Most people think that you need to have a lot of money in order to travel, but it really isn’t true. There are a lot of easy ways to make your money go farther when you’re on the road so that you can stay away longer. Of course, you can’t stay every night in the most luxurious resorts, or eat every meal at a Michelin restaurant, but this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself once in awhile! All it takes to travel for less is a few simple tricks.
Here are five easy ways to travel for less:
Stay in Hostels
For whatever reason, hostels have earned themselves a strange reputation. Maybe it’s the scary movie, or maybe a few bad apples have spoiled the lot, but trust us when we say that hostels are essential for affordable travel. Unlike hotels, they’re usually much smaller and much more budget-friendly, and they’re not nearly as dirty or spooky as some would have you believe. Better yet, you don’t necessarily have to share anything with other guests. Most places have private rooms with ensuite bathrooms that will still save you cash compared to a hotel – especially if you’re traveling as a couple. Or, if you’re up for it, you can crash in a dorm for less than 20 Euro in many places! (If you’re really hardcore, some hostels even have camping!)
2. Don’t Plan Every Detail
The truth is that over-planning can take some of the adventure out of traveling. It’s much more fun if you leave yourself a little room for unexpected surprises! It can be scary, at first, to go somewhere you’ve never been without the safety net of a plan. As long as it’s not busy season, you can start by planning just the first day or two so that you can have a look around and talk to locals or other travelers. You might find another location or hostel you like better. Sometimes, showing up without a reservation will also score you a lower rate because the managers are looking to fill empty beds. There’s also a chance you’ll meet someone interested in the tour you were eyeing, meaning you may get a group deal!
3. Buy Local & Cook
Cooking when you can will save you a fortune on food. Hostels are great for this, because most come with shared kitchens and all the utensils you need to prepare a dish. You can find basic staples like bread and spaghetti almost anywhere you go, and in most cases they will be enough to help you through a few days or a long bus ride. It’s also a great way to taste the local fare. All you have to do is find the local produce market or fisherman and Google an easy way to prepare it. You’ll be eating just like the locals and getting a real taste of whatever region you’re visiting for much less than dining out!
4. Explore Transport Options
Sometimes the easiest way to travel is not necessarily the most affordable – or the most enjoyable. Even though a lot of people look to fly from place to place, sometimes renting a car, taking the bus, train or boat can help keep your cash in your wallet. . Obviously these options may take a little longer, but they’ll also give you a much better view of the country you’re exploring. In some countries in Africa, for example, you can take a shared minibus (or hitchhike) and even negotiate the price of your seat! Or you can take an overnight ride and save on another night in a hostel. Keep in mind, though, that sometimes flying is the cheapest option, and don’t forget to ask about discounts on local airlines.
5. Shop Like a Local
Sometimes you’ll find that there are shops for tourists and shops for locals. This goes for everything from food to souvenirs. Ask the concierge where you’re staying for some advice on affordable shops. They may send you to curios or a local craft market where you can find unique, handmade gifts. Just like with the shops, there are sometimes prices for tourists and prices for locals. But the best part is that in places like these, you’re almost expected to negotiate, so you’re already guaranteed a better deal than in stores with fixed price tags. At the very least, it’s an adventure, an uncommon part of the culture, and it will make you appreciate your purchase even more!
In most cases, people travel to experience different things. Trying these tips on your next trip will open you up to new adventures and keep you within your budget. It also gives you the option to spend more on a big tour because you’ve saved in other places. Even if you don’t have an unlimited amount to spend on a vacation, you can still see the world using a few simple, money-saving travel tips!
The post is written by our friends, Annelise and Justin from A Week at the Beach travel blog.
A Week at the Beach is a California-based travel blog by Annelise Schoups and Justin Valley, who have traveled 40 countries between the two of them. They are insatiable travelers who are eager to share their journeys with the world and believe that everyone can, and should, find the time and money to travel within their means.