Travel doesn’t have to be expensive. If you follow a few small tricks, you can experience a lot – and for little money. We’ll tell you how low budget vacations work.
Vacation, especially long-distance travel, sounds kind of expensive at first. But it doesn’t have to be that way! There are numerous tricks on how you can spend a lot of vacation with little money. And no, that doesn’t mean that you have to be careful about your money on vacation. We can do a lot right (and wrong) when booking a holiday, which is then reflected in our account.
We’ll show you how your low budget vacation will be a complete success – without any restrictions.
The 10 best tips for your low budget vacation
Tip # 1: Be flexible
The more spontaneous you are and the more flexible your travel dates are, the cheaper prices you can get. This applies to flight bookings as well as to hotels. Vacation packages are also often much cheaper if you are not restricted to a specific date or travel destination.
On many bargain portals, such as holiday guru, holiday pirates, or Travelzoo, you can find cheap offers for your low budget holiday. Since cheap trips are usually only available on very precise dates, flexibility is required. Also, you should use the search option “cheapest month” on flight portals, such as Skyscanner, or search an entire month. With many airlines, you can also search for cheap flights directly on the websites and activate notifications for such offers.
Another important tip: travel in the low season
If you want to go on a low budget holiday, you should not travel in the expensive high season, i.e. the school holidays. Because then the prices are sometimes twice as expensive as in the off-season. If you want to travel with school-age children, you should choose a departure airport in a federal state (or abroad) that is not yet on vacation – this can save you a lot.
Tip # 2: Use tools for cheap flights
There are now numerous apps and tools on the net that you can use to find cheap flights. Here too, however, some flexibility is required. On momondo.de you can, for example, activate the “bring me somewhere” function: You simply enter your travel period and departure airport, and the cheapest travel destinations will be suggested to you. Also brilliant: The e-mail newsletter from Travel-Dealz.de. There are real mega bargains here.
Have you ever heard of so-called error fare flights? Error fare flights are flights for which an incorrect price was accidentally advertised. Even with Airlines, a comma may be incorrectly set, for example, and 500 euros suddenly become 50 euros. Often it is simply a technical mistake, which leads to incorrect pricing.
To find such error fare flights, however, you have to be quick and above all flexible, because you cannot choose your destination, date and departure airport. Also, there is always a certain residual risk, because airlines can cancel your ticket as soon as the error becomes known.
Another tip: disguise your location when searching for a flight. To do this, simply set the language, location, and currency in the flight search engine to the desired travel destination. It is also worthwhile if you activate incognito mode in your internet browser.
Tip # 3: earn miles
Do earn miles only benefit frequent flyers and business travelers? Not correct. For example, did you know that you can convert your payback points into miles when you book Miles & More through the Lufthansa program?
You can also earn miles with many airlines and save money by opening a bank account, signing up for a newspaper subscription, or switching internet providers. Sometimes airlines also cooperate with various online shops.
Tip # 4: Use public transport
Most vacationers walk straight to the taxi rank after landing at their destination. Of course, this is the most convenient and simplest variant – but also the most expensive. If you want to go on a low budget holiday, you should use public transport. There is always the option of getting from the airport to your destination by bus or train. It is best to find out in advance and book the tickets online so that you don’t have to search for a long time on site.
And you should not only rely on public transport at the airport – but also on your entire journey. Of course, that doesn’t always make sense. In areas with poor infrastructure, you usually need your rental car to get from A to B. But there are a lot of countries that can now be easily traveled by public bus or train. It’s also super cool to get around as the locals do.
Tip # 5: Save on accommodation
Forget about expensive hotel rooms and simply stay for free when traveling. How does it work? With couch surfing! Here people all over the world offer a place to sleep in their apartment – and it’s completely free. This can be a separate room, but also just the sofa. Couchsurfing not only saves you a lot of money but also gets to know a lot of new people. It is not uncommon for your host to show you the city at the same time or invite you to cook together.
If this is a bit too private for you and if you value a hotel, you should head to small guest houses rather than large hotel chains. The price is also heavily dependent on the location: for example, it is much more expensive on the beach than inland, more expensive in the center of the city than on the outskirts.
Also, you should always take a look at Airbnb.de. The website offers some great private accommodations – and they are usually much cheaper than hotels.
The cheapest way to get away is to stay in a hostel. Sleeping in a room with other travelers is a bit unusual at first, but it is also a great opportunity for single travelers to meet people for joint activities.
Tip # 6: housesitting
Spend your vacation in a luxury villa and don’t pay a cent for it? This is possible with housesitting! As the name suggests, as a house sitter you take care of houses and apartments whose owners have just traveled themselves. Many owners want to protect themselves against break-ins or need someone to look after their pets.
If you want to be a house sitter, you can simply register and apply on platforms such as “House Carers” or “Mind my House”.
Tip # 7: self-catering
Eating out every day is super cool to get to know the local cuisine, but many restaurant visits also eat up a large part of our holiday budget. On the other hand, if you swing the wooden spoon yourself when traveling, you can save a lot of money. Of course, this requires accommodation with cooking facilities.
In hotels, one is usually dependent on expensive out-of-town meals or hotel buffets, which mostly have little to do with the specialties of the country. A holiday apartment or a hostel with a shared kitchen, on the other hand, is a good way to cater for yourself.
Brilliant: In Australia, there are gas grill stations everywhere at lookouts or in parks, which you can use by inserting money.
If you have no way of cooking yourself, you don’t have to eat inexpensive restaurants. Street food is much better and more authentic. The food stalls or food trucks on the street are usually unbeatable in price and delicious.
Another tip: shop in local supermarkets instead of tourist ones! Most of them are somewhat hidden, but they are also a lot cheaper. It is most expensive in supermarkets and kiosks, which are located directly next to large hotel complexes or at tourist spots.
Tip # 8: Free city tours
Just because you are on a low budget holiday does not mean that you have to do without cool activities. Because they also go low budget. For example, free walking tours are now offered in almost every city. Here you only pay a small tip. On so-called greeter tours, locals show you exciting spots away from the mainstream for free.
If possible – stay away from guided tours, even if the offer sounds mostly tempting. Such tours entice you to pick you up directly at the hotel, take you directly to the destination and bring you back again. For this, you usually have to leaf through a lot. It is much cheaper and more exciting to go out on your own and explore the area.
Tip # 9: work abroad
Ok, that doesn’t sound so sparkling at first. After all, you are on vacation and don’t want to bend a finger. But especially for travelers who are traveling for several months, it is advisable to work a little abroad. The easiest way to do this is with a Work & Travel visa. This means that all tourists under 35 can live in another country for up to 12 months and work on the side. So you do not only earn a lot for your travel budget, but you get to know the country, people and, above all, the language much better.
Another great organization is “World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms”, or “WWOOFing” for short. Here you can work on farms all over the world and get accommodation and meals. The farms have very little to do with German farms – you can use WWOOFing to take care of horses in South Africa or harvest mangoes in Thailand.
Tip # 10: Sublet your apartment
How can you save a lot of money? By simply sublet your apartment. It can be worth it – especially if you live in a big city. You can offer your apartment on platforms such as Airbnb.de or wg-gesucht.de.
But be careful: talk to the landlord beforehand or take a look at the rental agreement. Not all rental apartments can be sublet.
In addition to your apartment, you can also rent your car while you are on vacation. Portals such as tamyca.de or drivy.de are ideal for this, with insurance included.