Let me start this out by saying I am not overly a budget traveller. I’m not sure what the numbers are that you have to spend to be considered that, but I definitely wouldn’t call myself one. Of course I like to save money, and on this trip especially I’d like my money to last because thats basically how long I’ll be able to travel for, but I also like staying nice places, taking advantage of all the things that are available in a place to do, eating good food and just enjoying myself without worrying about exactly how much I’ve spent per day.
With that all being said I do think that there are some easy ways to save some money or make the dollars go a little bit farther.
- Make friends while you’re traveling!
I think that this might be one of my biggest tips. Not only does it make your travelling so much more enjoyable, it also saves money. If you end up traveling with the people that you meet you can save by being able to split accommodation or transport. Another way this is great is that you end up meeting people all over the world and can then meet up again if you travel to where they’re from. I love having people I meet come to visit and then play tour guide for them. This gives them a local perspective on the places that they’re going and can maybe help them see things they might not have otherwise. And usually people are willing to return the favour, or let you crash at their place if you go to see them.
2. Eat where the locals are eating.
Everyone knows that the places that are filled with tourists or near big tourist areas are going to be more expensive. It’s easy to go there, the employees will usually speak good english, they might have more dishes that you’re used to eating, but if you see a place that’s full of local people I will bet you it’ll be not only cheaper, but more authentic food. Think about it this way, you know the places in town that specialize in the kinds of things you like and usually have a pretty good deal on them right? It’s the same when you’re traveling. Plus who knows, you might end up making some new friends!
3. Book tickets and attractions online
This is a fairly new suggestion for me. I’ve just started noticing that while looking up things to do in cities a lot of times if you pre-buy your entrance ticket while online you’ll get a discount. Or they’ll offer passes of maybe 3 attractions that if you buy all of the tickets together you’ll get a reduced rate. Obviously this is helpful in more ways than one, you get to skip the line when you get there and bypass all the silly people who didn’t think to check online and you get a cheaper rate. Winning.
4. Make sure you’re using a no fee credit card
This is another one that I just started following. Before my trip to Australia I was reading a lot about overseas credit cards and had noticed that mine, on top of the exchange rate, charged a small fee for every transaction. Unless you’ve actually selected one that doesn’t yours probably does too, their aren’t a ton out there that don’t. Once I started doing some research I decided on the Capital One Aspire Card, this not only has no foreign transaction fees but also offers points on everything you purchase that can be redeem for any travel purchases charged to the card. I know that some people are against credit cards, but I personally think that if I’m going to be spending the money anyways I might as well get some small reward from it, plus I generally feel safer having my credit card rather than a huge heap of cash with me.
5. Walk places (or use local transportation)
Obviously it’s not feasible to walk everywhere you want to go in a place your visiting, but if you plan your accommodation well you should at least be able to hit up some of the things you want to see and find places to eat around you. Walking also has the added benefit of being able to get to know the area around you, as opposed to seeing it whiz by from a car window. Plus you’ll totally burn off a few of those extra drink and food calories, if that matters to you. Another easy one is to take local transportation, buses or trains, if the place your in offers anything like that. Cabs are of course the most expensive but luckily in places like South East Asia or Indonesia (where I am right now) they are quite cheap. One thing I will add to this is to make sure before you go wandering around, especially solo, is to make sure that you are staying in a safe area and not to put yourself in any danger.
6. Spend longer in one area
A lot of people refer to this as slow travelling, I guess it depends how long you’re actually staying in that place, but this is an awesome way to save some money. Let alone the obvious travel costs you’ll be saving a lot of accommodation offers discounts for weekly or longer stays. If you are doing something like this websites like airbnb.com are great too, as you can actually get an apartment or house. Which brings me to another money saving idea, get an apartment or a hotel with a kitchenette and you’ll be able to save some money on food. Personally I don’t feel the need to go out for every meal and sometimes I do get sick of going out to eat. Being able to buy groceries and make breakfast or a quick snack can you save you both money and time during the day. Of course by staying longer in one area you’ll also be able to scope out places to buy groceries or cheaper restaurants.
7. Book hotels with breakfast included
Similarly if you make sure that each hotel you book has a continental breakfast or some sort of breakfast included you’ll be saving money on one meal a day! I’ve found that most hotels do this, just make sure when you’re booking if there is the option of breakfast included or not, that the one with breakfast included isn’t a ridiculously more expensive options. When I booked my last hotel for five nights I found that some hotels were adding almost $200 to the price of the stay for breakfast included…that would’ve had to have been a damn good breakfast to make that worth it.
8. Think about where you’re deciding to go traveling
This one is huge. There are tons of lists out there about the cheapest and most expensive places to go traveling. Where you go will pretty much set the bar for how much money you’re going to spend. Obviously some places the exchange rate is worse, there are higher costs of living and transportation, and you’ll end up spending way more money. Basically going somewhere like the UK vs. Thailand is going to make a huge difference in the amount you’re going to spend on comparable things. I’ve stayed at a 5 star resort in Thailand for $45 a night, try finding something similar to that in Australia…it won’t happen. Of course one place isn’t better than the other, but if you consider you’re budget before you pick where you’re going you can stretch your money a lot further than doing it the other way around.
Again, like I said at the beginning this isn’t a spend nothing a day type of post, and I’m not going suggest for you to book a bed in a 24 person hostel, just because that’s really not my travelling style. If it’s yours more power to ya, you’ll probably be able to travel a lot longer on a smaller amount of money than I will be, but I’m still happy in my air conditioned room with a nice pool to lounge around in the afternoon.
What are some of your money saving travel tips? Got any secret gems for me, comment below and Happy Traveling!