Travelling the world is one of the most fascinating and inspiring things you can do with your life. You’ll meet new people, absorb new cultures, and learn more than anything you ever learnt in school. The life lessons are invaluable, and the friends you meet along the way are priceless. Whether it’s regular trips to new cities or a full six-month adventure, you’ll always come back with a smile on your face. There’s only one major problem: travelling is expensive. But here’s the thing. It’s not always as expensive as you think.
In fact, there are hundreds of travel hacks out there that will help you cut back the price. There’s always a deal to be struck, and there’s always a cheaper option. Don’t let money hold you back from seeing the world. Remember to place value on your experiences, rather than material gain and wealth. When you make that decision in your mind, you’re halfway there! Of course, that’s all well and good, but how exactly do we pay for this adventure and experience? In this post, we’ll show you some of the tried-and-testing methods for travelling on a budget.
Always compare flights
It might sound like an obvious suggestion, but you’ll be surprised how many people accept the first flight they find. Using websites like SkyScanner, you can flick through hundreds of flights from every single operator. The number of budget airlines out there is growing rapidly, and you can take advantage of that. Once you’ve found the cheapest flight, visit the airline website directly. Could you get it cheaper on there, without the commission? If you’re visiting more than one country, try looking at the ‘around-the-world’ packages. They’re a great way to put together an individual itinerary, and make some big savings.
Take alternative routes
Usually, the direct route is the most expensive. Don’t be afraid to take a slight detour or a longer route. After all, the journey is just as important as the destination! (Sometimes). Most major cities have two or three airports; choose the cheapest, even if it means a longer journey when you get there. Take a connecting flight rather than the direct route. You could even spend a few hours in that city, and add an extra country to your list. Once in the foreign country, take a bus instead of the expensive train. Or go the long route if it’s cheaper.
Rethink your accommodation
Travelling doesn’t have to be about five-star hotels. In fact, we believe that you’ll enjoy your experience more if you get out of the tourist accommodation. There are so many cheaper options out there, it’s hard to know where to start. For the cheapest option, look at websites like ‘Couch-Surfer’. Here, friendly natives will offer their sofa or spare room for free. Then of course, there is Air B’n’B. It’s the world’s biggest website for holiday flats and rentals. It’s much cheaper than a hotel, and you get to live like a local.
Spend your air miles wisely
If you’re planning on doing a long stretch of travelling, it’s time to make use of your air miles. One thing you might not know about air miles is that you can make most of them on the ground. By using certain credit cards, you’ll collect thousands of miles without travelling anywhere. When it comes to spending them, most travellers will tell you that the best value comes from upgrading! Choose the longest flight, and upgrade to business class, for example.
Work along the way
Sometimes, you need some extra cash to help you along the way. Luckily, there are all sorts of jobs to be found out on the road. You’ll find temporary jobs in bars and cafes in every city in the world. You could also take up some freelance work. You can work from anywhere in the world, and make the beach your office. Don’t let work overwhelm the travelling experience, but it can be a nice way to keep your funds topped up. Get creative here, and look for opportunities before you leave.
Get off the beaten track
As you can expect, the tourist areas are generally the most expensive. Hotels, restaurants, and bars charge a premium in these hot spots, and they’re best avoided. Wander off the beaten path, and find the hidden local gems. First of all, they’re much cheaper. Secondly, they provide a much more authentic experience. Here you’ll find real, traditional food and culture. So, forget the tourist destinations, and start exploring.
Travelling is always cheaper when you’re in a group. You’ll get group discounts on activities. You can split the cost of travel and driving. You can share food, and halve the cost of a hotel room. Set off travelling in a group or with a partner alongside. If you are travelling alone, strike up conversations along your journey. This is particularly easy if you’re already staying in a hostel or you’re in a travelling hotspot. You’ll always find like-minded people ready to share a taxi!
Always look for the discounts
If you look hard enough, you’ll find a discount on just-about anything! Before you buy a plane ticket or a hotel room, look online for discounts and coupons. Did you know that there are hotel discounts for military members? There are all sorts of hidden discounts out there, you just need to hunt them down. Even a small saving will go a long way when you’re travelling.
Always ask for the deal
A lot of foreign countries have a very different payment culture to us. In fact, in many countries around the world, haggling and negotiation is second-nature. Wherever you are, don’t be afraid to ask for the best deal! You can negotiate taxi fares, food, drink, and hostel room rates. It doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but this is no time to be shy. By negotiating every small cost, you’ll save yourself a fortune.
As you can see, it is possible to travel on a budget. Don’t let money hold you back from the adventure of a lifetime. Have you ever travelled on a shoestring budget? We’d love to hear your tips and tricks!