If you're a young Indian employee or a new graduate, travelling on a budget can be a challenge. But with the right tips and tricks, you can book affordable flights and accommodations for your dream vacation. In this article, we'll guide you through the process of booking your travel on a budget.
Tips for Booking Affordable Flights
Booking affordable flights is the first step towards budget travel. Here are some tips to help you save money:
Research and Compare
Before booking your flight, it's important to research and compare prices on different search engines and websites. Some websites offer discounts and deals, so it's always a good idea to check multiple sites before booking.
For example, you can use websites like Skyscanner or Kayak to compare flight prices. These websites can help you find the best deals on flights, making it easier to save money. Here are some popular options to compare flight ticket prices:
- Skyscanner: Skyscanner is a popular flight search engine that allows you to compare prices from different airlines and travel agencies.
- Kayak: Kayak is a travel search engine that allows you to compare prices for flights, hotels, and rental cars.
- Google Flights: Google Flights is a powerful flight search engine that allows you to search for flights and compare prices from different airlines.
- Expedia: Expedia is a travel booking website that allows you to search for flights, hotels, rental cars, and vacation packages.
- Momondo: Momondo is a travel search engine that allows you to compare prices for flights, hotels, and rental cars.
- CheapOair : CheapOair is a travel booking website that allows you to search for flights, hotels, rental cars, and vacation packages.
Book in Advance
Booking airline tickets in advance is generally considered a good way to get cheaper fares compared to booking tickets closer to the date of travel. This is true for both domestic and international flights.
There are several reasons why booking in advance is cheaper. Firstly, airlines typically offer lower prices for tickets that are purchased well in advance of the travel date. This is because they can better forecast demand for flights and adjust prices accordingly. Secondly, as the travel date approaches, the number of available seats on a flight tends to decrease, which means that prices go up.
In India, airlines usually release their flight schedules around 4-6 months in advance, and prices for tickets tend to be lower at this time. As the date of travel gets closer, prices tend to increase. The same is true for international flights, where prices can vary depending on the time of year and how far in advance tickets are purchased.
For instance, booking a flight from Mumbai to Bangkok in June, for travel in August can cost around INR 20,000. However, if you book the same flight a month in advance, the cost can increase up to INR 35,000.
Overall, booking flights in advance is a good strategy to save money on airline tickets. It's important to note that prices can still vary depending on a variety of factors, including the airline, the route, and the time of year, so it's always a good idea to compare prices across different airlines and booking sites to find the best deals.
The Indian Railways typically releases its train schedules 120 days in advance, and tickets can be booked during this time period.
There are several reasons why booking train tickets in advance is cheaper. Firstly, similar to airlines, the Indian Railways offers lower prices for tickets that are purchased well in advance of the travel date. This is because they can better forecast demand for trains and adjust prices accordingly. Secondly, as the travel date approaches, the number of available seats on a train tends to decrease, which means that prices go up.
In addition to this, the Indian Railways has a dynamic pricing system, where ticket prices for some trains can change depending on the demand for that particular train. This means that if a train is in high demand, the prices of the tickets can increase closer to the travel date.
It's important to note that prices can still vary depending on the route, the class of travel, and the time of year, so it's always a good idea to compare prices across different trains and booking sites to find the best deals.
Be flexible with your travel dates
Being flexible with your travel dates is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce the cost of your travel, whether you're booking flights, train tickets, or other forms of transportation.
When you're flexible with your travel dates, you can take advantage of lower prices that may be available on different days of the week or during different times of the year. For example, travelling on weekdays is often cheaper than travelling on weekends, and travelling during off-peak seasons or shoulder seasons can often result in lower prices as well.
Being flexible with your travel dates also allows you to take advantage of last-minute deals and promotions that may become available. If you're able to be spontaneous and book a trip on short notice, you may be able to find significantly discounted prices that can save you a lot of money.
In addition, by being flexible with your travel dates, you can also avoid peak travel times and popular events, which tend to be more expensive due to higher demand. For example, if you're planning a trip to a popular tourist destination during a major festival or holiday, the prices for transportation and accommodations are likely to be much higher than if you travel during a quieter time of the year.
Tips for Booking Affordable Accommodation
Booking affordable accommodation is just as important as booking affordable flights. Here are some tips to help you save money:
Do Your Research
By following these tips, you can book affordable accommodation and save money on your travels:
- Book in advance: Booking your accommodation well in advance can help you secure better deals and prices.
- Use comparison websites: Websites like Expedia, Booking.com, and Agoda can help you compare prices across different hotels and accommodations.
- Stay outside of the city centre: Accommodations located outside of the city centre are often more affordable than those located in the heart of the city.
- Consider alternative accommodation options: Hostels, homestays, and vacation rentals can be more affordable than traditional hotels.
- Stay during the off-season: Accommodation prices can be significantly cheaper during the off-season when there is less demand.
- Look for package deals: Booking flights and accommodations together as a package can often result in lower overall costs.
Here are several popular comparison websites for booking accommodations. Some of the most widely used ones include:
- Booking.com: One of the world's largest online accommodation booking platforms, offering a range of options from hotels to apartments to villas.
- Expedia: A travel booking site that allows you to book flights, hotels, and car rentals all in one place.
- Hotels.com: A popular website for booking hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals.
- Agoda: A platform that specializes in offering discounted rates on hotels and other types of accommodation.
- Airbnb: A popular website for booking unique and affordable accommodations, such as apartments, homes, and even treehouses.
By using these comparison websites, you can easily compare prices and find the best deals on accommodations that fit your budget and travel needs.
Choose Your Location Wisely
Choosing the right location can help you save money on accommodation. Consider staying outside of the city centre, as prices tend to be lower. Look for accommodation near public transportation, so you can easily explore the city without spending too much on transportation.
For example, if you're planning a trip to New York, staying in a hotel in Manhattan can be quite expensive. However, staying in a hotel in Brooklyn or Queens can help you save money and give you easy access to the city.
Consider Alternative Accommodation Options
Alternative accommodation options like hostels, backpacker lodges, Airbnb, or other home-sharing platforms can help you save money on accommodation.
For instance, if you're planning a trip to Goa, instead of booking a hotel, you can consider staying in a backpacker lodge. These lodges are affordable, and you can meet other travellers from around the world.
Additional Tips for Budget Travel
If you're planning to travel on a budget, we've got some additional tips that can help you save even more money. When it comes to setting a travel budget, it's important to be realistic about your expenses. Take into account the cost of flights, accommodation, transportation, food, and activities. Do some research ahead of time to get an idea of how much these things typically cost in your destination.
Using public transportation can be a great way to save money, but it's also a good idea to walk whenever possible. Walking not only saves you money but also allows you to see more of the city and get some exercise in. Plus, it's a great way to stumble upon hidden gems that you might not have found otherwise.
When it comes to eating like a local, don't be afraid to try new things! You can save a lot of money by avoiding tourist traps and instead looking for local eateries. If you're not sure where to start, ask locals for recommendations or look up popular local dishes ahead of time.
Finally, don't forget about free activities! Many cities offer free walking tours or have museums with free entry. Parks and beaches are also great places to explore for free. Take advantage of these opportunities to save money and get a deeper understanding of the local culture.
To sum it up, travelling on a budget may seem daunting, but it's totally doable with these tips. Remember to set a budget, use public transportation, eat like a local, and look for free activities. Happy travels!