An Exercise in Budget Travel


Budget Travel – an exercise on how we reduce our travel costs

Budget Travel – we all want more bang for our travel buck, don’t we? If you are considering how to reduce your travel costs time spent on planning your itinerary is worth it.   You will need to explore  all available options and compare the costs between travelling by bus, train or plane.  You need to take into consideration whether you are time poor or you can travel more at a leisurely pace.

We were due in Madrid, Spain on the 10th June 2016 to catch up with good friends of ours to start a road trip to Toledo, Cordoba, Seville and Granada. We had already visited Madrid so our plan was to reach Madrid 3 days after they arrived.

Here are the options that were available at the time of booking (27th January 2016).

1.  The Most Expensive Option

Renfe Ave Train - budget travel exercise

Renfe Ave Train












Using the website for a journey from Barcelona to Madrid the details are as follows:

Option One:

Depart: 8.00 am

Arrive: 11.10am

Duration: 3 hours 10 minutes

Cost: Euros 89.60 per person**

Option Two:

Depart: 14.00pm

Arrive: 17.10pm

Duration 3 hours 10 minutes

Cost: Euros 57.60 per person**

** Train fares are only bookable 3 months ahead, in this instance I used the date 25th March to ascertain times and fares

2.  The Middle of the Road Option

Vueling Airlines - in our budget travel exercise

Vueling Airlines











Using Google Flights – the details are as follows:

Depart: 08.50am

Arrive: 10.10am

Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes

Fare: Euros 29.99 plus a management fee of Euros 5.00 = Euros 34.99

Further option an Optima Fare which includes one bag up to 23kg and  seat selection for an extra Euros 10.00 per person with another small fee gives a total of Euros 46.34

3.  The Cheapest Option for our budget travel exercise

Using the Alsa Bus Services of Spain – this turned out to be the cheapest option and an important tip is if you book 120 days in advance there is a 50% discount.  We enjoy bus travel and we have already travelled with Alsa from Madrid to Barcelona back in 2013.  They provided good service, wifi and comfort for the 7 hour journey.

Depart: 09.30am from Barcelona Nord

Arrive: 16.50pm at Madrid Avenida de America

Duration: 7 hours 20 minutes

Fare: Euros 14.60 per person including processing fee

Savings: By booking 120 days in advance 50% – the normal fare would have been Euros 32.41 including processing fee.

Fare conditions: can change and cancel the fare

Are you planning your next trip and find that you have no time to research all your options or that there is so much information out there on the web that is confusing why not try out our Travel Planning from To Travel Too Travel Planning Services.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.