I get a lot of people asking me how I manage to go away so much whether it’s for trips out in the UK, weekends in European destinations or longer trips further afield so I thought it was time to share my tips. There’s nothing groundbreaking about what I do but it’s what works for me.
I work full time in marketing and the pay is okay, it’s enough to pay my mortgage and bills and let me live (just about) and this is why I choose to work freelance in my spare time. This is mainly through copywriting and SEO writing for brands and businesses but I have also done proofreading, social media management, blogger outreach and various other tasks. By working freelance I am giving myself a boosted income after paying taxes (I have my first self-assessment to fill in for 15/16 and it’s sad how excited I am to send it off haha.) All of the money that I make freelancing goes in a travel fund this means that I can then assign money aside for hotels/ flights etc.
This is only the first step in how I manage to travel so much, how I choose to travel makes a huge difference on my outgoing costs. In most cases I am pretty flexible with the location in which I travel so if I know I have a weekend in particular that I want to go away I pop onto Skyscanner (my holy grail flight site) select the dates and click everywhere. If you don’t know how much about the website it then crawls the web and shows me the cheapest places to fly to limiting my choices.
I spend a lot of time (hours and hours sometimes) looking at flights to ensure I make the best decision. I think about the location of the flight as it can be tricky to get to certain airports (especially for early flights) but I also look at prices from Birmingham as well as London as I can get to the airport pretty easily. By being flexible on where I fly from can make a huge difference on flight prices. I am very lucky that Luton is usually pretty cheap to fly from and it’s only a 20 min drive from mine.
I always keep an eye open on when Easyjet put out new batches of flights as they’re generally super cheap when they first go out. For example, myself and some friends are heading for 2 nights in Geneva, Switzerland over the first weekend of December for Christmas markets and we got return flights for about £50!
Once I’ve chosen my location the next step is accommodation. While I’d love to always stay in nice boutique hotels the reality is I’d rather save money and stay somewhere cheaper than splurge which means more money for future trips. My first stop is usually bookings.com to find out what the hotel prices are like as sometimes you can get lucky with a good deal. I always factor in the location of the hotel (especially for short trips) to ensure it is central so I am not wasting time (and money) travelling for ages during the day. If a hotel just doesn’t seem feasible I head to hostelworld or hostelbookers to see what my hostel options are.
A lot of people don’t like hostels but I have to say European hostels are not like you expect. I always opt for private rooms as I just find it nicer and safer (especially if I’m travelling alone), and I almost always opt for an ensuite unless it makes a huge difference on price. All the hostels I have stayed in before have been clean and nice and I’ve never had any complaints. I’ve had trips before where I’ve searched around for good flights and a great hostel and paid under £120 for 2 nights in a European city. When you think how much you can pay having a day out in London this is amazing!
By being super organised, strict on money and planning in advance I find that I am able to travel a lot more regularly than I have ever been able to.