I reached out to all my favorite bloggers to see what their BEST tips for saving money while traveling. I wanted to know what their swore by, whether it was a website or a travel product. Some of these bloggers have been traveling for 10 years and have expert knowledge on the subject. I hope these money saving travel hacks will help you out.
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BEST Tips for Saving Money While Traveling
Do as the locals do
To save money, I tend to ask the locals where they eat, or how they get around. If there’s a truly local restaurant, I eat there too or if there’s a local bus rather than a tourist bus, that’s what I take. The locals, especially in developing countries where there is a big difference between tourist prices and local prices, are the key to traveling cheaply, and authentically! -Kristin, Be My Travel Muse (Kristin also has an ebook for girls traveling solo)
Get creative with layovers
I like to get creative when booking my flights. If you are strategic, you can get free, extended stopovers! I like to research multi-leg flights to see where I can go without having to pay extra. For example a roundtrip flight from LA to Cancun might have a 1 hour layover in Miami as part of the trip. Try searching for a multi leg flight, flying from LA into Miami, then a few days later flying from Miami to Cancun, then instead of returning directly to LA, you can try adding a leg from Cancun to Mexico City, then Mexico City to LA. This strategy works all over the world and often you won’t have to pay any difference in fare since those stops are considered layovers. I’ve been able to book month-long trips with multiple destinations using this method! -Kiersten, The Blonde Abroad
Choose your destination wisely
I usually find that if you travel and live the way the locals do then travel really doesn’t have to be expensive – actually I find it’s much more affordable than maintaining a comfortable lifestyle back home. You really don’t need much money to travel. Firstly, when traveling on a budget I make sure that I am traveling in one of the world’s cheapest destinations. I stay in local homestays or guest houses ( don’t book online – I often get a much cheaper deal just by turning up and asking around – the cheap places are not listed on online yet).
Instead of taking AC tourist buses and taxis I hop on the local bus for a fraction of the price, and instead of eating western food in fancy restaurants I eat street food or go to places where local people eat. By traveling like a local I can get survive on less than $15 a day in places like India and South East Asia, plus I get a better insight into the local life! – Anna, Global Gallivanting
Think outside the box with lodging
Try this arrival routine
Try this important planning technique
Use the kitchen for TWO reasons
Experience over meals
Travelling slowly is an amazing way to not only save money, but to really integrate yourself into the places that you visit. You’ll save money due to not having to pay for transport as often, but also because you’ll save on accommodation. The longer you stay, the cheaper your hostel / hotel / apartment will be.
Our second tip is to eat locally. Always go for the traditional food, and eat where the locals eat. Not only is the locally sourced food the cheapest option, but more often than not, it’s the tastiest! Nick & Dariece, Goats on the Road
Don’t pay for transportation
Try hitch hiking – it will save you money and it’s exciting. Jonathan and I tried it many time in South East Asia and Latin America. If you’ve never tried it before, it’s understandable to think that it’s dangerous, but in reality most people out there are good, you just need to use your common sense and trust your instinct. If you’re still unsure, then you can try ride sharing, where people with cars advertise the route they’ll be driving and try to find travel buddies to join them and share the expenses. It can be a great way to meet cool new people and to travel in a bit of extra style. Kach & Jonathan, Two Monkeys Travel
Don’t say no to an invitation
While I may not be the best person to ask about saving money while traveling (because I’m all for spending money on experiences and food rather than pinching pennies and cooking in a hostel), there are a couple of things I like to do. One is having a good site for searching flights. I met a guy while I was traveling around Easter Island who was on the road for 2+ years. He found all his flights on www.momondo.com, and I have since started using that site, at least for a starting point in flight research. Another thing I do is take advantage of invitations from international friends. The more you travel, the more you are likely to meet people overseas who will invite you to visit them in their home countries. I have used these invitations to stay with locals in Brazil, Mexico, Ireland, Denmark, Korea, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Italy, Spain and Hong Kong, just to name a few. (Shout out to Rachel for being a super fun host in Goa!) While visiting those friends, don’t forget to buy your hosts a nice bottle of wine or make them dinner or even bring a special gift from home. And of course, insist they come visit you once you’re home (or elsewhere in the world) so you can really return the favour! The guy I met on Easter Island made a stop in my hometown after we spent several days whipping around the island together. I was happy to show him around, and maybe one day I’ll make the trek to see him in Japan where he has settled. Colleen, Colleen Brynn Travels
Think ‘working holiday’
My biggest money saving hack for travel I’ve followed now for almost 20 years is to make it a working holiday! You don’t have to save as much to begin with and you can explore your new country while earning money! My strategy was to work in expensive countries, like England and the US, explore those regions while earning the local currency, and then travel long-term in less expensive countries, like Africa and South East Asia. My money went further and I could travel longer in between jobs. I now follow the same strategy, except this time I have my own digital business so no longer have to rely on working holiday visas. Caz and Craig, Y Travel
Choose less places to stop
My tip is something I really stick by when I travel- to pick less cities on my itinerary. When I first went to India I had about 3 places per state to see, while Lonely Planet says 7-10 are amazing. Once you narrow it down to the ones that really appeal to you (with a lot of research) you will be able to have a much better trip. Transportation costs are some of the biggest expenses on a trip, so if you stay put in each place longer, you’ll spend less on trains and flights.
As a bonus, you’ll be more relaxed and by getting to know a few select cities in depth, you’ll feel like you know the state or country better in the end. I’d also like to add that if you choose less stops on your itinerary it’s easier to plan and to think ahead for each place in terms of an affordable hotel and activities to do. When you rush, you end up somewhere with no hotel booked and spend more than you intend. Rachel, Hippie in Heels (had to add myself here!)
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