Traveling cheap is possible! I am really tired of people saying: Oh I wish to travel like you but I don’t have money! I answer that I also don’t have money, but I travel. Some prefer spend for new iPhone, some for unforgettable trip. Some must stay in the hotel all-inclusive, some just need a tent. Everything depends of your preferences. I spent 25€ for 3 weeks traveling in France, who will beat that? I was traveling with my ex and he spent as much as me. Moreover, I came back with a brand new tent given by one of our hitch-hiking driver. Another time 25€ for 2 weeks in Croatia and around same for some other Euro-trips. On that times (when I was a student) somehow I was able to save only 25€ and that was not an obstacle to travel. If I could do that, you can do it as well!
There are many ways which will not only save your money but foremost will make your journey more rich in amazing experiences. I decided to share some well/less known sites and advises. Those are essential tips you always need to take into consideration when you plan your trip.
15 Tips for Traveling Cheap
Plan everything yourself.
You can already take care of your budget while planning the trip. I don’t need to advise you not to go to the tourist agencies which focus on the profit. Internet is full of information, you just need time and will to find them. I always check travel blogs and forums where people which already had visited destination you are about to go, recommend where to eat and where to sleep cheaper.
Search for cheap flights
Usually you should buy your ticket 2-3 months in advance to have the cheapest price. Often travel agencies are selling incredibly cheap last minute flights. If you don’t buy package with hotel, just the charter flight it can be very good deal! Low cost airlines such as Ryanair, Wizzair or Easy Jet in Europe or Air Asia are always worth to check out for current promotions. I bought some flight for 1€ from Poland to Norway and Germany – Canary Islands for 10€ (same price for return). I have to admit that I spent a lot of time hunting before finding such deals. Unfortunately saving money doesn’t mean saving time, you need to put some effort if you want to be successful deal-hunter! Good news! There are plenty of sites though which will do part of the job for you. I mean you would spend a century checking website of each airline and all the destinations trying to find the error fare. How to find cheap flights? – read my post and hunt your deal!
Travel out of season
Traveling out of the hot touristic season is cheaper and more comfortable. You will not get stuck in the queue to visit the museum or spent hours finding a parking place or empty spot on the beach. You will be VIP!
Use alternative ways of transport
OK. You got your flight. You are happy. But how to save money while visiting in your dream destination? Transport can take a great deal of your savings, but taking into consideration few websites can help you in that. Avoid taxi and use alternative ways of transport – another post you may find useful with a full list of helpful links.
Rent a car/van
Before your trip, check prices of rent in your destination. Many times it is cheaper than you would spend for trains or other types of transport, especially if you travel with a group of friends. Having your own roof will save lots of money on accommodation.
Save on accommodation
Alternative types of accommodation will help your budget and in the same time make your trip more interesting by meeting new people. Consider using my advises not necessarily forgetting about comfort. Learn more in How to sleep for free when you travel.
Ask locals about food
Don’t spend fortune on touristic restaurants. See/ask where locals eat.
Free walking tours
Almost every big city offers Free Walking Tours which let you visit the city with a guide. So far I had only awesome tours. Hardly recommended!
Work or Volunteer
Finding a remote job is hard but if you succeed you will be able to prolong your trip as much as you like! It is also possible to find a seasonal job in the place where you travel or take a cruise and travel overseas. Volunteering – when you help in order to get a place to stay and food is a great option to do something good and spent almost nothing for living. While volunteering, you in most of the cases have plenty of free time to visit around.
Don’t travel alone
Traveling with a partner or a group share the expenses. Price for a single room is always most expensive and traveling with someone is much more fun, no?
Mobile applications are more and more popular and there are plenty of freebies. Having those you don’t need to buy guide book or maps in everyplace you go. Especially useful is Tripadvisor and Google Maps. Mobile apps will also allow you to mail, skype to your family back home, instead of calling them or writing tons of postcards.
Be careful about exchange rate
It very depends where but many countries cheat a lot when you exchange your currency. Check your bank provisions, maybe it is worth to use ATM. Paying by credit card may not be a good idea though, since your bank may charge for every transaction. Use cash to pay for your expenses.
Yeah, nr 13 the lucky one. In this case you shouldn’t try to save your money! If something happens you will have to pay a lot from your own wallet if you don’t have insurance valid abroad. This unfortunately happened to me and I had my lesson.
All the money you saved on the previous steps can be gone in one second, so be careful! Don’t go to the spooky place, use the money belt hidden under your clothes and watch out in crowded places. The worst stories about pickpockets I heard from Morocco, Egypt and Barcelona (Spain).
Plenty of useful gadgets let you save money and space in your backpack or even save your life in case of emergency.