Lonely Planet Writer

Discover how this thrifty traveller took ten trips abroad for under £2000

Everyone loves a good bargain. Whether it’s managing to nab a special offer at a hotel, or taking advantage of limited deals from travel companies, most of the time, taking a trip that won’t break the bank takes a lot of research and ingenuity. But fear not, here with helpful advice is Chelsea Dickenson, a 28-year old travel blogger from London who managed to take ten trips abroad for a grand total of £1709 (US$2390).

According to Chelsea, nabbing the very best deals is all about the research.
According to Chelsea, nabbing the very best deals is all about the research. Image by Chelsea Dickenson

Throughout her entire trip, Chelsea managed to see three continents, and one occasion, even flew business class and managed to stay in a $1.7 million New York apartment. Vlogging throughout the entire process on her YouTube channel, her top tips for ensuring a successful budget trip abroad include being flexible with dates and locations, and using search facilities such as Skyscanner and Kayak to discover the best possible deals on times to fly, with both companies offering an advanced search facility that shows which destinations are the cheapest for any given time frame.

Chelsea also advises prospective travellers to always check comparison sites such as Trivago when booking hotels, paying close attention to the “More Deals” option, as well as exploring options for homestays through companies like Ownersdirect and HomeToGo. Checking online for voucher codes for hotel booking websites can also pay off too, while sites such as Nomador allow guests to stay in people’s homes for free in exchange for pet sitting.

Chelsea in Benidorm, Spain.
Chelsea in Benidorm, Spain. Image by Chelsea Dickenson

With a target of taking ten holidays under a strict budget, Chelsea’s epic journey saw her spending three nights in Valencia, Spain, four nights in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, two nights in Aarhus, Denmark, two nights in Dublin, Ireland, three nights in Benidorm, Spain, two nights in Margate, UK, fourteen nights in Paris, France (she got free accommodation for cat sitting), two nights in Gdansk, Poland, two nights in Timisoara, Romania and eight nights in New York and Miami in the US, all for a grand total of £1704.45.

“My favourite thing about travelling on a budget is the fact that it means you’re more likely to spend your days away living like a local. A local doesn’t queue for hours waiting to go up the Empire State building, or spend hundreds of pounds visiting a tourist attraction. Yes, that’s what many destinations are famous for, but I’d much rather find out where the good coffee is and the bar that serves the best cocktails,” Chelsea told Lonely Planet Travel news. “When in New York, we started the day with brunch and then asked our waitress to recommend our next stop. We continued in that vein the entire day and it was so great – we got to chat to loads of locals, find out their top spots and even ended up going for dinner with some new friends. We filmed it all and it kick-started a series called Ask a Local for my YouTube channel, which I’m planning to film more for this year”.

More on Chelsea’s travels, including the vlogs of her ten trips away and a full list of money-saving tips is available at her official blog.