The fact that the constant barrage of credit crunch related news is so grim at home only makes me more desperate to escape to a place where at least if the news isn’t any less grim I can’t understand what they’re saying. And some sun would be nice too. That always cheers me up. As well as shopping around for credit crunch travel discounts there are some other ways come up with cheap holiday ideas, without cheap holiday meaning a fortnight sitting in a house you can’t really afford the mortgage for. These are the World Reviewer Top Tips for Cheap Credit Crunch Travel.

Like the scouts and dentists will tell you – be prepared

No point going to Egypt and skipping the pyramids because they’re a bit pricey, if you look around in advance many destinations can offer you a combo deal, tickets to the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower with a boat ride down the Seine thrown in for example. There’s also no point going to a place where the shopping is bound to tempt with your suitcase at full weight on the way out. Leave a bit of breathing room in your luggage to avoid a scene at the airport where you have to start jettisoning your smalls to fit that coat that was too cheap not to buy.

We all know mobile phone charges on holidays are hideous and the credit crunch isn’t going to improve that, but if you get your phone unlocked before you leave you can get a local SIM card and at least make cheap local calls if you need to.

Know what you’re got coming to you

European travellers are entitled to a free European Health Insurance Card which means if something untoward befalls you medically you can save yourself a lot of extra cash and worry! British travellers should also check out if they’re entitled to get their travel jabs free on the NHS from their GP – a lot of people will find they are.

If you’re still a student in any way shape or form make sure you pick up an internationally recognised student card – like one from STA travel – waving your school library card at the charming people in the ticket office of Beijing’s Forbidden City won’t do you any favours.

Stick to your budget

You can be thrifty even after you hit the ground. Simple things like eating out where the locals do rather than in the often over priced and less authentic tourist areas, and carrying a drink in your bag can help you stick to a daily budget.

Mind the false economy

Being flexible about your travel arrangements will always save you money but if the cheapest flight available means you’re going to get into the airport at 3am and have to catch a cab to the hotel – which will promptly charge you for a whole additional night – then you may want to reconsider.

Self catering options may be worth considering – some people can eat their money’s worth at the breakfast buffet, but it might be worth looking for accommodation with at least a fridge, kettle and a toaster in case of emergencies? Car rental is another travel expenditure that should be considered carefully at the moment. It can be a cheap way to get around but remember that petrol prices are sky high in many places at the moment. If you do rent a car returning it with a full tank can help avoid any pesky additional charges.

It’s a precarious economy that has people withdrawing all the cash for their trip at the commission free money exchange post office – if you lose it you lose it all – but it’s still worth changing some currency before you go and looking for a cheaper exchange rate than you’ll get from your hotel.

Don’t scrimp on insurance. If you’re that lucky you must be one of the people who has benefited from the credit crunch – but how many of those people do you know? Coming home from holiday is bad enough without coming home in an air ambulance you’re going to spend the next thousand years paying off, or scoring all those wonderful shopping bargains on vacation and then losing your bag on the way home and not even having a decent pair of underwear to call your own.

Don’t leave it to the last minute

Leaving it until the last minute only really works if you can be flexible. If you’re hoping you’ll be able to arrange cheap parking at the airport on the day you probably also think credit crunch is a cereal. These little details all add up in the end.