These ideas may not work on people who have a different take on their travels. In my case, it’s a shoestring backpacking trip. Hence, cheapest possible or the value for money.
1. Book your tickets in advance / Schedule your transfers
Aside from accommodation, plane tickets and train transfers are the biggest part of a trip. I suggest you decide on your route and how long you plan to stay in a city or country then book your airplane or train tickets in advance. Also, decide whether to take the plane or train. In my case, I decided on my country transfers even if I didn’t have my detailed itinerary per city yet. Yes, there may be instances that I wish I could’ve stayed longer or shorter but marking these dates is very important to get the cheapest ticket possible. I tell you, you can save a lot! You can even save time not queuing up for tickets! Just make sure you are not left by your train.
I regularly check tickets online to see if the flight tickets already changed. In my case, I got the cheapest deal for Lisbon – Paris (Beauvais) ticket from Ryanair. I booked my Ryanair ticket more than 2months in advance and it was worth it. I only paid 55Euros (Php 3,135) per person included the 20kg baggage allowance. Had I book it just a month earlier, I’m sure I would have paid more!
I got the best deals on our train rides. Since train fares are like plane tickets already, the earlier you book the flight, the cheaper you can get it. I booked all our trains online on the first day it was available online. Haha! I made sure to be the on the queue. Lol.
Just to give you an example, normally the bus ride from Madrid – Lisbon is cheaper than the overnight-sleeper train but since I booked it early, I got a cheaper ticket on the train. And yes, we were able to lie down on a full-flat bed. Yay!
In Italy, I got our Frecciarossa high-speed train tickets for only 29Euros (Php 1,653) per person for our Milano – Firenze and Firenze – Roma trip. By the way, it was business class! Haha! Had I gotten the ordinary seats, it would have just cost me 19Euros (Php 1,102). Like I said, I book it early. If I got my tickets on the travel day itself, the tickets were already 43Euros for ordinary and 63Euros for the business class. I saved a lot! Now, you see what I mean for the value for money -- I paid 29Eu for business class rather than buying it on the spot for 43Euros and it’s just the ordinary seat.
2. Get good hotel deals / Airbnb / Couchsurf / Overnight trains
The other major expense in a trip – a place to stay. It would be a big saving if you have a good friend to stay or find a couch. But if none, better plan this as well before your trip because it’s a big consideration. Try checking out Airbnb or hotel website for good deals. Consider taking an overnight train as well to save on hotel costs, sleep on the train and once you arrive, you are already in a new country. Yay!