Backyard travel part two: jet-setting out of Bristol

Lily’s travel guide continues with her suggestions on how to make the most of your money while you’re away

If you have the time to travel but you don’t want to splash out loads of your hard-earned cash, then fear not – here I shall be discussing some super cheap ways to see the world. As I have discussed in part one, travel is so good for your mental and physical wellbeing. You can break out of any routine you might be in and you can recharge and refresh your soul.

When travelling your four main expenses are the travel itself, accommodation, food and attractions. None of those things have to break the bank.

Getting from A to B

There are so many websites out there that compare prices, making it easy to find extremely cheap travel. My favourites for flights are AZair, Google Flights and Skyscanner. You can use Skyscanner’s feature ‘Take Me Anywhere’ to find the cheapest flights overall from your destination if you haven’t got a place in mind. For coach travel I’d recommend GoEuro, it also shows trains and flights but I usually only use it for coaches. For train travel I’d suggest using the websites of the train companies that run in the country you’re in. Trains and coaches to get to mainland Europe can be very cheap from London to Paris, and the Megabus from Bristol to London won’t set you back massively. Then you could explore my favourite city or go anywhere else from there.

Where to stay

For a short term trip I’d say stay in a youth hostel. They’re often just as nice as a hotel but with the added bonus of being cheaper and and they have community spirit. You can always find someone to talk to in the communal areas, especially when cooking, so you could make a new friend to explore with. Hostelworld is a great way to find the perfect hostel for you.

If you are over 18 and feeling slightly braver, Couchsurfing is an option. This is a website that you can use for free with limited features or you can pay a one-time fee to unlock everything. You can use it to find people where you are going to stay with for free. It is an amazing way to meet new people and to discover a place from the perspective of a local. You do have to be very careful with this as they are strangers and could be not nice people. That said, I have had some extremely pleasant hosts through this website.

If you have decided you want to travel more long term a great way to do this is to sign up to Workaway. This is a website that will connect you to hostels, farms, families looking for childcare and all sorts. So in exchange for working a certain amount of time a day (this varies from job to job) you are provided with free accomodation and usually food.

What to eat

Eating out the whole time you are away really adds up. I’d recommend cooking for yourself, which is very easy when you are in a hostel. Sometimes you can even find people who have cooked way too much and want to give some of it away. I ate the best mashed potato of my life this way in a hostel in Venice. For lunch out and about, you can make yourself a sandwich in the morning and buy some crisps and some fruit for a picnic. I love to explore parks and forests when I visit a new place, which are the perfect places for a picnic.

What to do

You don’t have to spend loads of money to have a good time. Usually there are loads of free things to do. You can always count on a park or a cemetery for an afternoon of peaceful strolling. Or a lot of museums and art galleries are free or cheap for young people. Window shopping in fancy districts is most enjoyable. Exploring the small streets and getting lost in a new place to really immerse yourself in the feeling of a place doesn’t cost a penny. There is always something to do.

If you have a weekend free or longer then I hope this inspires you to step out of your comfort zone and explore somewhere new. Get in touch on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram if you have any other tips for travelling on the cheap.