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Budget travel tips to save money in 2023

Most of us wait excitedly all year for our summer holidays. We might even have winter breaks booked in, to get away from the cold weather back home.

With the UK in a cost-of-living crisis, many of us will be trying to work out if a holiday is still affordable this year. In this blog, we’re explaining some of our top budget travel tips to help you save money on your holidays in 2023.

In this section (Budget travel tips to save money in 2023):

Some of our best advice for keep costs down when travelling with kids are:

  • Go all-inclusive to keep your food budget to a minimum, especially good for big families
  • Pre-book day trips before you go, as often you will pay more on the day
  • If your children are under two, you will pay less for things such as flights and accommodation for them
  • Consider a staycation or road trip in the UK, if foreign travel is a bit too pricey for the time of year you want to go away
  • Travel outside of school holidays if you can, to avoid higher prices for flights and hotels

If you have decided to travel solo, there are a few key things that can help you when travelling on a budget that is tighter. Here are some of our top travel tips for solo travellers:

  • Booking early (or last minute) can often equal lower prices when booking flights, trains, hotel rooms and more
  • Do some research and choose your hotel/travel provider carefully to avoid ‘single supplement’ fees for solo trips
  • Think about travelling to destinations outside of peak holiday season for lower prices of flights and accommodation
  • Seek out free activities such as guided free walking tours to see everything your destination has to offer for less (a lot of cities will have calendars available online with free activities and events)
  • Don’t be afraid to stay in hostels as this will cost far less than hotels each night, and give you a great opportunity to meet people and make friends

1.    Make sure you are booking at the best time: Travelling outside of peak travel times such as school holidays can be far more cost-effective (and booking last minute can be even cheaper!)

2.    Don’t forget to turn off the TV before you leave: With the rising energy prices in the last year, it is more important than ever to try and avoid being charged for leaving electrical items and appliances on while you are away.

3.    Don’t get caught out if you get ill: Our best advice would be to apply for a GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card) before you travel. This card was previously known as an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card). It can help you receive medical treatment at a lower cost if you are unwell while on holiday.

4.    Check your mobile plan: Some phone providers will have a roaming allowance allowing you to use your mobile data and texts/calls as normal – but not all will. It is best to check if you might be charged for using your phone while you’re away and stick to Wi-fi if this is the case.

5.    Don’t overpack and get charged: If you are planning on buying souvenirs while you’re away, try not to reach the weight limit for your luggage on the way out. You risk being charged by the airline if your bag is heavier when you are flying back.

6.    Sharing suitcases might not be the best idea: Though sharing a case might seem cost-effective compared to paying for two or more, what happens if the case gets lost? You might then be stuck having to pay for replacement essentials and clothes for the whole group. Luckily, certain Travel Insurance companies will offer benefits such as Smart Luggage, which will pay out £550 if your luggage gets lost.

7.    Be cautious when applying for permits and visas: Make sure to use official websites for important documents such as visas where you can. You don’t want to waste money getting to your destination to find your visa isn’t valid. Check the Gov.uk website for the official websites you can use.

8.    Double check the country’s entry requirements: Many countries have removed or reduced covid restrictions but some countries will still have stricter rules for entry. Check carefully before you leave to be certain you won’t face issues when you arrive.

9.    Check your passport is still valid: The UK’s exit from the EU has meant some changes to passport and travel rules. Learn more in our passport blog – your passport may need renewing before your next holiday.

10. Make sure you are covered in case anything goes wrong: Travel Insurance is a small expense that can save you a lot of money if anything unexpected happens. You can buy your cover up to 18 months before you travel, if you have a big trip planned.

Our main advice would be to make sure you have travel insurance in place before your holiday. The last thing you want is to be left with big expenses for replacing lost luggage for example.

Travel insurance can cover you in several different circumstances including cancelled flights, lost passports or luggage and more.

Our trusted travel insurance partners can compare the best prices across all the main travel insurance providers, so you never pay too much for the cover you need. Unlike many other companies, they also offer:

  • Travel insurance for people with MEDICAL CONDITIONS
  • NO AGE LIMIT on their travel insurance cover
  • SMART LUGGAGE benefit that pays you £550 if your luggage is lost or delayed for 48 hours or more (and you can keep the money even if it is found!)


ABTA – Travelling to Europe following Brexit

Office for National Statistics – Leisure and tourism

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What does Martin Lewis say about travel insurance?

Martin Lewis provides lots of guidance for holidaymakers who are searching for the best deals on their travel insurance. One of the biggest recommendations from Martin Lewis travel insurance advice is ‘ASAB’ (As Soon As you Book), which basically translates to suggesting that you should buy your travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your holiday.

In an interview on This Morning talking to Martin Lewis about travel insurance, he claims that he is constantly being asked by consumers, “what can I do if I’ve been diagnosed with a medical problem and I can’t go on holiday because my travel company won’t give me a refund?”. According to Martin Lewis travel insurance recommendations, 50% of the value of your travel insurance cover is before you are due to travel.

Top reasons for holiday cancellations before travelling:

  • Sickness or illness
  • Accidents causing an injury
  • Emergency at home
  • Family emergency
  • Work commitments
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Martin Lewis Travel Insurance - iam|INSURED

Is it worth taking out travel insurance?

Almost all financial experts such as Martin Lewis and citizensadvice.org.uk, strongly recommend that you take out a travel insurance policy and that you do it quickly. The financial and emotional impact of not having travel insurance while overseas can be catastrophic if you require medical treatment or if you are victim of a crime.

The cost of travel insurance is generally affordable for most holidaymakers and you should factor this in to the cost of your holiday. Risking not having travel insurance and then having a medical emergency when you are overseas, especially in certain destinations, can cost you thousands.

What does travel insurance cover?

Most travel insurance policies will provide the same core elements such as medical emergencies, repatriation, legal expenses, loss, theft or damage to personal belongings, and cancellation or curtailment of your trip. The types and levels of cover can vary dramatically from one policy to another so you should make sure that you’re getting the cover that you want and that you need.

Also, some travel insurance policies won’t cover you for certain destinations, activities or types of holidays, such as:

  • Cruise holidays
  • Winter sports
  • Worldwide travel
  • Pre-existing medical conditions

Note: Travel insurance will generally exclude any accident or injury that has happened whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

What is classed as a pre-existing medical condition for travel insurance?

According to one of the UK’s top travel insurance providers, Staysure clearly states that ‘you must declare ALL pre-existing medical conditions when your take out a travel insurance policy’. Witholding any information about your health or medical history could expose you to the risks of rendering your cover invalid and therefore class any claims as ‘null and void’.

Any of the following pre-existing conditions must always be disclosed on your travel insurance application:

  • Cardiovascular conditions (e.g. blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease etc.)
  • Cancer(s)
  • Any Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)

You should also let your travel insurance provider know about any of the following medical investigations, tests or treatments in the past two years:

  • Symptoms (whether or not you have consulted a doctor)
  • Medication or treatments
  • Scans or investigations
  • Medical appointments and check-ups
  • Surgery
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Martin Lewis pre-existing medical conditions - iam|INSURED

How much should I spend on travel insurance?

According to a recent travel insurance survey carried out by Forbes Advisor’s Analysis (Average cost of travel insurance 2023), the average cost of travel insurance is between 5% and 6% of the cost of your trip.

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