If you’re planning getting away for a break, here’s five ways to cut the cost of getting to your destination and cutting the costs while you’re there.
Make money out of your car journey
Offset your fuel costs on longer journeys by becoming a courier. Take a couple of small detours to pick up and drop off goods en route to your holiday destination and you'll get paid. Big cars or vans are particularly suitable.
Websites like Anyvan act as delivery-auction services for professional couriers, but more and more private individuals are couriering for extra cash.
If you don't want to deliver some mysterious box and have space in your motor for extra passengers, bring along a companion or two. Through websites such as liftshare, you advertise for car sharers and split fuel costs.
Free holiday homes
Imagine two weeks in a bay-view apartment in San Francisco or a long weekend in a charming Bavarian village, free of charge. All you have to do is swap your own home, and escape into someone else's.
Letting strangers in your home won't be everyone's cup of tea, but for the adventurous it could be exciting, and will give a glimpse of what it's actually like to live in the places you visit. It might work out much better – and cheaper – than a hotel.
Halve the cost of train ticket
You probably know already that booking trains in advance and split tickets can save money, but many of us still don't get the basics right: some ticket websites cost more than others.
Websites such as theTrainline sell train tickets on behalf of rail companies, but they charge extra for the service. Go direct to a train company and you can often save. Southern Railway says, for example, if you book long in advance, you can pay less than half as much for a London Victoria to Brighton trip than you can pay through the Trainline, so shop around.
The (second) cheapest way to get currency
We’ve mentioned before that certain debit and credit cards offer a good deal when you purchase foreign money, but many travellers don't want to open new bank accounts in order to access these perks. The same goes for currency cards, which don’t always offer the best rates.
If you want to buy currency in advance you have a lot of choice: from banks to bureaux at airports and major train stations, to M&S and the Post Office, and buying online.
But often the second cheapest place for good deals on travel money is your local high-street Bureaux De Change. Call them up, ask for the price, and with fees and exchange rates they frequently come out next best, particularly with major currencies.*
*Writer’s own research