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Travelling low cost

Low cost are the 2 words that I have on my mind when I plan my vacation, like many of you, I’m always looking for good prices before to do anything.

Normally, majority of the times, I try to plan in advance because if you buy 3 or 4 months before the date of departure, there are more chances to find something at low prices.

Buying few months before the D date is a wise suggestion if you are going to travel with big companies like Iberia, Air France, American Airlines, British Airlines… but on the other hand, it exists low cost companies in which you can benefit for good prices at the last minutes.

It exists a lot of way to travel without spending a lot of money, some will ask us to sacrifice the comfort, the quality… for example, no breakfast, no shower, sharing a room... First, I will start by the beginning, after all, the first thing I search it is an airplane company. In Europe, there are some low cost companies that I get used to look which are:

  • Ryanair,
  • Easyjet,
  • Airberlin,
  • WizzAir,
  • Airarabia,
  • and/or Vueling.

If you find good prices, don’t be quick to buy the flight tickets, read first the little sentences. Majority of them don’t include some extra costs, for example, some will bill you an extra cost for the 2nd luggage or your hand bag have to respect some size and if it doesn’t fit, it will be send to the baggage hold for an extra cost.

Another recommendation, take a careful look at the end of the reservation process, they get used to include the cost of an insurance so if you don’t want it, deselect the option, it will allow you to save money for other things. I also get used those following websites to compare flight prices:

  • Priceline,
  • Orbitz,
  • Expedia,
  • Destinia,
  • Edreams,
  • Minube,
  • and/or Rumbo.

If you prefer to use the road to travel, why not sharing a car ??? Register free at Compartir, look for someone who plans to go to the same direction as you and contact him. Depending on how many people, you will share the cost of the gas, so for instance, if you are 4, just divide it by 4. Of course if it is a long road, for example from Paris to Barcelona, you may share the drive too.

Next step, it is to find a place to sleep. In this category, it also exists low cost hostel companies. I recommend you to check:

  • Genesiz,
  • Hostelworld,
  • Trivago,
  • Accor,
  • and/or Easyhotel.

You can find prices starting from 10€ but take note that some services are billed apart like television, cleaning… and some don’t have a reception service.

If you are looking a place to sleep just for few hours and if you don’t mind to sleep inside a kind of box room inspired by the capsule hotels of Tokyo, the starting price is around 28,50€ for 4 hours and each extra hour will cost 8€ more, more information look at Yotel.

Other thing you can do it is exchanging your house known as vacation swap like Home Link. The rules are simple, after registering and entering all your data for membership fees between 40€ and 150€, you have access to the list of available houses, if you find one you like, you have to contact the owner and start to negotiate when you can go there and when he can go to your house. Also check:

  • Intervac-homeexchange,
  • Homeforexchange,
  • Another-home,
  • and/or Simplyhomeexchange.

Looking for a place to sleep free ??? I can suggest you to do one of the following:

  • practice the couch surfing. This one is simpler, search for someone who wants to let you sleep on his couch totally free,
  • do the home sitting. Someone is going to holiday and needs someone to keep his/her house, so why not take this advantage to have free accommodation,
  • find a place to sleep in the airport, if it is your idea, check this website.

Once in the city, there are a lot of ways to spend as little as possible like:

  • using a prepaid phone card instead to use the roaming of your cell phone. At Barcelona, you have the option to go to places called “locutorio”. A place where you can use internet and/or doing international call for cheap prices,
  • sharing a taxi with other persons. They may go to the same direction like you so it may be worth to overcome the timidity,
  • buying a pass card for museums, public transport… At Barcelona, it is worth to buy a T-casual or T-familiar ticket than a single ticket if you plan to move a lot with the metro, bus and tramway.

Only the T-familiar ticket can be shared with other persons and it works on this way. As said before, everyone can use the same one so you will just need to buy one. Each of you have to validate it, meaning that once you will put it in the machine then pull it out completely from the ticket validation machine, it will release the turnstile or the door to allow you through. Then give it to the next person so that he/she can use the same ticket and so on until the last one. Each time someone uses the T-familiar, it counts as a separate trip.

Doing those things can save a lot of money. Of course, walking and doing hitchhiking to go from point A to point B are the most economic way to travel ;-D

That’s all the low cost things that I know and that I can tell you, if from your side, you know something else, don’t hesitate to share it with us.