So you want to take an active holiday but have a tiny budget? Here are some of our top tips for making every penny count:
Travel at low season
Seems like a no-brainer but it can make all the difference. Avoid school holidays and travel in shoulder season (April/May, September/October) to avoid high accommodation prices and crowds.
Find the cheapest flights
Find out where you can get cheap flights to from the airport nearest to you. Generally speaking flights are cheapest mid-week, though if there is lots of competition on flights to a certain destination that can keep prices down, as a rule the fewer flights there are to a place, the more they cost.
If you are free and easy when it comes to a destination for your trip, we suggest using skyscanner, just enter your preferred departure airport, then under destination type ‘anywhere’, this will show you the average price to each destination for your dates, starting from the lowest first.
Easy jet also shows when flights to a destination cost less, so you can save on travel. Use their inspire me function which works in a similar way to skyscanner, or if you know where you want to go, when you select your travel dates, click ‘view lowest fares’ to see which dates cost less.
Choose a cheap destination
A caveat to the above advice – if the cheapest flights available for your dates are to an expensive destination do the maths, is it worth it? Are you going to save enough on the flight to make up for the cost of accommodation, eating and drinking?
Destinations in eastern Europe often cost less overall than places like Spain, Portugal and Italy. Think Croatia (a fantastic destination for an adventure holiday) or Slovenia, where you are likely to spend less overall.
Once you have found your flight, find a destination you can get to easily with public transport, or a package with airport transfers included, especially if you are travelling solo. Getting to and from your accommodation can put a dent in your wallet if you are not careful, so do check this before you commit to your flight.
Have a budget
Know how much you want to spend and stick to it. Keep track of all your expenses before you leave (flights, accommodation, travel insurance) and work out how much you can afford to spend each day on eating, drinking, activities and extras.
Here the goal is not to save money but to make sure the activity is carried out safely. Don't automatically go with the cheapest provider; do your research and make sure that the tour guide/company is qualified/has qualified staff and carries out a full safety briefing before the activity starts.
Eating and drinking
Read up on your chosen destination before you go to see if there are any free activities on during your stay, where and when you can find happy hour etc. In your pocket guides are good for this sort of thing, and you can find all sorts of up-to-date free advice which you can download onto your phone and take with you, they even have a free app you can install.
Avoid eating near tourist attractions or in main squares, get into the back streets and you will find better value (and often better food!).
Lastly, keep in mind that we have a lot of short adventure breaks in Europe to suit a small budget, like our bestselling short adventure break on the Croatian coast, a 4-night break including zip-lining, canyoning and white water rafting, just 40 mins from Split airport.
Still unsure of where to go and what to do? Contact us, we can help!
Any budget travel tips of your own? Feel free to add them in the comments.