Everyone wants to save money on their travel, no matter what your budget. So today, I am going to share my tips on how to save money on your trip so you can travel as much as possible without worrying too much about your spending.
- Check the location. Many suggest to save money and stay outside of a major city but transport prices can add up. Compare prices to get in and out of the city before booking any accommodation.
- Check the budget hotels. We save a load of money staying in Econo Lodges, Best Value Inns and Super 8s whenever we are travelling in America. Find out the budget hotels in your chosen destination and have a browse.
Remember to check reviews on Tripadvisor or the price comparison website – some budget hotels can be hit or miss!
- Collect points. Many chain hotels , especially the midrange and luxury hotels such as Hilton and Marriott, will offer a membership system where you can collect points whenever you travel and then use those points for future bookings or upgrades.
- Look at apartments and homes on Agoda or AirBNB, especially when you are travelling in a group. You can save money by choosing a two bedroom apartment over two rooms in a hotel. As always though, check reviews on whichever website you are booking it with.
- Call the hotel directly, if you are booking last minute, it is worth ringing the hotel directly to see if they have better rates than online.
- Follow your favourite hotel chains on Twitter and Facebook – it has become more common for them to release special deals on their Social media, so make sure you follow and check any deals they share online.
- Obviously most people will say get public transport. This is true in most cases. However, it is worth checking the prices of taxis too. In Asia, we often find that a taxi for two people is a similar price (and a lot less time) that two metro tickets. However, buses are always cheaper than any other transportation.
- Try to be as flexible as you can be. I am a primary teacher so being flexible with my travel dates is slightly impossible. However, when I can, I search for flights and compare prices across a week or so using Momodo – on this site, you can type in your destination and month and it will show you a chart of prices, so you can choose the cheapest day to travel.
- Off-season travel will get you the cheapest deals. Don’t always assume that anytime outside of the summer is off season though. Search your destination and avoid any national holidays – we learnt in China that Golden week in October and Chinese New Year was the worst possible time to travel with prices doubling and sometimes quadrupling.
- Travel slow. When we first started travelling, we would dash from place to place which is amazing but exhausting. It can be hard to travel slow, especially if you only have a certain amount of time each year, but, we always find it is better to stay in a place longer and really get to know the area than dash from place to place. It is of course cheaper because you are not playing for multiple flights but also, you get to know the good and affordable bars and restaurants. Alternatively, you can literally travel slow and use trains and buses to get around a country or region.
- Compare prices – of course, most people will compare flight prices on comparison websites but make sure you do it across multiple comparison websites. Then, once you have your chosen flight, head to the airline website and check they don’t have any flight deals there. Lastly, if you have plenty of time before your trip, set up alerts on comparison websites to get destination deals to your phone.
- Try to fly on a Tuesday or Wednesday to save money – generally these are the best days to fly on. We often find the airports are quieter midweek too.
- If you are student, you can get a student discount ticket with STA Travels.
- Buy your Legion Compression Socks online to avoid expensive socks at the aiport. If you are taking a long flight, compression socks are perfect to help blood circulation and avoid swelling.
- If possible, try to get a room or hostel with a kitchen. Even if it is just a microwave or hob. This gives you the freedom to pick up food from local convenience stores and save money on eating out in restaurants whilst you travel.
- Alternatively, check out stores that will heat your food up for you. When we first travelled Asia back in 2013, we often would find ourselves in 7/11 or Family Marts with a noodle dish or rice and meat dish to take back to our hotel for dinner.
- Head to the markets to get some good but cheap food. South East Asia is full of street vendors and markets but most cities across the world have some type of farmer market.
- Carry snacks. I must say, this is a tip I always forget when we first start a travel trip after a few months not travelling. Head to a store to get some snacks (nothing that will melt) and a bottle of water and bring it with you. Not only does it save money but it also saves time – I hate searching for a restaurant to eat in when I just want to be visiting the attractions and sightseeing. We often go with granola bars.
- Have a big lunch. It may sound strange but many restaurants offer a lunch deal that will be cheaper than dinner deals. Often, especially in Europe, we choose to go for a big lunch and a smaller dinner. Not only does it save us money but it gives us a break during a busy day of exploring.
- Avoid tourist areas. When you are hungry, it can be tempting to go straight to the nearest restaurant after exploring an attraction. However, walk a few streets away and you are likely to find better food at better prices. We always look for where the locals eat because you know it should be good and not overpriced.
- Firstly, look for free activities. Sounds obvious but many destinations offer free attractions and museum entrances, even if this is restricted to certain dates. Do your research and make a list of attractions with free entrance or cheap days.
- Look for city cards. Many cities, especially in the USA, offer some type of tourist card. If you are hoping to see as much as possible in a new city, especially if it is your first time or you don’t have much time, these cards are fantastic. Whenever we visit New York, we pick up a destinations card and always save money visiting sights and using our card for entrance. Plus, many of them include the hop-on, hop-off tour buses to help you get around the city for free.
Make money for your travels
- Another way to save money is to book via TopCashBack. This is a website that gives you a bit of cash back each time you book or buy anything via one of their links. It basically works as a commission website but you get some of that money back.
- Pick up some online work; whether it is freelancing, blogging or teaching English, there are lots of ways to make money online that can help you pay for those travel expenses. There are many top performance coaching options to help you build your dream business and work whenever and wherever you want.
Lastly, create a budget. Before a big trip, I will always do my research and work out exactly how much we have to travel with and how much we should be spending each day.
That way we can aim for spending this each day but if we start going over that budget, we can reevaluate and choose cheaper food options and attractions.