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Discount travel – do you need the frills?

Everyone wants to see the world, but few people have got the money to go everywhere they’d like to. What’s the solution? Do it on the cheap! Discount travel is an industry that is rapidly growing: it seems like every few years some entrepreneur comes up with another new way to get to nice places and stay there without hurting your bank balance. The most important advance in discount travel has probably been the widespread availability of cheap flights, from companies like America’s Southwest Airlines and Europe’s Easyjet and Ryanair. They use a so-called ‘yield management’ system that allows prices to vary wildly depending on when you book your flight – meaning that if you book far in advance, you can fly for pennies. Booking online makes it possible to look through all the dates available for months in advance and choose the one that will be cheapest for you. Third-party price comparison websites allow you to then compare the fares from different airlines that fly on the route you’re looking for, meaning that you can fly with the cheapest airline on the cheapest day with very little effort.

Once you’re there, you can stay in some kind of no-frills accommodation, like a youth hostel or a cheap hotel. Companies are starting to realise that many people want nothing more than a bed when they travel, and budget hotels are exploding in popularity all around the world, making it cheaper to stay abroad today than it has ever been before in history. If you’d like to travel for longer than just a one or two week holiday, there are plenty of ways to do that at a very steep discount – in fact, if you work part-time when you’re abroad, you might be able to travel around and come out having made a profit. More and more students especially are opting for programs where agencies arrange jobs for them in lots of countries over the course of a few years, allowing them to see the world and work at the same time.


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