The ultimate guide to travel on a tigh-budget

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With the festive season kickstarting, it’s autumn paving way for the chilling winter – the perfect time to pack your bags and travel.

It may be possible that after travelling during two consecutive long weekends this year, you are hardly left with enough money to splurge on exploring places. But, this doesn’t mean you should give up on travelling till the next appraisal.

Manmeet Ahluwalia, Marketing Head of Expedia India, believes Indian travellers are turning more experimental, whether they are a couple, family travellers, FIT or a group of backpackers. With this newfound desire to explore the world, the concept of travel intelligence is catching up with Indian travellers.

Here are some tricks and tips he shares, to travel within a budget and give that credit card a break.

Fix your budget
Set a budget while you plan your tour. Based on this, you can look at the kind of trip you want – a weekend getaway, long vacation or backpacking trip. Now make a list of possible destinations and also the length of stay.

Load your phone with apps
Download travel apps on your smartphone. They update you real time on airfare sale no sooner than they have kicked off. Get app exclusive deals which will be more attractive than the web deals.

Travel after sunset
Travel at night, as it helps you to save on the hotel cost. Try taking an overnight train/flight journey. It is suggested to book the flights well in advance- 5 to 6 months for international and 2-3 months for domestic travels.

Choose business hotel
Business Hotels are more affordable on weekends and leisure hotels are more cost effective on weekdays. Use budget hotels for stop-overs.

Prefer home stays
If you are willing to explore the destinations and spending more time with the locals then you can also opt for a homestay.

Buy passes
Buy a visitor / tourist pass. Most countries have 2 – 5 days visitor pass that helps you save money on public transports, F&B, attraction tickets, and city tours.

Use public transport
If you decide to use public transports, passes are more economical. It is valid for 3 – 10 days and includes trains, buses, trams, ferries and other modes. It’s better than buying single tickets each time and you end up saving both money and time.

Book hotels in advance
If you are booking months in advance, you can easily bag up-to 60% discount on hotel stays. Before booking a hotel read the reviews and you can understand its hospitality.

Additionally, there are a lot of cities that offer discounts of up-to 40% when buying tickets for 3 or more activities together.

Say yes to mailers
Subscribe to e mailers, RSS feeds etc. from your preferred travel website so that you are informed of deals and offers as soon as they are announced.

Never deal offline
Use online websites as they are able to negotiate a better deal owing to the volume of sales and keep the transaction transparent. Buying flights, hotels and activities together gets you higher discount.

Hotels near airport/ train station
Look for hotels closer to the airport or railway station to eliminate taxi expenses. Avoid renting a car where you have a good public transportation system.

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