Want to travel but don’t have much money in the bank? I’ve put together a list of our best tips for saving money while you’re traveling. These cash-saving hacks will help you keep more money in your wallet on your trip abroad.
Save on transportation and travel
Book overnight trains and buses
You’ll save on accommodation for that night, and also get your traveling out of the way so you have more time to explore your new destination.
Use Rome2rio to see which transportation option is cheapest
Think you should fly somewhere? Put your starting and ending point into Rome2rio and they’ll tell you all of your transportation options, including prices. You may find that taking a train, while taking a few hours longer, is actually much cheaper.
Check StudentUniverse for student and youth discounts on flights
If you’re a student, you can’t afford to not check the price of flights for a trip on StudentUniverse, which often has BIG discounts for students. If you’re not a student but are under 26 (considered a “youth”) then you’ll find some discounts too.
Visit off-the-beaten-path destinations
Choose to visit the most popular destinations in the world, like Paris and Rome, and you’ll find them really expensive. Pick places that aren’t so popular and you’ll save money while exploring someplace that’s not yet overrun with tourists. You will also save a lot of time by not having to wait in line for everything, so you can get more for your money in these less populated locations.
Stay in every destination more than two days
Cut down on transportation costs by seeing less places for more time. Many hostels and hotels also give discounts for staying for 2 or 3 nights or more. Plus, you’ll get to know the locations you visit much better than if you were rushing around to see everything in two days.
Choose to visit cheaper areas
Sure, everyone wants to visit Europe, but it can be super expensive to travel around. Try other areas like Southeast Asia, India, or Central America for a unique travel experience that will also be much more inexpensive.
If you’re on a backpacking trip, save all of your travel until during the week, when train, plane, and bus tickets are always cheaper (not to mention accommodations, too!).
Budget airlines are your best friend
Use sites like Skyscanner to find flights with budget airlines for cheap. Not sure where you want to go, but want it to be cheap? Enter your home airport and then for the destination, put “everywhere” to find the most budget-friendly flights available.
Save on accommodation
Help out at your hostel
Sometimes hostels will fall short on staff, so keep an eye out for signs saying that they’ll accept help for a free stay. If you don’t see anything, just ask!
Choose hostels with the best free breakfasts
Check the reviews for a hostel before you book it, and only choose ones that have a good breakfast buffet. That way you can snag yourself some fruit, bread, and cold meats to make yourself your own packed lunch for free.
Volunteer for free room (and sometimes board)
Join HelpStay, a site that has listings for volunteer work that offers free accommodation to its helpers. It’s a mix of charity work and work exchanges, so there’s plenty on there for all types of travelers. Find out a bit more about HelpStay in our blog post about finding free accommodation.
If you know someone with a swanky vacation house in a cool place, volunteer to housesit for them for free and then you’ve got free housing. If you don’t have personal connections, utilize sites like MindMyHouse to find houses to watch. Some sites require you to pay to use them but oftentimes link to paid gigs too.
Plenty of locals offer up a spot in their house to travelers for free using Couchsurfing. They do this so they can meet people from all over the world and show them their city. Create a profile and see if you can find anyone to stay with the next time you’re traveling.
Get free accommodation from friends-of-friends
If you’re going traveling, ask your family and friends if they know anyone that lives where you’re going. If they do, ask to get in contact, and after getting to know each other a bit, ask if they have a spare room that they wouldn’t mind renting to you while you’re there. Since you’re a new friend, you MIGHT get a free stay out of it, or at least, a good deal!
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