Traveling doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. These travel tips to save money will keep you living your best life, and doing it on the cheap! There are things you can do while you’re planning and while you’re on the trip that can save you money and stress!
1. Go Off-Season
Everyone likes to take their trips in the spring and summer, but is it the best time? The weather might be nice, but businesses know about the surge. They upcharge everything! You can travel for much less if you simply time your trips for the off season. Go north in the summer, go south in the winter. I think you’ll find that the change of weather is even better that way!
The travel overnight game is changing. While hotels used to the obvious answer to the question “Where will we stay?”, that’s quickly fading. AirBnB (and other rent-a-room services) are making huge headway, and it’s for good reason! AirBnB rooms are always cheaper and often much nicer than getting a hotel! Plus you might even have easy kitchen and laundry access.
3. Book Ahead Of Time
Make your plans far in advance! Lots of activities and tours will increase rates the closer you get to the date. Planes and hotels shoot their rates right up if you’re trying to plan during prime time. By planning early, you’ll directly save money on everything!
4. Use Public Transit
Rental cars are nice to have, but they get expensive fast. If you can avoid needing one by using public transit, you can save a ton! Most major cities have pretty robust bus and train systems. They take a little bit to learn, but it’s well worth it!
5. Pocket Wifi
Using your cell phone abroad isn’t easy. You might need to get a special sim card from your provider, at an exorbitant rate. You could try to get a prepaid phone while you’re there, but that’s not easy either. Your best bet is to get a pocket wifi. These can be rented at the airport and for a low steady fee, you’ll get a mobile hotspot you can take with you! This means you can use any device you’ve got, with no special considerations!
6. Walk As Much As You Can
I mentioned using transit over rentals and taxis, but there’s an even better method. Just walk! You might save money by picking a hotel or BnB that’s close to the things you want to see. Plus you’ll get to see parts of your destination from angles you might not otherwise!
7. Shop And Cook Locally
This can be a fun experience in itself. Instead of going out for every meal, cook one in! Go to the local market and buy raw ingredients, they’re always cheaper. If you have any interest in cooking, this is a great way to sample the culture first hand!
8. Get Big Lunch And Small Dinner
Restaurants and bars often charge less for lunch than they do for dinner. So if you time your big meals, you can get decadent lunches for cheap! There’s no set rule for which meal has to be the most important.
9. Talk To Locals
Make it a point to ask locals where to shop, eat, or what to see. Whether it’s your AirBnB owner, your bartender, or friends, locals always know how to avoid tourist traps!
10. Pick Cheap Places
Finally, pick cheap places! Your own country has dozens if not hundreds of hidden gems scattered all about. Overseas is going to cost you big, there’s no way around it. If you can find a cozy BnB in your local “wine-country” you can save a mint and still have a great time! This is my favorite of the travel tips to save money. My wife and I have gone on tons of “small” trips that are just as fun as big ones, but a fraction of the price! Your vacation is what you make it.