Are you budgeting for your next great escape? Don’t break the bank with your holidays; use a few of these simple tips to save money instead.

  1. Be flexible with times.

While this may not always be possible, if you can be a bit flexible with your travel plans you’ll be able to save some cash. Airfares are generally lower on weekdays than on weekends, particularly for Wednesday and Thursday flights. Use a flight comparison tool to look at airfares on either side of your main date of travel and you could save considerably.

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  1. Book in advance.

Whether you’re travelling by train, plane, or ferry, booking your tickets in advance will save you a bundle. Ferry service providers like ok-ferry often show lower prices if you book at least a month in advance, and the same goes for national rail services or budget airlines. If you’re flying and plan to leave your car at the airport, this is another area where it’s best to reserve parking in advance to receive a discount.

  1. Book homestays rather than hotels.

There’s a reason why Airbnb has become such a popular way to travel. Staying in an apartment or home often ends up being cheaper than staying in a hotel, and it gives you more room to spread out in as well. Another option is to consider a property swap. There are a number of home exchange websites that allow you to swap your home for another in a foreign country, saving the cost of accommodation altogether.

  1. Look for hidden gems.

Paris, London, and Tokyo have world-famous charms, but may not be the best destinations if you’re on a budget. Just as with investing in overseas destinations, you can save on alternative holidays. Visit lesser-known cities to have amazing travel experiences while saving cash at the same time. Look at cool destinations a bit off the beaten track like Montevideo, Uruguay or Austin, Texas.

  1. Shop around for foreign currency.

Currency exchange rates are a necessary evil when you’re traveling abroad. However, you can minimise these with a little bit of advance preparation. Take out larger sums at a time if you’ll be using cash in order to save on fees for each withdrawal. It’s also helpful to compare rates online and obtain some cash ahead of time. Be aware that airport rates will be some of the most expensive.

With a bit of planning, you can enjoy your vacation to the fullest while keeping money in the bank.