You have probably mastered every possible cost saving strategy in the book. Your holidays are strictly budgeted and you use various modern technological innovations to make sure you save every penny possible when you travel, particularly to exotic countries. There’s one part of a holiday which is really tempting to really skimp on – the pre-flight airport hotel – which for some reason some people don’t see as part of their holiday. Well I strongly disagree! For me, my holiday begins as soon as I leave my house. Whilst I don’t go mad with my choices of airport hotels, I still like to feel like I’m being treated. It’s even better if you feel like you’re getting a little bit of luxury for the same amount of money as you would pay for a bog-standard hotel!
So before our last trip to the states I was delighted before our last trip to the states to be told about a great airport hotel search site called (funnily enough) airporthotels.com, on which I found a beautiful 4 star room for a whopping £30 a night less than the big hotel right next to the airport! So if you believe in having that little bit of luxury without breaking the bank, you can actually start your holiday in style with a stay in the Hilton or Sofitel the night before you fly without bankrupting yourself – there’s loads of options to choose from, including a great range of hotels at Manchester Airport, with the 4 star Hallmark a great choice.
So what if we told you that you could save a lot more when you travel and still have a plush vacation? The answer lies in going retro! Here’s how:
1: Pick the phone and get personal
The Internet age made us forget our basic mail-and-phone etiquettes and the charm of having a personal conversation to forge a relationship is now unheard of! You could try calling your RV rental company, your camping serviceman, your hotel concierge and having a chat or two about their best offers, discounts and the best rooms available for the cheapest prices.
Compliment them a bit, tell them you’ve heard a lot about their services, and watch them turn extra nice to you! It may not always work, but when has talking to someone ever been a waste of time?
2. Get direct
We never relied on travel sites to book our air tickets, reserve our tables and arrange for home stays two decades ago, did we? It doesn’t make sense for you to pay extra for a booking via Expedia.com or Travelocity.com when you can arrange your own air tickets (at cheaper prices), does it?
According to Carolyn Bella, owner of a timeshare in Cambodia, “I would rather give my guests a 10-15$ discount on my B & B than pay a hefty 15% commission to those travel buggies…are you listening?” We are! We are!
3. Stand and stare
Slow travelling has caught up today; albeit for other reasons like combating travel stress, being able to see more and more at your own idyllic pace, etc. We recommend it since you can save money – and lots of money – when you travel at leisure.
When you have ten-day holidays in a city, you forge bonds with everyone you meet and some of them can play host, serve you meals, share a few insider’s secrets about the best places to visit, etc. Moreover, you get familiar with the place and know exactly where to see what, where to eat what and where to buy what for the cheapest rates.
Walking today, is an obscure travel activity, which at one time, was something most travellers swore by. Not only do you get ample time to soak in the sights and the glamour of a place, you also save a large amount of money on public transport and car rentals.
We do agree, not every city is walkable. Some of them are really huge and you certainly need transport to get to all the suburbs. But, choose a compact city (like Pittsburgh or Rome) and you can walk (or ride your bike) in style and save a lot of money in the process.
There are a myriad of other ways to go retro. Some of them include opting for cheaper cities, discovering offbeat destinations, sending postcards home instead of making long expensive calls and many more. Maybe, you should ask your grandpa about how he travelled when he was a young intrepid voyager. You’ll be surprised at how much money you can save by incorporating some of his retro tips when you travel as well.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.