20 Smart Ways To Save Money On Your Next Trip
You want to take a year off and travel the globe? Or you just want to take that once-in-a-lifetime epic adventure? You really don’t have to be rich in order to do so, you just need to be creative when it comes to budgeting.
Saving money on travel has never been easier. Learn how you can travel and save money at the same time, by using there 20 simple travel hacks.
20. Book Cheap Flight
When it comes to paying the least for the best possible route everything comes down to booking on time. Although some people believe that cheap flights are still a myth we can assure you that today that’s not the case. Have a strategical approach when it comes to this one – travel when other people aren’t traveling.
The best time to travel in order to save the most in your wallet is, simply said – when kids are in school. If you are a parent this one might be challenging for you, but if you are flying solo this is the best time for you to travel. In addition, you always know about school dates, so booking in advance even for a couple of months will save you money.
19. Go Rogue
Don’t let the industry trick you. Being a part of modern society means that your digital trail is everywhere. Booking online is no exception. Therefore, making yourself invisible while you are checking for the best flight price, is ‘a must’. Get rid of cookies and your history. That means changing servers when you’re looking for the best flight deal.
For this task, the best option is to invest a few bucks to get great VPN to hide your IP address and trick those search engines in giving you the best deal possible. Getting a ticket for less than $100 sounds like a sweet deal, right?
18. Be Careful When You Book
Thanks to so many travelers nowadays we know for sure that when you book your ticket actually matters. Statistically, if you book your flight on Saturday and Sunday you can save up to 19%.
The common belief is that corporate travel agents are weekend-free and their peak is during the week. Basically, they know that you are not a business traveler. Therefore, they will let you pass by and you should use it.
17. Be Flexible
This one is possible when you are not on the tight schedule, and when possible you should use it. Being flexible means that you can be flexible both with the time of the day you fly, length of the flight and also a number of stops. Also, this means cheaper flights. Search for a while around the most desired dates, and you will see the difference.
For these searches the best booking engines are Skyscanner – provides insights for the cheapest month, Kayak – meta site for over 500,000 routes, and Vayama – specializes in cheap international flights.
16. Save on hotels
Use any card or coupon that you have ever saved. Make sure that you follow hotels on social media and subscribe on their e-mail list. In that way, you will have a weekly opportunity for countless discounts. In addition, don’t be too picky.
You will extra savings if you book a room with a microwave, kitchen area or refrigerator. Or find a well-established hostel. They also offer weekly discounts, and hostels larger rooms are usually extremely affordable.
15. Pack Smart
When it comes to packing the golden rule is – less is more. Don’t overpack and make sure that you keep your essential things separately in a handbag, and baggy clothes in your suitcase. This way, in case your suitcase gets lost for a few days you will have essential next to you and you won’t spend extra money.
Having a packing-list can make you be more packing efficient. Also, make sure that your tech gear is well covered because you don’t want additional expenses if your camera breaks. And you want to capture every wow moment.
15. Save On Car Rental
Avoid car rental as much as possible. After all, this is an era of sharing economy so make sure that you find car sharing site and book your seat with them. That way you will save the money, be able to plan ahead and have a road trip with true locals.
If you are staying on the island, also first look for local transportation and learn how it works. Let the car rental be your last option.
14. Stay Outside The City
Make sure that you know the location before you get there. Therefore, staying outside of the city center may be way cheaper and interesting. Look for areas where you can walk from the city center. It is cheaper to be slightly away from the main tourist attraction.
If you’re staying in a city, make sure that there is a near subway or bus stop. Bear in mind, that you can always go/walk to the attractions and then head back to your place to sleep.
13. Shop Like a Local
Shopping at local stores and farmer’s markets will bring you three things: cheaper food, high-quality food, and local experience. As the day ends the prices are even lower. Also, shopping at local stores will give you an opportunity to a free-bite of everything.
You can buy food here at the farmer’s market every day and prepare it at your condo. That way you will always have fresh and healthy food. Make sure to visit the market before it closed for an even sweeter deal.
12. Carry snacks and water
This may sound silly, but it will save you a ton of money, especially if you are out exploring with kids. Always carry your own water. You will learn fast enough where you can fill it with quality drinking water. By doing so you will not only save your wallet, but you will save up on plastics, and Mother Nature will thank you.
By taking your own food you will have complete control over your food intake. Healthy bites during the whole day. Also, in case of emergency, like low sugar or sun heat, you will have a unique emergency kit.
11. Look For City Tourism Cards
Every major city has its own package of tourist cards. Some cards include free transportation, while others include top visitor attraction, restaurant discounts, or even free guidebooks.
These cards are often full of free tours or suggestion on how to find one. In addition, these cards usually contain emergency numbers and embassy contacts, for just in case. Depending on your preferences these cards might be worth the money.
10. Save On City Tours
The best city tours are often absolutely free. Yes, usually at the end of the tour you have an option to tip the tour guide, but in most cases, it’s a small amount, as the guides are often students.
Most cities offer tour apps so you can book the tour ahead and plan your trip. Furthermore, walking tours are always the most cheaper one and usually the most interesting. Just look for them online or in a guidebook.
9. Stay For Free
Having accommodation for free in a new city is not mission impossible anymore. You can go online, fill in a profile on a sharing platform like Couchsurfing, contact the host, wait for confirmation and plan your time. The best thing is that you will have an opportunity to experience the city as truly local. And yes, you don’t have to pay a penny for accommodation.
You can even share your budget with your host for food, and there are even some hosts that will share their food with you and don’t expect anything in return. Sharing is caring.
8. Eat Street Food
Most of the trips are about food. Street food is a great way to experience a new place. However, the first reason why you should eat street food is that this food is cheap. In addition, you are helping locals.
Make sure that you eat where the most locals are, and learn about the most popular street vendors as they are usually the one that is the safest to take food from.
7. Sleep While Travelling
This one may sound silly, but it’s one of the least known hacks. You will have to travel anyway, so why wouldn’t you travel at the night, so you can save that one night in accommodation? This is easily doable by any form of transportation, including bus, train, car, and airplane.
You can use money that you saved this way for city transportation so simply for getting from the airport to the city.
6. Track Your Spendings
Make sure that you stick to your budget! After all, you have created it for reason. Know when to save and when you can loosen up a little. Find a balance between saving the money and treating yourself during the trip.
Having a budget is a great way to keep your spending in line and to keep yourself on that track. This way you can plan your trip even better and be able to even spend less next time.
5. Work Abroad
Yes, you can work abroad. Therefore, not only that you will save up on money, but you will earn a little extra. You can go with program Work Abroad if you are under the age of 26, or you can go with many agencies and work as an English teacher if you are above 26.
This way you can slip in as a true local and live like a one. This is also a great way to travel any continent while you are earning there.
4. Use The Free Days
You are a traveler and therefore you aren’t limited to only workdays or weekend. You are responsible for your own experience. Therefore, this use-free-days-tip is simple but always effective advice. Enter big museums and other objects for free.
A number of museums are usually open and free on Mondays. In addition, as locals are busy working usually on Mondays this is a great period to visit and immerse every piece of art.
3. Become Tech Savyy
If you really want to save as much as possible during your trip make sure that you are app-oriented. Download money-saving apps like hotels.com (for last-minute rooms), road trippers (for sites along a route), for some local help use yelp (for local restaurants), and if you are tapping into international waters, make sure that you have an app for exchange money rates.
Combining travel and tech is a must. Also, use Google Maps and app’s that can send you push notifications, like suggestions about hotels, attractions and etc.
2. Know When You Shouldn’t Tip
Yes, there are countries where you shouldn’t even think about tips. Every country has its own tipping policy. Some may even find it offensive if you insist on tipping. For you, this means savings.
Know the customs before your trip. For example, in France tips are included, while in China it’s not a custom. Regardless, if the tip is expected make sure that you tip properly.
1. Do The Free Stuff
Every place offers a set of absolutely free things and you should experience them. See street cultural event, local open concert, group sunrise or sunset with local drink a guitar. In addition, you can take a walk in the park, play fetch with park dogs, see the street movie, swim in local lake, river, or climb a mountain and visit the local market for some free bites.