Many people believe that traveling is a luxury afforded to the rich and the well-to-do. You look at pictures of your friends on social media, and wish to enjoy a trip yourself, but feel like you cannot. You think you do not have the money to pay for it. Nothing comes free, everything has a price. But, where there is a will, there is a way. The world is changing, and although you do not need to be rich to travel, you do need to know ways to make the cash you already have work for you. We have some methods for you that are the best ways to save money while you are traveling. Call them hacks or some great planning! We want to ensure you can fulfill your dream of traveling around the world, while also not breaking your bank.
Okay, the top few expenses that come to mind are airfare, stay, meals and attractions. So, let's consider these. Flights can be very expensive. Somehow, in spite of all the airline advertisements going around about cheap flights, you never seem to actually discover one when you want it. Well, banish that thought right now! It is very much possible to fly cheap, but you will need to be sharp. Same with arranging for cheap accommodations and food. Let us show you the way to major savings.
Focus on non-peak or off-peak seasons when you are looking for airfare. These are times throughout the year when there are a handful of people traveling. Mostly, the off-peak season means the weather is not optimal. When you decide to pick a location at a time when not many people are traveling, everything is going to be significantly cheaper, not just the airfare. Hotels will be cheaper, activities will be cheaper, and so will souvenirs.
Date and time flexibility
Many airlines offer Low Fare Calendars, and having the freedom to pick your dates of travel from the calendar is awesome. It will get you some serious discounts on airfare. For example, discount travel can get you a roundtrip ticket from California, USA to London, UK in less than $400. The difference here is apparent. You are not determining the airfare based on your desired dates of travel. Instead, you are determining the dates of travel based on available and cheap airfare. And, this, dear Wanderers, can be extremely economical and satisfying.
Many times, cheaper flights come at a price. They will not be direct, and will have too many layovers. Instead of feeling bummed by the situation, get excited. Make sweet lemonade when life flings at you the sourest of lemons. In your mind, replace all these layovers with places you may wish to visit. Plan your trip out accordingly. You could possibly take longer layovers, enjoy the city for maybe 5 hours, and fly out after. There are facilities at the airport to store your luggage, and get out and explore another city. Be careful about delayed, worse canceled flights. Check with the authorities before you step out of the airport, and make sure you can receive updated flight texts in case of changes.
Skip multiple destinations
Sometimes, people plan a 10-day trip to Europe, and are flying every two days from one location to another. If the intention is to save money, do not do this. Instead, pick just a couple of destinations, and go exploring, do more sight-seeing, instead of flying continuously every few days. This will save cash for sure, you will also enjoy the destination better, have a chance to immerse and connect with the place. It will turn out to be a more fulfilling experience, as compared to just touch-and-go.
Do without checking-in large baggage if you can, just do a couple carry-ons. This is definitely an enormous cash saver. It also has the benefit of having your luggage with you at all times, especially with many layovers. You do not want your baggage to be stuck at any of the earlier airports. Another benefit is that you do not have to pay baggage fees for every flight you board. The savings definitely add up quickly. Shall we add another money-saving benefit? You may not buy too much new stuff, because you do not have space with just a carry-on. Read more at Most debatable question for travelers: Carry-on or check-in baggage?
Seat and food flexibility
Don't select a seat beforehand, airlines might require you to pay for it. Instead, take the randomly assigned seating. Carry some home-cooked food, snacks and water, or buy something at the airport, instead of paying for on-flight meals.
Discover alternatives. Hotels can be expensive, so one option is to look for a hotel a little away from the center of the city. Motels are another option to explore.
Another alternative is a dormitory-style stay at hostels. You will have a bed to yourself, but you will have to share bathrooms, kitchens, and the living space with other roommates. But, the price tag will plunge significantly if you don't mind communal living. Again - prepare lemonade. You will realize you will make excellent friends along the way. On top of this, hostels sometimes provide free tours around the city. It will obviously not be the best place to stay, and you will have to do the due diligence of looking for a hostel with free or low-cost laundry facility. Of course, nobody will stop you from washing your clothes in the communal bathroom or kitchen sink, and hanging them up a laundry line in the room.
Look at AirBnBs as well, they may turn out to be significantly low-priced, especially if you are traveling to a far-off location or suburbs, and not a big city. Sometimes, they could also add in free breakfast, that is definitely good, right! Fill right up before you start to explore.
Work while you travel
You could look for work in the local area, and do not ask for a paycheck. Instead, bargain for a place to stay and food. That could be a major money saver. There is a tradeoff though, you will be volunteering to work. But you can compensate easily with a couple days off every week to explore the city, and free board and food for as long as you stay.
Cook for yourself
Learn to cook, instead of eating out. Shop at the grocery store locally for fresh produce, and whip up something delicious. If you need your coffee everyday, buy instant coffee bags, and prepare it yourself. All you need is hot water!
Learn to cook some local recipes, this will give you the flavor of the land. Spend some time with the locals, and understand how they cook their foods. People dearly love to discuss their cultures, their habits, and their unique-to-the-heart recipes. They may even be eager to teach you to cook some of their favorite meals, if you are genuinely interested. You could also ask the locals where the cheapest, yet delicious meals could be found.
If you are sharing accommodations by living in hostels, share meals with your fellow guests and travelers. Go dutch on the grocery bill, everyone is on a budget. They will appreciate it. Then cook together, or designate days of cooking or cleaning.
4. Attractions / Activities
Lookout for free attractions
Try hiking, it's the best way to explore the local whereabouts. You could search for free tours or free museums. Walk to the places instead of a ride-share or public transportation. You can acquire a treasure of excellent recommendations for the best and free tourist attractions from your local host or front desk.
Knock-offs for students
Check for student concessions wherever you go, assuming you have a valid Student ID card. If traveling in Europe, you will find museums offer great student discounts for admission into the facility. Think of churches as free museums as well. Restaurants will also offer student discounts, especially if they are in a college or university town. London Pass also offers discounts to students, ferries will give discounts, so don't forget to carry one if you have it.
So, there you have it. There are significant savings in the above paragraphs. You don't have the money to travel, great. But you have the brains! And, it's free to use as much as you want. Enjoy places all around the world, money should not be much of a factor actually. Make all your dreams come true!
Oh, and while you are out exploring the world, rent your home out so you can make money along the way.
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