Travelling on a Budget

Think that to be an intrepid explorer, you need a Swiss bank account to match? Well, think again. The world's your oyster if you're prepared to give anything a go! What's more, travelling the globe on a shoestring can be far more fun than staying in anonymous, all-inclusive luxury hotel chains. Just use your wits, imagination and spirit of adventure and you'll go far!

  1. Fly courier Major air carriers are always on the look-out for people to accompany security-checked documents and parcels to popular destinations in return for a heavily discounted air fare. It's perfectly legal so don't worry! Visit UK Courier Flight Guide for more details.

  2. Go out of season By travelling off-peak, not only will you get cheaper flights and accommodation, you'll also see your destination in a whole new light - uncluttered and free of tourists. You're a 'traveller' remember - there's a difference!

  3. House swap A brilliant idea which is catching on fast. You stay in a delightful beach-side condo in Miami for 2 weeks while your 'swapees' take the keys to your des res. Not quite as juicy as Wife Swap but a brilliant way to go native!

  4. Go green Pamper Mother Earth for a change and go on an environmental holiday. In return for room and board (and a self-satisfied warm glow!), you can undertake such activities such dry stone-wall building, events planning and plant conservation in some of the most beautiful areas of Britain. Visit the National Trust website for more information.

  5. Hit the road, Jack It takes longer, it's cramped and you always get stuck next to the bloke with the loudest Walkman in the world. But, boy, taking the coach across Britain, Europe and even further afield sure is cheap! If you're a student, under 25 or a senior citizen, make the most of the discount cards on offer.

  6. Fly with low-cost airlines Sometimes, you can do this for as little as a penny! Subscribe to low-cost airline newsletters and watch the offers flood in. However, be prepared to book quickly and be flexible on the flight times - you will often need to be a dawn riser to take advantage.

  7. Bunk up Hostel may provide be five-star luxury, but the days of damp dorms and skanky showers are long gone. Many hostels are situated in enviable locations and what's more, they're also a great place to meet new people. Contact Hostelling International for membership details.

  8. Book early Book a year or more ahead with major tour operators and grab some bargain package holidays. Often a token deposit will secure your two weeks of fun in the sun, leaving you a whole year to save your pennies.

  9. Book late If you can up sticks and leave at a moment's notice, you can clean up on last-minute flights and accommodation. Airlines and hotels would rather give away seats and rooms than leave them empty.

  10. Say adiós to the rat race Brush down the backpack, charm the boss and take off for an extended break around the world. Many companies now offer sabbaticals for long-term employees. So if your free spirit is hankering to be set loose, there's never been a better time to take off. Trouble is, you may never want to come back...!

If you want a permanent reminder of your travels in your home, check out the following for inspiration...Caribbean Cool, Get The Greek Look, Provençal Panache, Indian Interiors and Moroccan Mystique.