Many a traveller has boasted about budget trips where they had to sleep outside or on a dirty floor in a hut while staying with an indigenous tribe or the like.
The thriftier among those might’ve even cracked a way for a bit more luxurious living.
Most have one objective; to see as much as they can for as cheap as possible.
Chelsea Dickenson, however, set even harder goals for her intermittent trips abroad.
Travelling almost every single month of the year, bar three, she set a target of going to ten different places, over at least three different continents, snagging at least one business class flight.
And just to add a new level to the challenge, each trip had to be two nights or more and at least two trips had to be five nights long.
The overall cost of her trips? Only £1,709 – a bargain compared to the £3,418 an average Brit spends on their holiday for the year.
She’s now planning to do the North Coast 500, a 500-mile epic road trip around Scotland’s hidden landscapes.
Chelsea, 28, tells Metro.co.uk about the trip which promises tumbling rivers, remote glens, dark lochs, and snowy sugarloaf mountains, and gives us a few tips on how to be more travel-savvy.
‘I saw a video about the North Coast 500 from Rough Guides last year and became hooked on the idea,’ Chelsea tells us. ‘It looks so amazing.
‘If you’re not too sure where to go, Skyscanner and Kayak also allow you to see what locations are the cheapest for your timeframe. You can do this by typing in “everywhere” for the destination on Skyscanner, or by clicking the ‘explore’ function on Kayak.’
She reckons it’s best to opt for an Airbnb instead of a hotel but if you do fancy a hotel, always check comparison websites.
‘Trviago is a great option for checking you’ve got the best price for your hotel,’ Chelsea advises. ‘My extra tip here is to always click on “more deals” and don’t just settle for the collection of prices they offer you.
‘My favourites for staying in someone’s home are Windmu, Ownersdirect, Holidaylettings, and Hometogo.’
You might even be able to get yourself a free upgrade at a hotel, she says, if you’re really keen and nice to the staff.
‘Tell the hotel that you’re really looking forward to staying and let them know how you discovered them. Then, ask a question which allows you to work in your reason for coming – i.e “could you recommend a nice restaurant in the area? We’re here for a special occasion and I’d really like to surprise my boyfriend/friend/relative”.’
Chelsea's tips for booking a bargain holiday
Sign up for cashback: i.e Quidco and TopCashback who give you money for booking hotels and flights, travel insurance, trains and car hire through their site
Check for codes before booking: Always check to see if there are any voucher codes floating around the internet i.e ‘hotels.com voucher codes’
Get yourself free accommodation: By house or pet sitting, use something like Nomador to find who’s looking for a sitter.
Hit the road: Campervans left miles away from where they belong can be relocated via Wicked Campers, Spaceship Rentals and Imoova where you could bag a vehicle from just £1 a day as long as you return it to its home
Sign up for error flight updates (when airlines accidentally offer cheap flights): Use websites such as Secret Flying, Jack’s Flight Club, and Holiday Pirates to find these deals
Chelsea’s travels have included a winter sun beach break to Valencia, a four night stay in Dubai, and even a business class flight to Benidorm.
Most recently, she nabbed a beautiful house in Paris for nothing by cat-sitting and enjoyed a quick trip to Gdansk in Poland for less than £50.
Chelsea's 10-stop trip:
- January 2017 – Three-night stay in Valencia, Spain – £169.72
- February 2017 – Four-night stay in Dubai, UAE – £463.83
- March 2017 – Two night-stay in Aarhus, Denmark – £43.33
- May 2017 – Two-night stay in Dublin, Ireland – £79
- June 2017 – Three-night stay in Benidorm, Spain – £288
- July 2017 – Two-night stay in Margate, UK – £38.30
- August 2017 – Fourteen-night stay in Paris, France – £50
- October 2017 – Two-night stay in Gdansk, Poland – £49
- December 2017 – Two-night stay in Timisoara, Romania – £55
- December 2017 – Eight-night stay in New York and Miami – £581
She’s just got home from her tenth and final trip which was a two night stay in New York where she stayed in a $1.7 million (£1.2m) apartment for just £22.50 a night, before jetting off to Miami for 6 nights of 25℃ heat.
Now that we have some of her cheat codes, we might also be taking a holiday very soon. Not all at once though, flight prices might just increase.