Simon Calder explains how to save money when travelling
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On the BBC’s Travel Show, Simon shared his best travel tips for 2023. He said: “When so many of us are feeling the squeeze financially, it’s no wonder that some travellers are considering cutting back on adventures.
“When money is tight, seeing your ideal destination on TV or social media can stir up a load of negative feelings and leave you believing that your dream holiday is just that – a dream.”
For many British tourists, the USA is top of the wishlist but high ticket prices can make it hard to visit.
Simon said: “The USA is full of wishlist locations. Hollywood, Miami Beach, New York City and natural wonders like Yellowstone.
“People save for years to see amazing places like Yellowstone but with the cost of living soaring, are such trips becoming out of reach?
“As always, if you can travel at times of low demand, you’ll get the best deal. Keep costs down by taking cabin baggage only.
“Most transatlantic airlines now charge extra for anything you want to check into the hold.
“But at the same time, offer generous hand luggage allowance and there’s less chance that your baggage will go astray.”
Tourists should always check the hand luggage allowance as they may need to pay to put a bag in the overhead locker.
Simon added: “In April, UK air passenger duty for flights to North America increases to £87 or in anything other than basic economy – £191.
“You can avoid the tax by taking a ship to Dublin or a train to Paris and booking a flight from there.
“But allow plenty of time to make the connection. If you miss the onward flight, you’re not getting a refund.”
British tourists might be able to save by travelling to Dublin or Paris before they escape across the Atlantic.
The travel expert also shared his advice for trips to the Middle East, an exciting and up and coming travel region.
Simon said: “The first ever and sometimes controversial World Cup to be held in the Middle East came to its thrilling conclusion as Argentina lifted the trophy in Qatar.
“Every global sporting event creates a kind of travel vacuum after the games are over. But the alluring setting, the culture, the nature, not to mention the sunshine and beaches remains.
“If the Middle East is on your list of places to go this year. Now could be a very good time to be there.
“Since the World Cup, Qatar has hotel rooms to fill so it’s become the region’s bargain basement.
“In February, a room in a good budget hotel in central Doha, five minutes walk from the National Museum, 10 minutes from the souk, is selling for $60 (£48.70) a night. That’s roughly half what you’d pay for the equivalent property in Dubai.”
Qatar is just a short flight from Dubai so tourists could combine the two for a longer trip in the Middle East.
For any safari fans, Simon said he’d found the best value trips in Uganda and recommended it as a cheaper destination.
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