Friday, 29 December 2017

How to Travel on a Budget

Following my most recent series of travel posts, I received a couple of requests for a post about how I manage to travel as much as I do. I've got to be honest, I wasn't sure whether I was going to write the post, because I really don't want anything to come off the wrong way. But it is a good question, and any wisdom I have on the topic, I'll relate to you now!

I don't actually travel all that much
So the main reason I was hesitant about writing this post is because I don't want to come across as an imposter. I usually go abroad once a year, sometimes twice, sometimes not at all. This year I went to Italy, and explored a few places in Ireland easily reached by bus and train. I wrote some posts about Madeira from the year previous, and Germany from 2015. Basically the time had moved on by the time I got to write the posts, so perhaps it seems like I travel more frequently than I do. However, I do still have some tips!

Visiting friends and family
When you have friends and family who live in different cities, towns or countries to you, travel becomes a lot cheaper. My visit to Cambridge cost very little because I was able to stay with my sister, and flights from Ireland to London plus a train journey can be quite inexpensive if you go at off-peak times. My visit to Madeira was similarly not too expensive. The flights were definitely above what I'd normally spend, but seeing as I had around 10 days staying with a friend, I had to pay for very little else. Certain explorations of Ireland were made possible by mere bus/train journeys and staying with relatives.

Make the most of your time
When I went to Milan over the summer, we decided we'd spend a day in the nearby Vigevano, again, only a train journey away. Adding in extra towns or cities, even just for a day trip, can really help you to see more of the country you're visiting.

Speaking of day trips...
These are genuinely the best thing ever. I went to London a couple of years ago for a day, getting up for an early flight and returning home the same night. It was tiring, but totally worth it! Obviously when you only go somewhere for a day, you probably won't get to see everything you'd like to, but for a simple breath of fresh air, it's a very good option.

Really want to travel?
If your parents ask you what you want for your birthday, or your boyfriend is completely stuck for ideas as to what to get you, you can always ask them to contribute towards a travel fund. Hotels in particular can be really expensive, but if you get some help in terms of flights being bought for you, then saving up for a hotel room (or braving a hostel) seems a less daunting task.

Another way to travel inexpensively is to do an exchange. Depending on your age range, this might not be possible as it's definitely a rather teenage thing to do, but language exchanges are very cost-effective as usually all you'll need to pay for is transport and host your exchange partner in return.

I hope this post was of some interest/help to you! Please don't hesitate to ask me any more questions in the comments, I'll do my best to answer them!

With love, Anna
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