How To Travel With (Almost) No Money

how to travel luxury with no money plus size travel blogger

Hey Owlets,

I confess, I hate winter, but particularly the first few months in a year - there's nothing to do, no one wants to go out and I'm bored and want to travel yet no one has any money. Considering I've already spent a good hour looking at trips that I can't afford today, I thought it would be a great time to talk about how to make the most out of your hard earned cash!
how to travel luxury with no money plus size travel blogger cheap cruises

Book at the Right Time

One of the easiest ways to save money without being flexible with your plans is just to watch the prices, and this applies for both cruises and land holidays. Cruises are usually cheapest if you book a long time in advance (one or two years) or right at the last minute; which method is better depends on the cruise line you're going for - P&O have lower prices if you book in advance but don't tend to lower them last minute, whereas Cruise and Maritime Voyages start off expensive and get cheaper the closer it gets (I just saw 19 nights for £965!). Land holidays are pretty similar to cruises - you can find great deals both years in advance and last minute but the prices seem to fluctuate a bit more so it's worth keeping an eye on it.

how to travel luxury with no money plus size travel blogger cheap cruises

Compare Prices on Multiple Websites

When I'm looking for cheap deals I like to check more than one comparison website as well as the company's direct website - they all say that you won't find it cheaper anywhere else but you usually can if you're prepared to put the work in. For hotels I look at Kayak, Trivago, and the hotel's direct website. For flights Skyscanner is my favourite place to look but Google Flights and Kayak are also great options. It might only save you £5 but when you have almost no budget £5 is always handy to spend somewhere else. And yes, I know that hostels are infinitely cheaper than booking a hotel room, but can you really see me in a 12-bed dorm?

how to travel luxury with no money plus size travel blogger cheap cruises

Disable Your Cookies!!

Okay, not those cookies; I'm sorry, the opportunity was too good not to take. If you don't know what cookies are they're little bits of information that websites leave in your computer for later - it's the reason why you don't have to put your password in every time you open Facebook, but it's also a great way for travel companies to see what you're looking at. Travel websites use cookies to see what you're interested in booking, and you may well find that the price has gone up next time you look - I've certainly noticed this on flights and cruises. It catches a lot of people out but it's an easy thing to fix.

Depending on what browser you use it's possible to download extensions that block cookies, or if you want something really easy you can go into private browsing mode. In Private Browsing/ Incognito mode your browser won't save any cookies, meaning that every time you go to the website it will behave like it's your first visit and you should still get the lowest price! Beware, sometimes companies will put the price up if they're getting a lot of traffic to one particular page - I've noticed this with flights especially, so try not to look until you're ready to book.

how to travel luxury with no money plus size travel blogger cheap cruises

Try Voluntourism

I discovered the concept while scrolling through the internet, bored with no money but wanting to go somewhere. I have yet to personally try this myself but have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of recommendations. Sites like WorkAway, Volunteers Base and HelpX connect you with hosts looking for some help in return for accommodation,  food and sometimes a small wage. Volunteers Base is free but you need to pay a membership fee on both HelpX and WorkAway. Having looked at the sites there's a huge choice of jobs on offer from teaching English to adults, manning the reception desk in hostels and babysitting kids to help on farms or with renovating properties, so if like me you're not a fan of manual labour there's still something you can do. You'll need to pay your transport costs, but once you're there everything is taken care of.

how to travel luxury with no money plus size travel blogger cheap cruises

Look For Referral Schemes and Discounts

Referral schemes can be a great way to get a discount, both if you're using someone's code or sharing yours. A lot of sites will offer a credit to you for signing people up as well as to the new user as an incentive to join. By taking advantage of these programmes you can usually get at least £10 off. If you need a code make sure you check my Offers & Discounts page - you can get a discount and also help keep me on my travels at the same time! If you can't find a referral scheme then try Googling for discounts.

how to travel luxury with no money plus size travel blogger cheap cruises

Try Deal Websites

I had this post written and ready to go up when Dad suggested looking at Groupon, and I'm genuinely shocked at how cheap things were on there. If you're travelling solo it might not be the best option as you have to buy two packages even if it's just you going, so it takes it from £60 to £120 for two days. However, their hotel deals are incredible; when I was looking last night they had rooms in Paris for £40 a night when the cheapest I could find on was £89. If you're travelling to a big city and the accommodation is bankrupting you, try Groupon and you might discover a hidden gem!

how to travel luxury with no money plus size travel blogger cheap cruises

Go Out of Season

One of the biggest ways to save money is to be careful about what time of year you travel. The prices always go up in Summer and school holidays because that's when everyone wants to travel. By going in Autumn or Winter you're most likely to find some amazing deals. Another advantage of travelling in the off-season is that you can take advantage of repositioning cruises. These are when cruise ships move between Europe and the Caribbean to follow the good weather, and these repositioning cruises are a way of making a little money off of something they have to do. Because of this a transatlantic cruise is usually a lot cheaper than a normal voyage. However, part of this is because they're saving money on port fees because they're doing 6-8 sea days in a row, so make sure you're happy to entertain yourself on board for a full week if you're going to book.

That's all I've got for now but I'm sure I've probably missed some glaringly obvious ways to travel cheaper, so if you have any ideas please let me know in the comments below or on Twitter and I'll make a part two.

If you're looking for some travel inspiration while you save up, check out my latest posts:

What to Do in Lisbon, Portugal
What to Do in County Cork, Ireland
MV Marco Polo Review
What to Pack for a Cruise

Love and Feathers, 
 The Owlet 💜 
You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest

*NB - This post contains some affiliate links which will give me a small bit of commission if you choose to book through my link. This has not changed who I recommend or my opinion of any of the products.

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