We’re all cutting our holiday budgets these days, so here are some handy hints on getting those epic active holidays ticked off your bucket list without breaking the bank.
Self guide rather than guided
On these trips, expert local operators have put together a great itinerary to suit your budget, fitness and ambitions. They organise your accommodation, provide route maps and GPS, then you set off on foot or by bike to find your own way from A to B. Not only is this a more cost effective option than taking a guide, it also increases your independence and flexibility to explore at leisure. They can handle things like luggage transfers between accommodations too, so it needn’t be hard work!
Down grade your accommodation, upgrade your experience!
The first and most important thing you can do to reduce travel costs is to be prepared to settle for less than spectacular accommodation, and think about basic hotels, pensions and hostels as a way of spreading the cost.
Cheap and cheerful accommodation can surprise you it’s quality and friendliness, and often comes with added local charm, leading to experiences and chance encounters you might not enjoy in swankier hotels. Let’s not forget too that if you have been out walking or biking all day, you are going to be sleeping soundly and probably only need a place to get your head down.
Budget for each day
Self guided tours typically include breakfasts, and can include evening meals too. This can be a good way of keeping costs down. Given that you’ll be spending minimal time at your place of stay, you’ll want to make sure you set yourself a budget for spending every day you are out and about – lunches, drink stops and extra sightseeing can all add up, so have a plan before you leave!
Before you go, book additional trains and buses well in advance – in many countries this can save you a lot on travel expenses. Use the internet to find the cheapest flights, and look out for deals or group savings if you are travelling in a party.
Don’t be tempted by tourist traps.
Stay clear of tourist traps and places than cost an inordinate amount of money. You will spot them a mile off – they are typically the busiest and most picturesque parts of towns, near local monuments and historic sites or places of beauty.
Here the food looks lovely and restaurants look like perfect places to relax for a while, but the food will inevitably cost twice as much and, unfortunately is usually a poor relation to the quality local food you can enjoy a few streets away where the locals tend to go.
Like your accommodation choices, once you step off the tourist super highway you’ll be opening yourself up to the interesting chance encounters that make holidays so special.