Travel on a budget

Cost of Travel

Last updated June 13, 2023 by Your Tax Assistant


The cost of travel, like everything, has gone through the roof! So, if you want to travel on a budget and are looking for a bargain, keep reading; you will find some ideas here. And to top it, if you are on a tight budget and want to keep your cost of travel down and be eco-friendly, even better. I will show you all this and some options for travelling independently from the big providers.

New realities

I like good holidays and feel entitled to them after a year at my desk. Summer is my favourite; sadly, however, I am still determining if I can afford them this year. As fewer and fewer of us can, in this economic turmoil, I decided to dive deeper into the subject and explore if there are still any bargains out there.

It’s easier to plan once we establish our travel budget.

So, let’s do just that.

An average week away in Balearics or the Mediterranean will cost a family of four anything between £2,5000 and £4,000, and that is not even including food, car hire or entries to the attractions.

Such are the prices for flight and hotel accommodation and amenities, and the amenities offered regrettably often call for improvement.

On the contrary, Airbnbs maintain quality and are cheaper but may offer poorer infrastructure if located off the beaten track than well-situated hotels.

In much-desirable destinations further away in exotic Thailand or Cuba, hotels, restaurants, and shops charge a fraction, and the cost of travel appears lower; however, the prices of flights outweigh the overall budget for many.
As it looks, one must inevitably juggle between the choices. And there are a few new ones.

The environmentally friendly search- criteria are gaining in popularity. Restaurants and hotels are getting more likes, stars and better recommendations if they offer their customers eco choices; then, matched with the price, they book up quicker than those that don’t.

It’s no longer about ticking off the locations on the map; a hectic traveller is a thing of the past and instead emerged a conscious traveller who cares about the environment and influences others to modify their behaviours.
It is precisely the change I notice each time I book my holidays. The popularity of a resort, holiday, activity or hotel depends more and more often on how environmentally friendly they are and the ecological opportunities they create for their visitors.

The reviews and recommendations on travel comparison websites are paying back!
The owners and managers of industry establishments adjust how they run them to minimise environmental impact. It includes vegetarian food menus, support to local producers, less waste in food preparation, recycling, opting for minimum or reusable packaging, swimming pools, amenities etc.

The travel industry is different than it was a few years ago.

Those small changes are boosting the prices slightly as someone has to be paid for this extra work, but here you go. At least we know that those add-ons are helpful and benefit us all.

How can we travel without costing the earth?

We would rather question other add-ons on the holiday bill that not everyone is aware of – those remain unchanged year on year and appear on the invoice as the local and air taxes.

So what are those taxes, and do we have to pay them?
  • Local tax responds to the overgrowing tourism compensating locals for the costs of intrusion into their land, the hiked-up prices and the burdens of investments necessary to alleviate the environmental damage. It is usually collected indirectly through holiday providers or on arrival at the hotel or destination. It also carries the travel time factor; therefore, charges go up during peak season.
  • Travel or airport tax duties are included in the price of a flight ticket. Similarly to the above, they cover the environmental and airport construction costs, maintenance and administration expenses, government taxes and fuel flying expenses.

The rates of travel and airport tax duties depend on the class of travel and the destination. The UK levies the highest airport taxes globally, followed by Australia, Russia, Dominic Republic, Germany, and Norway, making those countries the most expensive holiday destinations.

And whilst airlines constantly call to review or even want to scrap taxes, arguing that this would push for an economic boost, we see only some temporary reductions.

However, there is still value out there if we look carefully: countries like Slovakia, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Poland, with no or very low airport(departure) charges/ taxes. An overall ticket price is thus much lower, food and cost of living not draining our pocket, plenty of attractions and of course favourable currency exchange. All these and other reasons make those countries excellent holiday destinations on a budget.

Similarly Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Panama, UAE, Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Anguilla, Hong Cong, Singapore, Florida, Romania, Poland, Hungary, and Malta.


Mediterranean package holidays remain the most popular on the holiday hit list, as about 67 million Brits still favour sedentary relaxation by the sunny pool or sea site in Turkey, Portugal or Spain. The above figures are still unlikely to change but as mentioned above package holidays are now under refurb.. It may still take a few years to adjust, for some maybe longer, as it is not “economical” and sometimes not “business-like” to go green, and it’s all about profits, isn’t it?

A changed conscience is there; that’s the most important, and with the discussions on the COP level, we now feel even more compelled to reassess our needs to fly or use our petrol or diesel for short trips, to a lesser extent than ever before.

What to look out for and where to go on a budget

The slow travel movement trend is emerging. It prompts us to switch to cycling, re-discover our environment and its proximities, and enjoy while getting the same or even more for our money.

The true cost of tourism

Along the typical holiday, there is a steady increase in bookings of an organised walk, hike, climb, tour, or a race across vast areas of exceptional beauty and challenging environments. Though this activity has been around for a long time, it is now emerging in a new dimension.

Not only does it attract with the perks of physical activities and unforgettable experiences. Those trips often represent cultural and historical heritage from many centuries ago, which can be a great learning curve.

One of such trips is the famous CAMINO DE SANTIAGO ROUTES, starting from different locations and divided into stages that each pilgrim can join as per their liking.

Other less known routes are TRACKS IN BIALOSTOCKI REGION (POLAND), TELL TRAIL (from Altdorf to the Brienzer Rothorn) or e-bike trips IN HEIDILAND (SWITZERLAND). Hikes in Finland or Mountain Biking Routes in the UK are also very popular.

Check the destinations below.

Blue Cave Small-Group Boat Tour from Dubrovnik

Krakow Tours

On the routes like this, we are less dependent on transport and thus pollute the air. Cost of travel os none or very low. We are also more in control of our budget, no matter how modest. With a meal price averaging from (equivalent to) £4 to £15, accommodation starting from as cheap as £25(per night) in the off the beaten track areas and a local bus ride price still under £1.00 in some areas, we can get genuinely regal on our hols.

This type of holiday adventure is undoubtedly always the most ethical and economical way to travel despite a limited number of organisers, as it still gives us the most scope.

Regardless of the type of holiday your chose, find facts and information about the place you will visit and plan your route well ahead. Even the most popular destinations, have free activities and it’s always worth checking those first. Blog like ‘Third eye traveller’ and a search engine can help.  

So where are you going this year? Leave a commend below.

Are you aware of the damage you can cause when going on holidays? Take a quiz

Please note that YourTaxAssistant does not endorse any holiday providers.

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