Many years ago now, we dusted off the old sea legs and set sail upon the open seas. That’s right, we spent almost a week cruising around the South Pacific aboard a luxury liner. Cruises are a fantastic option for travellers on a budget, and ones who enjoy a range of options and entertainment, right at their doorstep. They offer everything from breathtaking destinations, to on-board shows and entertainment and even buffet breakfasts on the deck. Cruises are the height of luxury travel, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t sample the high life if you need to be conservative in your spending. So in this post, we are going to give you some tips and tricks for booking a cruise holiday with a budget in mind.

    Research Your Accommodation Options

    Now if you’re anything like us, when booking a cruise you will probably expect a Titanic-esque three bedroom cabin with separate ballroom – all at a ‘reasonable’ price, right? Sadly, no, but truth be told, there are still many affordable options for budget-conscious travellers. Generally, lower price cabins only sacrifice external windows and may not include your own ensuite bathroom and the like. This is where it can be useful to compare cruise accommodation to staying in a backpacker hostel – if you don’t mind the shared bathrooms and small living space you should be fine and this will save you a decent amount. If you can afford to splurge for a cabin with a porthole or window, do so, as it is a far better experience.

    Daily Activities

    With so many activities, services and entertainment aboard cruise ships, it can be easy to get carried away and accidentally overspend. Research is key – make sure you’re as clued up as possible about what things to do are within your budget, including what free amenities or activities the cruise includes. Depending on the cruise liner, you could get activities such as deck games (croquet, table tennis), pool and spa, movies and live shows included within your package.

    Pools with views, spas and plenty of activities are on offer for travellers

    Pools with views, spas and plenty of activities are on offer for travellers

    Dining and Drinks Packages

    Many cruises offer deals where food and drink packages are included at the booking stage. These can be advantageous to those on a budget as you won’t be incurring extra charges if you stick to what you’re offered in the package. Make sure you do your research, as it’s very important if you’re watching the pennies that you check exactly what the package entitles you to. The benefit is that you will know exactly what you will pay upfront and can enjoy the journey rather than worrying about whether that pastry is going to cost you (it will, but not necessarily financially!).

    Look for Deals Online

    Cruise Providers, like Planet Cruise, offer great packages at reasonable prices and sometimes at discounted rates. If you do thorough research and planning beforehand, you may find that flight packages and transfers can be included in the total cruise price, saving you heaps.

    Nothing but you and the deep blue sea...

    Nothing but you and the deep blue sea…

    Laundry Charges

    Cut down on the extravagant extras that you don’t necessarily need. The laundry services offered on board can be costly. Pack lots of clothing options for each day, or if you have limited luggage space, bring light, quick-drying clothes and some soap to do your own washing. This will make your holiday wardrobe last longer and mean you bring less luggage. Remember this rule of thumb: you don’t have to wash your clothes until someone notices the smell!

    Last, but not Least: Internet Use

    Internet access is another extra that cruises usually charge for. Make sure you’re clued up about on board WIFI to make sure you have access when you need it. Mobile phone providers do offer certain deals for roaming services – but check with your provider if it’s worthwhile before you travel.

    Better yet, look at the cruise as a chance for a digital detox. I mean sure, you will probably lose a couple of Facebook friends or two, maybe even have a hashtag asking #whereareyou but log off your accounts, switch off the mobile and enjoy travel as many have done for hundreds of years before you.

    Have you been on a cruise? Did you enjoy your experience? Tell us about it below!

    Title image by Danzil Raines via Flickr | CC BY 2.0. All other images by Travel-Ling

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    Adrenaline junky, travel addict and avid coffee drinker. Guy's dream is to manage a team of monkeys who will eventually replace him.

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