I am sure everyone reaches a travel rut at some stage. Whether it is visiting the same country every year, taking the same beach holiday or even booking at the same time each year, we’ve all been there. For me, I found myself spending all year saving towards a spectacular (but expensive) couple of weeks away to some far-flung destination, with barely any time off to explore other destinations in-between. While that might be an acceptable set-up for the average joe, for someone who gets itchy feet on a frequent basis, my feet weren’t so much scratching as frantically tap-dancing.
Combine that with the sudden talk of mortgages, savings and kids from surrounding family and friends, and my feet and head were suddenly dancing completely different steps. While I do enjoy travelling frequently, (and when it comes to the other stuff I say different strokes for different folks), but like the rest of the world I do have other goals, dreams and obligations to consider. Eventually my head and feet agreed I needed a balance between satisfying my wanderlust and ensuring my other goals were being achieved.
Which is why I have decided to do the #Take12Trips Challenge.
What is the #Take12Trips Challenge you ask? Each month, I must travel somewhere new, whether it is for one day, one week, whatever; I must do it once a month.
I must also go somewhere new once a month – even if it’s that random museum I always bypass on my way to work, or that little pocket of the English countryside I have wanted to visit but never found the time. It has to be new, be different.
In addition to this, I’ve decided to set myself the challenge of putting aside savings while travelling, which is why I aim to only spend £200 on as many trips as possible. So far, my research has shown me how to figure out ways to save money on the following:
- Staycations: For such a small country, the United Kingdom packs some serious punch. I fully intend to explore the English countryside, Welsh coast and Scottish Highlands, and hopefully make my way over to Northern Ireland – its countryside looks stunning but undeservedly little-known.
- Advanced transport booking: I honestly believe London is one of the best cities in the world, and not just because of its offering of culture and activities. It has the best transport links in the country, connecting us with the rest of Europe. With a bit of research and forward planning (about 60 days in advance), it is possible to buy train tickets at discounted rates.
- Flights: As long as you don’t mind where you go, you can find some decent deals on flights if you either book well in advance or at the last minute. Websites like HolidayPirates give good updates on cheap flight deals.
- Accommodation: Spend a little time exploring AirBnB, CanopyandStars and discount websites like SecretEscapes and you can find some unique little hideaways that provide a more personal stay than the clinical atmosphere of some hotel chains (and cheaper prices).
- Experiences/Presents: Many travel tour companies offer gift cards, and there are countless ‘experience days’ websites out there that provide a range of activities. Instead of the usual request of alcohol or clothes this year, make mine a coasteering excursion on the Pembrokeshire coast!
However, the best tips I will get are from you, fellow readers. What do you do to save pennies when travelling? List below and help me share your pearls of wisdom!