Any trip, especially the budget one, is science and art. It requires good financial planning skills and an ability to mitigate risks. Among the things causing the biggest harm to our wallets are transport, restaurants, car, and housing rent. Here is the list of tips on how to travel safely and savvy if you are in the UK. Whether you are going on your first solo trip or looking for a full-time travel job, they will help you spare money and feel more prepared for the unexpected.
Buy cheap, buy twice
There are thousands of algorithms suggesting the cheapest tickets on the Internet. Some options seem to be extremely appealing. However, the additional expenditures pop out as soon as you press the ‘’reserve’’ button. The arrival airport turns out to be in the middle of nowhere, while the transfer can be either expensive or problematic (for example, an inconvenient schedule).
If you are pressed for money but have enough time, travel by bus. It is usually cheaper than flights. Bus stops are typically located within the city, or at least near transport hubs, you can see a lot of them in London and other big cities of the UK. Therefore, people could easily switch to the subway or trains. Buses are also a good way to see the country. However, this pleasant experience has a downside: the cheaper the bus ticket is, the less comfortable the arrival time might be. Thus, make sure you are ok with walking in the new city on your own in the early hours of waiting for the next bus in the middle of the night.
Be ready for surprises
Needless to say, it’s always better to check the weather forecast before traveling. However, don’t rely on it 100%. While packing your stuff for the trip, take a pair of warm socks, a raincoat (it’s lighter than an umbrella, takes less space in the bag, and keeps heat), a scuff, or an extra T-shirt. Of course, no one would expect snow in the middle of summer. However, chilly mornings or unexpected rain can spoil the trip, especially if you catch a cold. By the way, pack your first aid kit wisely. It should contain painkillers, antipyretics, anti-allergic medicines, and other items you might need. Check out the list of necessary remedies before going on a trip, and make sure you can combine your clothes for any weather, if you are a citizen of the UK you probably know that because of unexpected rains.
Don’t be lazy
Any trip starts long before the boarding. If you want to spare money, plan your route in advance. For example, list the sights you want to visit and check out their schedule. If the place you are about to visit is very famous, book tickets online. There might be a limited entrance or a finite amount of visitors per day. So, don’t miss your chance. However, some museums and galleries have free days or offer discounts for students/ social workers/ educational specialists, etc. Read about the place you are going to. Some catchy facts will make the trip more knowledgeable and exciting. Check if there are any free walking tours options. If not, be your own guide, pin the places you want to see on Google Maps, and try different routes. By the way, being an active city explorer spares you some money on public transport. In many countries, this is a serious expense item. Sometimes it’s better to buy a 3-or 5-day card, rather than getting a single ticket every time. The more detailed your travel plan will be, the better. You should always have money in your bank account because you don’t know where and when you will need cash, a card, or even cryptocurrency. Last time when I was traveling I needed to buy USDT to pay in an online store.
Communicate with locals
Locals are cool. They know all the hidden gems and will gladly share them with you. Sure, cultures differ, and so is the level of openness in society even in the UK. However, there are always people ready to help and give a good piece of advice. For example, you can try Couch Surfing or other platforms where people communicate and meet. There is no better guide than the local person, who knows the place like the back of one’s hand. Moreover, you get a brilliant opportunity to practice foreign languages you may know. If you are hesitant to meet up with completely new people, ask your friends (and friends of friends) if they have anyone in the place you are heading to. The world is getting smaller, so no wonder if by chance you will find country fellows even in the most distant places on Earth. They could help in case of emergency or just keep you company and show you the beauties of the city. Even if you are an experienced solo traveler, don’t refuse to meet new, interesting people on your way.
Take the local schedule into account
Cultures differ, and so are working hours in many places. For example, everything is closed on Sunday and shops work until 6-7 p.m. So if you got used to malls working around the clock, keep in mind it’s not common everywhere. In some countries, the day off is Friday while for others everything is closed on Saturday only. Sometimes finding a place for dinner can become a challenge due to local traditions. There might also be problems with public transport. Sometimes their train or bus timetables have nothing to do with reality. So, check in advance if this transport spares or wastes your time. Taking these things into consideration makes the trip more thought-out.
Check out what places work late. As a small hint, MacDonald’s, KFC, or Burger King never let you down. They may be among very few places working on weekends or during the national holidays. So, check out the closest restaurant to catch Wi-Fi, charge the batteries, and send some nice pictures from the trip to your parents and friends. No, it’s not hidden advertising of fast-food restaurants. Judging by travel experience, these places can just happen to be open while all the others are closed. To sum up, get to know the local schedules and check if they are true.
As you see, traveling on a budget requires thorough preparation and readiness to deny a certain level of comfort. It might be less about relaxing and more about exploring. If you are open to new experiences and want to spare some money, check out our tips. They are based on our own experience and proved themselves right. So, make a travel bucket list and don’t hesitate to go on adventures.