The lesson cost of living crisis means many of us may think vacations aren’t an option for 2023, but budget travel is possible (when you know what you’re doing).
In fact, there are plenty of lesser-known tricks of the trade that can guarantee a far more affordable vacation than you ever dreamed of. Thankfully, self-confessed budget vacation hunter Chelsea Dickenson – aka the Cheap holiday expert – shared some of his secrets with CHARMso you can always look forward to a vacation no matter what your budget.
Whether it’s getting cheap flights, affordable hotels, or discounted activities to explore new destinations without mostly shell out, Chelsea have all the know-how. His best travel flight? “I took a 4.50 hour train from Prague to Bratislava in 2022 which only cost me £21,” she says. “And that was in business class!” I got a huge leather chair, sparkling wine on arrival, and was able to sit in a cabin like I was on the Hogwarts Express. Plus the food on board was so cheap too – 30p for a slice of cake and 65p for a bottle of beer!
Now that’s the budget journey we can board with it. Do you want to participate in this action? Here are the tips and tricks to follow to ensure a discount vacation in 2023…
How to find cheap hotels and accommodation
When it comes to getting a cheap vacation, consider how much it will actually cost to be to your destination, before worrying about how you will get there. “My favorite thing is to do my travel research backwards and start with accommodation first,” says Chelsea. “That’s because we’re often obsessed with cheap flights when they’re a one-time cost and your day-to-day costs – such as food, activities and accommodation – can really add up.”
“To do this, I put really general areas in the search boxes like ‘UK’ or ‘Europe’. Then I use the website filters to narrow down the results. This technique works on Airbnb and Booking.com and is ideal for determining where offers good value for money.
She adds: “Some websites like Airbnb also allow searching using a map and I love using this tool when looking for a beach vacation. I do this by zooming in on the map, then searching along the coast. It’s fantastic to show lesser-known beach holidays where you can get amazing value for money.”
As for hotels: it’s all about shopping. “If you’re looking to stay in a hotel, always check the cost on multiple platforms – I tend to start with a comparison site like Google Hotels or Trivago – then click on the results it offers. Also make sure that you are still connected to booking sites as they can often reward members with cheaper prices Finally, if you find the price cheaper than booking direct you can always contact the hotel directly and ask them to match the price, or even ask if they can offer you an additional incentive to book direct.
How to find cheap flights
“The best way to get a cheap flight is to be flexible – whether it’s the date or the destination or, better yet, both,” says Chelsea. “When you are in this situation, use websites that allow you to search for options anywhere in the world – for Skyscanner type ‘everywhere’ and for Kayak type ‘anywhere’ in the destination field. They will also allow you to search on a date range.