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BellaOnline's Budget Travel Editor

Tips for Planning a Budget Holiday

Be Flexible
If youíre adaptable about when and where you travel, even by a few days, you could be saving yourself a small fortune whilst still being able to have the holiday of your life. Whether youíre intending to travel by rail or air, itís easy to see when the cheaper journeys are available and adjust your holiday plans accordingly. Alternatively, if you decide you want to go to a particular country, then compare the prices of each city and book the cheaper option. If thereís a specific place you want to visit, it might be more economical to take a domestic route while youíre there.

Similarly, last minute deals can help you budget your holiday and this doesnít necessarily mean that the whole vacation has to be booked the day before! Even when youíve booked your travel arrangements to a particular place, there are still budget offers on hotels, car hire or entertainment deals to be found online and taken advantage of.

Plan Ahead
Research the country you intend to visit; you might be able to afford the flight but can you afford the time youíre going to spend there? For example, if you want a European city break, it might be worth considering a Eastern European city where hotels, restaurants and public transport could be considerably cheaper.

Whilst some travel arrangements rely on waiting until just before you leave, others depend on researching months before for the cheaper deals. Once youíve chosen your destination, look for budget offers for the local transport in that area. Trains in London, for example, can be very expensive if youíre buying tickets on the day, but planning ahead and booking a journey online can save you a small fortune.

Spend time researching tourist attractions; some of which are always free and others might only be free on certain days of the week or month. If thereís a sightseeing tour that doesnít offer free entry look out for two for one offers which are often available so if youíre not travelling alone, at least one of you will go for free! Likewise, theater tickets and spa days can be bought on a budget if arranged in time.

Ask a Local
Using the internet to help you organize your travel arrangements is essential these days but once you have the logistics in place, utilize the web to network with locals from the area you intend to visit. Logging on to forums and travel sites will provide you with valuable advice from the people in the know. When Iíve done this in the past itís been a wealth of information to help me find the best shops, entertainment and nights out. Iíve even met up with some people for a coffee and a free tour of their area!

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