Making sure you don’t spend a lot of money while traveling can be a difficult thing.
Between the cost of flights, accommodation, food, tours and other un-foreseen expenses, you just never know what to budget.
On the other end of the spectrum, some travelers tend to budget too much thus hindering their once-in-a-lifetime experience abroad.
Similar to other articles I’ve written about money saving travel tips such as my 10 Way to Cut Your Expenses & Gain Money to Travel as well as the Top 10 Tips to Travel the World for Cheap, the goal of this article is to assist you in walking that fine line. I want to show you where to stretch a little with your money saving ventures and to show you where you can safely cut corners while still getting the most out of your experiences. 🙂
Top Money Saving Travel Secrets
Be a Local Tourist
You don’t necessarily have to fly to a tropical destination such as the Bahamas to get a full blown vacation. Sometimes all it takes is stepping into your own backyard to take a vacation. Not literally of course (unless camping under the stars is something you don’t mind doing), but feel free to check out your local town, city and state.
There are a plethora of activities right under your nose that most people don’t even realize are there. Simply look at your town from a travelers point of view. Research the local tourism website and see what festivities are occurring, what theme parks there are to visit or any other activities that may peak your interest.
Use Budget Hotels/Hostels over Hotels
Where many make the mistake of spending too much money is on hotels. You may want to consider staying in a private room at $10 USD per night instead. Depending on where you plan to travel, the opportunities to save money on accommodation are endless. Here are just a few ideas:
- Budget Hotels
- Staying at a friends house.
Want to be even more budget-friendly and don’t mind roughing it a bit? Perhaps you even want to consider pitching a tent/hammock in the local park. Just keep in mind to pick an area wisely to avoid any possible midnight intrusions.
Consider travel by Air, Land & Sea
A big part of budget travel is the ability to be flexible. This certainly takes a big roll when choosing your mode of transportation. Don’t just limit yourself to one method such as flying or taking a road trip across the country.
Also, consider the different ways to travel. Start with browsing through flights, then see what other modes of transportation are available for a cheaper price such as taking a ferry, the train, renting a car or even hitch-hiking.
Use Regional Airports
Regional airports tend to offer more budget-friendly options for flying than international airports. The reason for being: they’ll accommodate smaller, local airlines that sometimes offer cheaper flights than the big chains do.
Mix-n-Match your Flights
Hand-in-hand with researching different airports, consider mixing and matching your flights. You don’t have to limit yourself to a round-trip plane ticket wherever you go. You may want to look at two, one-way flights. You could even go as far as booking two one-way flights but instead of using the same airline, decide to use two different airlines.
To mix things up even more, you may even want to consider purchasing a flight and then taking a different mode of transportation back home such as a train or even a cruise. The bottom line is mix-n-match your modes of transportation and it could save you a pocket full of money.
Save on Foreign Currency Exchange
Research the different ways to exchange currency when traveling internationally. Is the exchange rate better for you in or out of the airport? Is there a better exchange rate in the city versus more rural areas?
What about the amount of money you’re carrying? Will the exchange be in your favor if you exchange crisp $100 dollar bills or smaller denominations? These are the things you want to take into consideration.
Beat Baggage Fees & Wear your Luggage
A simple, yet very effective, way to beat the airline company is not by paying for overweight luggage fees. Simply unpack your bag right there at the ticket counter and start wearing anything excess. Sure, people may look at you with a weird grin, but all you have to do is either stuff those things into your carry-on or use extra articles of clothing as a pillow for those long flights. 😉
The Local Version of a Website
While I was traveling through the Northwestern corners of China on my way to Tibet, I was stuck in a particular situation where my only option was to purchase a flight from one city to the next. I learned, very quickly, that sometimes local airline companies will increase the price of flights for tourists as compared to the locals. A simple remedy?
Look at flights from the local websites. Ask your hotel representative, hostel worker or fellow travelers if they know what the local flight websites are. If your in another country, From there, pick your destination and you’re off!
Additionally, many websites, (airline and car rental companies in particular) will change their pricing depending on your location. Try getting a VPN to trick these companies into thinking you are in another country where they charge cheaper prices.
Get Everything Discounted
Not going to lie, I love name brand products. But when it comes to traveling, I purchase everything at a discounted rate. If you have the option, go to discounted stores. Purchase things that have been marked down from their original price.
It’s no secret that things tend to wear out quicker while traveling so you might as well purchase an item that you don’t have to invest so much money in.
Go to the Grocery Store
Going out and dining on the town is fun, but it comes with a price. If you’re trying to make your dollar stretch a little further, consider limiting yourself to going out only once or twice a week. After that purchase all of your food (and alcohol) at the local grocery and/or liquor store.
Cooking for yourself will save a ton of money that you can put elsewhere like towards local attractions and day excursions!
What are some of your money-saving travel tips?