Don’t let a lack of finances get in the way of creating new and memorable experiences! There are lots of ways for you to reduce travelling costs without having to compromise on the quality of your trip.
Here are a few of the best ways you can cut travel costs this season and do more travelling without burning a hole in your wallet:
One of the most common reasons people say they can’t afford to travel is because the “flights are too expensive”. And yes, sometimes the price of flights are on the verge of extortion, but if you can’t find more affordable flights, it’s likely to be because you’re looking at all the wrong places.
You’ve got to shop around for cheap flights to find the best deals. Going straight to your favourite airline website and booking directly from it without even checking other sources is a rookie mistake. What you should be doing is comparing flight prices, so you can see the best deals on flights including things like recommended times to travel and possible discounts on returns etc.
If you want to experience as much of the world as possible, but you’re on a tight budget, you might want to avoid the “big spender” destinations such as Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Tokyo and so on. Expensive holiday destinations will make budgeting increasingly tricky, especially when you’re paying £100+ per night.
Instead, think about more affordable holiday destinations that offer just as much sunshine and excitement, but at a lower cost. A few of the most affordable destinations include Costa del Sol in Spain, Budapest in Hungary and Bali in Indonesia to name but a few.
Not everyone wants to compromise on quality when it comes to accommodation, and that’s okay. But if you’re looking to cut back on travel costs and don’t mind giving up a little bit of luxury, in exchange for somewhere to rest your head at night, you’ve got to consider cheaper accommodation.
First, you might want to check online for cheap hotels. You might get lucky and find something amazing and within your budget. But if you’re struggling, you can also stay in a hostel. Hostels offer lower prices, and many of them even include free breakfast, which is fantastic if you’re looking for a wallet-friendly alternative. If you’re a little more on the adventurous side, you might be open to camping or renting a caravan.
Are you a whizz in the kitchen? Save money by skipping the expensive restaurants and cooking your own food. If you’re travelling for a week or two, you might end up spending more than you anticipated on daily meals. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to a nice dinner on holiday, but if you’re determined to cut back, you’ve got to cook for yourself!
You can even bring food with you and shop for groceries at the local supermarket. Cooking for yourself is slightly easier if you’re camping or renting an apartment with a group of friends. The cost of renting an apartment is usually cheaper than hotel prices and most come with their own kitchen, which is ideal if you feel like whipping up a Sunday roast dinner or making a stir-fry.
Taxis are so expensive in foreign countries, and most people agree that they feel overcharged by taxi services for merely being a tourist. Always try to avoid using a taxi service when possible and opt for public transport instead. Or, you could get some exercise and walk to your destination or hire a bicycle. However, this will be more difficult if you’ve got a few suitcases to trail about. Buses and trains offer affordable means of transport, so make sure to take note of the schedule and make the most out of public transportation.
It’s the end of another Black Friday weekend, the annual event that has transformed the retail calendar and kicks off the festive shopping season for eager shoppers the world over. Below Karen Wheeler, Country Manager and Vice-President, Affinion UK, tells Finance Monthly both traditional and challenger banks could be missing an opportunity and should take inspiration from what retailers are doing during Black Friday.
In the UK alone, £1.4bn was spent on online sales in the UK on Black Friday – an increase of 11.7% on last year, according to online retailers trade body IMRG.
Given the amount of hype and expectation, it’s not surprising to see that banks are slowly waking up to how they too can be inspired by the retail world, and capitalise on this golden window of opportunity. Starling Bank, for example, was offering customers the opportunity to earn 10 per cent cashback on their online shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday (up to a total of £25) if they invite one person to join the bank with a referral code.
A missed opportunity
But aside from Starling, there are few examples of other banks experimenting with Black Friday offers, incentives and deals, and I think this is a huge missed opportunity. At a key time for consumers looking for discounts and extra value, could they be doing more to find new ways to make their customers happy, and generate goodwill and loyalty that extends beyond the Christmas period?
Of course, the understandable challenge for banks is that there is less of a natural seasonal spike for them to build momentum towards. Whilst retailers can live or die depending on their performance during the critical Christmas season, banks need to offer a consistent and engaging customer experience all year round. So how can providers give their customers the ‘Black Friday feeling’ every day of the year?
It will be interesting to see if more banks trial Black Friday offers and promotions in the years to come. However, banks’ relationships with their customers aren’t only important during the last weekend in November.
This is why it’s crucial to find new ways to engage, surprise and delight customers throughout the year; both meeting and predicting their needs and becoming an increasingly important part of their lives to build long-term relationships and encourage loyalty.