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A bird watching holiday can be a trip of a lifetime but it can also be very expensive. However, with some careful planning it’s possible to get the best deals and save money.

Man With Binoculars

Before you book your bird watching holiday take some time to compare prices on flights and accommodation, rental cars and other essentials such as insurance. Some birding tour companies may include travel arrangements in the price of the holiday so check to see if it is cheaper to organize them yourself.

Check currency exchange rates and deals from different providers. Visiting somewhere with a relatively weaker local currency will keep the overall cost of the tour down.

Many tour companies charge extra for single room occupancy so if you are travelling alone and don’t mind, contact the company beforehand to let them know you are willing to share a room with another traveller.

Make sure your travel plans coincide with the best local birding seasons and you can take advantage of being able to see resident as well as migrant birds. Although it may be cheaper to travel out of season it can be a false economy and you don’t want to travel far and be disappointed by a lack of birds.

Take some time beforehand to familiarize yourself with the sort of birds you could see to save time once you are on location and to minimize the chance of missing sightings. Study local field guides or use bird watching apps and many relevant books will be available in your local library.

Understand what is and isn’t included in the price of a bird watching holiday and ensure you have budgeted to cover what isn’t. These could include tickets for entry to national parks and reserves, fees for expert guides, meals and drinks and transportation. Decide on a daily budget and stick to it and avoid any unnecessary extra expenses.

Use TripAdvisor to check reviews from previous travellers and find out whether they thought the trip was value for money.

Although you don't want to compromise on your bird watching holiday, these money saving tips will help you get the most out of your budget so you can buy the best you can afford.

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