (4 days) in December.
Recent questions I have been asked are – have you won the lottery? Have you robbed a bank? Are you selling drugs?
My answer… none of the above! I can travel frequently because:
a. I am self-employed and can take time off work more or less when I want.
b. I often travel at off-peak (out-of-season) times.
c. I don’t mind staying in budget accommodation.
d. I look for cheap flights – or book flights well in advance (which works out cheaper, and also gives me time to save for the trip).
e. I rarely go on typical 2-week vacation\holidays (that – oftentimes, end up costing a fortune).
I would also like to add that although I travel solo sometimes, I have a family – a wife and two children (a girl – 17, and a boy – 13), who I take with me whenever I can, but- because my wife can’t always get time off work, and my children are still in school – I occasionally travel without them. For example, I took my wife and son to Salou in April; my upcoming trip to Canada in July is for the whole family, and in December my wife and I are off to Amsterdam.
There are five key components that allow me to travel on a budget…
1. Cheap Flights
Living in the UK is great for cheap weekend or midweek trips to Europe. Most budget airlines – like Ryanair and Easyjet, allow a small cabin bag (usually 10 – 15kg). The key to saving money on these budget airlines is learning to travel light. I have an Osprey Farpoint 40l backpack that is perfect for cabin luggage – I can fit up to a weeks worth of clothing in it, as well as my laptop, and don’t need to purchase any additional baggage space which would otherwise bump up the price of the flight.
An example of cheap flights that I have purchased this year are as follows:
May 2017 – Benidorm, Spain = £60 return flight from Glasgow to Alicante
June 2017 – Malaga, Spain = £62 return flight from Glasgow to Malaga
December 2017 – Amsterdam, Netherlands = £55 to Schipol Airport, Amsterdam
Skyscanner is a good site to search for cheap flights. If you’re flexible – type in your departure airport and click ‘anywhere’ and ‘cheapest month’ – try and plan a trip around the dates that come up. The Skyscanner app is a great app to have on a smart phone.
The second key component to traveling on a budget is accommodation. There are loads of affordable hotels, hostels, and guesthouses to be had all over Europe. I use Agoda for searching for cheap accommodation. Agoda are a trusted worldwide Hostel, Hotel, and Guesthouse booking company with some of the best deals on the internet. Click on the following link to see examples of great deals on accommodation in Barcelona.
3. Time Management
The third key component is time management. I am self-employed, which affords me more freedom than most, but even if you are employed you can still manage your time effectively by using one or two days of your annual leave here and there to extend weekends and utilising bank holidays and public holidays for travel.
4. Saving and money management
I have always been a good saver. I have been working since I was 12 years old and learned how to save effectively back then. Effective money management doesn’t mean living on bread and water but you do have to prioritise over what is important in your life and what is not. For example, I don’t have any SkyTV or cable subscriptions because I’d rather use that money for traveling; I don’t have a car either, because I have a van – that I use for work and leisure.
5. Online Income
The fifth component – online income – is a key component for me, but it is not essential for travel. I have a few sources of online income, one of which is this blog .
A blog is a great way to share your travel experience and knowledge to help and inspire other people to travel, and over time it can be monetised with affiliate links and programs like Google Adsense to help fund your travels. Selling physical products on the internet is another way of generating online income, or you can write an ebook as I have done and publish it on Amazon – click here for a link to my book.
If you’d like to know more about creating a blog and how to generate money online, you can read my blogpost here. If you’d like to know how to publish a book on Amazon click here for my guide on how to self-publish on Amazon.
A few pics of my recent travels to Spain…
Salou with my son’s football team – Barcelona Cup
Climbing Puig Campana in Benidorm, Spain
The mountain village of Competa – Malaga Province, Spain
‘In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.’
Copyright © 2017 Raymond Carroll