I can’t speak for you, but even for me, when I’m wanting to pay for a little bit of luxury, I still like to get a good deal. Everybody wants to have cheap holidays because the less you spend, the sooner you can take another trip! But in the zeal for saving less and less, I’ve seen friends and family who have come back from their holiday looking worse than when they left! Frankly, sometimes I think it is worth paying the money. Saving is great, but not when it is at the expense of your mental health. Here are 7 things you probably should stop doing.

Taking public transport on airport transfer

Disclosure: Sunshine has some great rates on airport transfers. But honestly, if there are 2 or more of you, taking a taxi or shuttle is often a lot cheaper than schelpping your good self and all your heavy belongings onto a crowded metro or tube, even if it is only £2 each way. Skip the hassle and start/end your trip off on a better note.

Making multiple flight connections

When looking at cheap flights, consider what I call the “agony factor.” Is it really worth the £20 savings to connect in not one but two airports, increasing your chances that something could go wrong and you might end up stuck at said airport? Flying isn’t a glorious experience, so don’t prolong it.

Taking whatever airfare is cheapest

Along similar lines as the previous, booking flights is not as click-and-go as you’d list. Mostly, we tend to look at the “final price” tab. But these days you need to ask yourself what is not included with that price. Specifically:

  • Do I need to pay to check in? (I only know of one surly airline that requires this.)
  • How much will checking our bags cost?
  • Will there be food on board? (These days, usually not.)
  • Do I need to pay to book a more comfortable seat or for multiple people to sit together? (May or may not be as important to you.)
  • What are the change/cancellation fees?

Once you investigate these questions, you’ll see that cheapest is not always cheap.

Staying at hotels that are far out of town

I speak from experience here, as I’ve done this, and it sucks. When you book a hotel that is miles from where all the action is, you invariably end up having to take a taxi or waste cash on transportation. Not to mention the frustration if not being able to nip back up to your room to relax midday, or the extra time it takes just to get anywhere. Not worth it to me.

Just eating fast food

Recently someone suggested this to me as a way to travel on the cheap. Well, I am all for scraping by, but this is bottom of the barrel for me. I don’t eat fast food when I’m home, so why would I do it on the road? Nothing wrong with a treat now and then, but if you’re really struggling to find affordable meals, head for the grocery store – more choice and all at a discount.

Room sharing with lots of people

Unless you’re a backpacking early-20-something, you’re probably well beyond those years where you can sleep on a floor with 5 other people and bounce right back into sightseeing mode the next day. And who wants to? There are lots of ways to get cheaper accommodation than over-sharing. (And the more people in your room, the more likely you’ll end up with a snorer. Just saying.)

Always skipping the tour guide

I do enjoy independent exploring, and I appreciate that tour guides aren’t always inexpensive. But sometimes, they’re worth the money. Here are my main guidelines for when I splurge:

  • The guide offers exclusive access or information I’m willing to pay for.
  • My time is very limited.
  • There is a significant language barrier.
  • I totally haven’t researched and am unprepared.

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to pinching your travel coins, but sometimes too cheap is exactly that – too cheap.

Andy Hayes

Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.

Posted : Thursday, May 19th, 2011 at 11:00
Category : Holiday Tips
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