Exploration meets relaxation in a truly unique way on a cruise holiday, making it an ideal choice for those looking to see the world at a more leisurely pace. From epic Transatlantic itineraries to smaller voyages around the Mediterranean, traveling solo on a cruise liner is a perfect way to escape the humdrum of 9-5 working life with some quality ‘Me’ time.

When travelling on your own, regardless of where to or for how long, it is quite normal to be concerned about costs. Take a look at these five tips to help cut expenses on a cruise journey and make sure that you have absolutely no worries to ruin an otherwise blissful vacation.

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Images by Antony Stanley used under the Creative Commons License

Be spontaneous

Being flexible is the name of the game for anyone with a case of wanderlust. It also makes things that little bit more exciting! Cruise prices go up and down all the time and ‘last minute’ in this industry can be anywhere between two days and six weeks. This is the time where you can normally find rates at their lowest. True, you’ll probably only be able to bag the least popular rooms but this won’t matter once you’re bathing on the deck with a cocktail in hand.

Take advantage of packages

Most cruise liners offer all-inclusive packages for all guests, which usually cover free buffet food and soda throughout the day. Meals and drinks can really eat into vacation money so this is something definitely worth bearing in mind when budgeting before boarding. If you do feel the need to splurge out (you should do it at least once, you’re on vacation after all)! There are specialist restaurants and bars on board where you can treat yourself.

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Images by William Cho used under the Creative Commons License.

Plan your own excursions

Whether you want to stretch your legs with a walk around a European City or keep it chilled by bathing on a Caribbean shore, make the most out of your port-of-calls. Cruise companies plan excursions for guests but why pay the added charges when you can make your own personalised itinerary for the day? Do your research in advance and write down what you want to see at your destinations. The best part about being on your own is that you can do exactly what you want to do without having to consider a fellow traveler’s wants and needs.

Turn off your cell phone

Avoid data roaming charges and onboard Wi-Fi charges by turning off that cell phone. Sure, you might want to share poolside photos with friends and family at home but is it really worth the extra expense? By switching off and staying offline, it also means that you are getting the full benefits of taking time out. Emails, social media, online bank statements — they can all wait until you get home.

Learn a new skill

A lot of ships offer life enrichment classes for a fee. Avoid these costs and utilise your free time by self-learning with DVDs or books. You could learn a new language, tackle the basics of yoga or read all the novels that you’ve always wanted to read. It’s a great opportunity to do something for yourself in a most inspiring environment.

From booking tickets to researching ports to switching off your cell, there are all sorts of things you can do to ensure a low-cost but high-quality solo cruise vacation.