We all have that one travel destination that we’ve been dreaming about visiting for years, but it’s always seemed out of reach due to the high cost that comes with it. The fact is that despite your financial situation, you shouldn’t let money hold you back when it comes to travelling because there are always ways to cut costs and make travel cheaper. Of course, the bills should always come first but when it comes to travel, it’s important to realise that there are always ways to make a trip cheaper, it’s just a case of being smart about it, that’s all. With that in mind, wherever you dream of visiting, be it the floating city of Venice, sunny Barcelona, or icy Iceland, there are various ways that you can make your trip more affordable. To help you cut costs, here are a few tips…

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Book early (or late)

The earlier you book a trip, the more money you can save. So if you’re on a budget, it makes sense to book your trip as far in advance as possible, as that way you can make some incredible savings. Some companies increase the cost of their trips by up to 50% the closer the date becomes, so booking in advance really is worth doing. Or, if you’ve not able to book far enough in advance to save a good amount of money, perhaps you could consider booking last minute. Admittedly, booking last minute isn’t for everyone, as it can be somewhat stressful. However, if you’re happy to wait until the last minute – around two to three weeks before you plan on going away – to book your trip, you can get some amazing deals.

Use comparison sites

When it comes to booking any trip, it can be hard to know whether you’re getting the best deal. Sure, it might seem like what you have been offered is a good option but how do you know that you are making the best saving possible? When it comes to saving money, the best way to ensure that you aren’t missing out on any savings is to use comparison sites and compare the deal that you have been offered with other ones. You may already have the best deal, or you might find an even better one, so taking the time to use comparison sites is definitely worthwhile.

Spread the cost

If money is tight, but you are desperate to get away, it’s a good idea to consider spreading the cost of your trip. There are various travel companies that offer payment plans for their trips, making holidays more affordable. If this isn’t an option, you could always consider taking out a loan or getting a credit card to pay for your trip. There are even bad credit personal loans that you could use, so even if your credit score is low, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be able to get a loan to cover the cost of your trip. The great thing about taking out a personal loan or getting a credit card is that it makes it even easier to spread the cost of your trip, making it even more affordable.

Find the cheapest flights

Often, one of the most expensive parts of any trip is the travel itself. When it comes to booking your flights and transfers, the cost can often be high. However, the good news is that you can find cheaper flights and transfers, if you’re willing to travel at off-peak times, such as in the middle of the night. Sure, you don’t want to have to get up in the middle of the night to travel, but if it will save you money and make your trip more affordable, then it’s worth it. Take the time to play around with different flight dates and times, to see which works out cheapest.

Go all-inclusive or self-catered

When it comes to your accommodation options, the two cheapest ones tend to be going all-inclusive and going self-catered. All-inclusive accommodation means that all of your food and drink, as well as accommodation (and sometimes flights and transfers), is built into the cost of your trip. Whereas self-catered means that you pay for the accommodation and have to source your own food and drinks, as well as your own travel. Compared to booking a room in a hotel, these two options both tend to work out cheapest, so are worth looking into.

Travel might be expensive, especially to the most popular places, but that doesn’t have to put a stop to your dream of visiting them. The fact is, if you are smart about it, you can cut costs and make your dream trip more affordable.

Sarah x