How I Travel More & Cheaper Without Compromising Quality – Here’s How You Can Too
Let’s be real, travel information is really out there, and at times, it can get overwhelming and completely irrelevant to your travel style.
So whether you’re a pro jetsetter, blogger, bougie traveller, budget traveller or beginner in the game I’m sharing 10 universal apps that have saved me time and moneeeyyy on my travels. I’m currently in a season balancing both saving and travelling (yes both can be done simultaneously), and without these apps I wouldn’t have been able to travel over 10 times this year.
In no particular order:
Download the app and become a Starling Bank customer quick time! It’s one of the best customer-friendly mobile only bank accounts. Once you register on the app you’ll receive a debit card which is completely FREE to use when abroad.
– No charges (at all) for using your card as well as ATM withdrawals abroad
– Track your spending with Instant phone notifications each time the card is used
– Lose your card? You can lock it on the app using your phone
– The app’s aesthetically pleasing and supper easy to use
I won’t stop raving on about how much I’ve saved (and earned) with AirBnB! I’ve accumulated hundreds of pounds of AirBnB credit which I Inevitably use to book (technically free) accommodation when I travel.
Here’s how it works: Create an account (using my referral code here), receive £25 off your first accommodation booking then I’ll get £15 credit in return. Once you register, do the same things and keep earning until kingdom come.
I personally prefer AirBnB to hotels due to the range of affordable cute ass accommodation. I’m also a huge fan of having my own personal space on my travels and so far my AirBnB’s have really delivered!
- Travel Solo
Friends can be extremely long when it comes to booking holiday’s. Waiting for friends to book until prices go up or your top choices get sold out? It’s 2018, we honestly don’t have time for this anymore!
My BEST trips have been solo trips. The quality isn’t compromised, no one holds you back, you find yourself and you get to be as cheap (or as bougie) as you wish.
My previous post on solo travelling is here. If you have any questions on solo travelling send it across to firstname.lastname@example.org & I’ll try to get them answered.
– Earn and reward. Similar to AirBnB’s referral scheme, booking.com offers you a cash incentive for referring friends. Instead of free credit, booking.com actually offer you £20 CASH each time you refer someone (they’ll receive 10% off their first booking).
– Book now, pay later. Booking.com allows you to make a reservation without paying until you arrive at the accommodation.
– Free cancellations. A lot of their featured hotels/accommodation allows free cancellations/changes 24 hour prior to your stay.
– Genius rewards. Once you register to booking.com and gain a bit of booking loyalty you’ll be eligible for extra perks such as discounts on hotels/accommodations and free airport shuttle.
- There’s more to life than Uber
Uber is cool but so is Grab (especially in Southeast Asia). I found Grab more reliable, efficient and hella’ cheaper than Uber in Southeast Asia. As of recent, Grab acquired Uber for operation in Southeast Asia and Grab’s service was still up to scratch when I visited Bali this April.
I recommend experiencing the hectic Southeast Asian streets in a Grab motorbike which costs as little as £1.
Cabify is the Latin American equivalent of Uber (but again, way cheaper, efficient and reliable), operating in Spain, Latin America and Portugal.
Tip: When abroad, research the best & cheapest taxi options as Uber isn’t always your best bet.
If you haven’t already heard, Skyscanner allows you to search for the cheapest flights to “Everywhere” based on your departing destination and date selection. You can also select a whole month and it’ll generate the cheapest dates to travel. That’s how I secure £20 flights within Europe!
Tip: Set a price tracker on flights you’re interested in, you’ll then receive instant alerts as the price changes.
Is Tuesday really the best day to book flights? From experiences, yes!
Google fights is also bae for flight comparisons.
When abroad (to be honest, even when I’m home) I’m constantly checking the XE Currency app which tracks current exchange rates. I honestly don’t know how I’d cope without this app when abroad.
Note: It’s a good way to ensure you aren’t being ripped off when abroad.
If you are flexible with your travel plans, try checking the app often and utilise exchange rate differences to travel to countries where your cash is worth more! For example, Turkey is a good catch right now for British folks as your pounds are worth a lot more due to inflation of the Turkish Lira.
8. Set a budget
Sounds sooo lame but I’ve started budgeting weekly for EVERYTHING since May, & wow! My life has changed (real talk).
In terms of budgeting for your travels, it makes travel planning much smoother and gives you freedom to spend comfortably while abroad.
My advice. Start backwards, tell yourself what type of holiday you want, research the costs then start working/saving towards that goal.
Tips on saving & budgeting:
– Excel or Google sheets are super easy for budgeting. Google have a bunch of free templates you can check out.
– Account for ALL your costs daily (I literally account for everything, even a £0.20p loose Tesco banana!)
– I’d recommend weekly budgeting as it’s easier to manage (& remember) a week’s worth of income and outgoings.
– Discipline is key!
So I recently came back from a birthday trip to Los Angeles and San Diego. I booked it super last minute (2 days before I flew) and the original cost of the flight was £2,000. I only paid about one quarter of the full flight cost thanks to my AMEX card.
Here’s how the AMEX card offers members free/discounted travel:
Earn 1 AMEX membership point for every £1 purchase.
1 AMEX point = 1 British Airways (BA) avios point.
I eventually racked up 10’s of thousands of points on my AMEX (by spending & referral points) so I was able to get 10’s of thousands of BA avios points which went towards my return flight to L.A.
Yes, it’s that simple. You spend on the AMEX, earn points for spending, stack up your points, transfer it to avios points, then use the avois points to book free/discounted British Airways (or partner) flights. Make sure you sign up to the BA Executive Membership Club so you can transfer your points instantly (membership is free)!
– Once you register for an AMEX card using my referral you can get 22,000 points in your first 3 months (which is enough for a FREE flight to Europe)
– Refer friends and get 9,000 points each time (you can do this up to 10 times a year, that’s 90,000 points a year – enough for a FREE big girl/boy flight to another continent!)
– Free VIP airport lounge access for you and a friend
– Use your points for free flight upgrades too!
– Retail discounts in Amazon, John Lewis, Vapianos, Moncler, Apple & more
– Cash back initiatives (i.e. spend money, get FREE cash back – only in 2018! Lol)
– AMEX Gold card is free for a year (£140 thereafter)
You can also transfer your AMEX points to other Oneworld Avios airline partners including American Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways.
Don’t forget to use the card responsibly and always pay your balance on time! I use the card for almost everything and I always pay the card back before the payment is due to avoid incurring interest charges.
Just be sensible and catch lots of flights!
I recently downloaded this app and it is gold! Hitlist saves you money by saving your favourite travel destinations then tells you when fares become the cheapest.
I would love to know some of your travel saving gems and of course, feedback is always welcome. Thanks for the read.
Peace & Love