Over the last 18 months I have had numerous friends and family asking if I have suddenly won the lottery or asking what “I do” that enables me to travel so much.
Every single time my response is the same – I am a savvy traveller, I have no dependants and I have learnt to optimise every possible opportunity to fit in a break wherever I can.
As I become more comfortable travelling solo, I am constantly looking for the best deal and ways that I can fund my adventures.
In this post I wanted to share my tips to becoming a savvy traveller, so you too, can make the most of now!
In the digital world we live in, we are spending a huge amount of our disposable income on purchases online. If you did not know already, you can be rewarded for your spending through cashback sites such as Quidco. Whether you are looking for car insurance, buying a new wardrobe or even a break away, it is likely that the company your are purchasing from offers a cashback rate. Cash in on this! Pennies soon in to pounds, especially if you are a shopaholic.
Similarly to cashback, you can earn Avios points with the likes of British Airways by shopping online. I alternate between shopping through Quidco and the Avios platform depending on the best rates that are available to gain air miles.
If you shop at Tesco’s you can arrange for your Clubcard points from both your weekly shop and petrol to be converted into Avios points, which you will then be able to use for a reward flight.
My trip to Munich in September was paid for with my the points I had collected over the last twelve months.
The most simple, yet obvious tactic can work in your favour is advanced planning. I often get laughed at for booking a trip up to ten months in advance, however I am always the last one laughing. It usually means a deal could be had. For example, my upcoming trip to Santorini this May was booked in the British Airways sale back in July, committing to a low deposit to secure the dates I wanted, for half the price than it would be normally.
In 2019 I discovered a deal aggregator called Cheeky Weekend. The site is perfect for those who are always looking for a weekend break that doesn’t involve using annual leave.
Simply select the airports you like to fly from and the perfect times, and Cheeky Weekend provides you with great flight deals to suit you.
My time is usually limited so always have the setting to fly on a Friday night from Stansted, returning on Sunday evening. Therefore, my annual leave is saved for longer trips and I am fully utilising the weekend. My recent flight to Bratislava was booked through Cheeky Weekend for just £50.
You can either choose to become a member for the year, giving you full access to flights months in advance or refer friends to do the same.
When you book with a company you like and have good experiences with, you are more likely to become a repeat customer if a loyalty discount is provided.
It is worth getting in touch to find out if this is something they offer.
Some, like Exodus, offer this automatically. After booking my first adventure to Morocco with the company I was offered a 5% discount on my next trip. Whilst this does not seem like much of an offer, the more you book the bigger the loyalty discount you receive.
Plus, if you pick a break that they have on offer this can easily save a great deal off the original price.
Always look out for the sales. As mentioned previously I booked a great trip in the British Airways sale, and it is not the first time I have done so. My trips to San Diego, New York, Boston and Malta were all booked for a bargain price in the sale.
Easy Jet and Ryanair, are perfect for quick trips to Europe and often provide massive seat sales. You can easily pick up a return flight for £20 if you are flexible with dates. Both my trips to Bordeaux and Toulouse cost £19.99 return, allowing that extra cash to spent on a hotel of a higher rating.
Plus – book through Cashback sites and Avios and you will get a percentage of your spend back to reinvest into your next break! Win, Win!
Mid Week Breaks
Although weekends are great to avoid using up precious annual leave, it is also worth keeping an eye on mid week breaks too.
Nine times out of ten, flying out on a Monday and returning on a Wednesday (or something similar) can dramatically reduce the cost of your trip. However, keep in mind any school holiday dates that could inflate the prices.
So there you have it. No lottery win. No secret job that is funding my adventures. Just a wanderlust with a strive to see the world and finding savvy ways to do so.
What are your savvy travelling tips?