Bangkok, Thailand, eating street food to save money

12 Tips on How to Save Money While Travelling

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Ready to hit the road without breaking the bank? Who said traveling has to be expensive? In fact, with a dash of creativity and smart planning, you can have a blast on your next trip without spending a fortune. Of course, you’re free to splurge if you want to, but why not save some cash and use it for something else?

I’ve been traveling for a few years now and have had to find ways to save money, especially when I was stuck on the other side of the world during the pandemic. So, without further ado, let’s dive into some tips and tricks on how to save money while travelling!

Best Money Saving Tips for You:

1. Eat like a local

If you want to experience the local culture and save some money, one of the best tips I can offer is to avoid eating in tourist areas. Instead, look for places that are packed with locals. Not only will the food be more authentic and flavorful, but the prices will also be much more reasonable.

Of course, we all enjoy some comfort food when we’re away for a long time, but generally, I try to stick to this rule, and I have never been disappointed. So, don’t be afraid to step off the beaten path and try something new. You might just discover your new favorite dish and save money at the same time!

2. Cook your own meals

If you’re headed to Asia, eating out can actually be even more affordable than cooking at home. But, if you’re planning a trip to a fancy-pants country, brace yourself for some serious sticker shock when it comes to eating out. Believe me, your wallet will thank you for using the kitchen in your rental property or hostel.

Go to the local market for fresh ingredients, whip up your fave dishes, and even pack some snacks for when you’re on the move. I may not be the best cook, but after a long time on the road, nothing beats a home-cooked meal. Plus, you know exactly what’s in it (goodbye, mystery meat!). And for all you foodies out there, don’t forget to bring your favourite spices or other small must-haves that might not be easy to find in your destination. Bon appétit!

3. Pack light

You’ve probably heard this tip a million times before, but trust me, it’s worth repeating. If you can pack all your travel essentials into a carry-on, you’re officially a travel ninja in my eyes. And on top, not having to check a bag is a great money-saving tip.

Now, full disclosure: I haven’t quite mastered this skill myself, but I’m working on it! And packing light also means spending less time at the airport. No need to check in your bags, no need to stress about lost luggage, and best of all, no temptation to indulge in some expensive airport food, which means you save money.

4. Try house-sitting

Have you ever heard of house-sitting? It’s like being a babysitter, but instead of a baby, you’re taking care of someone’s home while they’re not there. Your job usually includes keeping the place safe and tidy, watering the plants, and maybe even feeding a furry friend or two. And some of the houses available for house-sitting are truly remarkable, to say the least. If I had the opportunity to house-sit one of those homes, I don’t think I would ever want to leave.

Now, if you’re keen to try your hand at house-sitting, there are a bunch of websites to check out, like TrustedHouseSitters, MindMyHouse or Work Away. And there are plenty of other options out there, too.

So, why house-sitting? Well, it’s all about the moolah. Rent can be pricey in some parts of the world, but with house-sitting, you can score it for free and save money. Plus, you’ll have access to a kitchen, which brings me to tip number two. It’s like having a home away from home, but without the hefty price tag.

5. Travel during off peak season

Here’s a hot tip on how to save money while travelling: be flexible with your dates and travel during the off-peak season, and you’ll save money. I mean, it’s pretty much a no-brainer, right? High season equals high prices, whereas off-peak season means you can find some killer deals on flights and accommodations. Plus, there are lots of other awesome travel promos to snag and save money, too!

I know not everyone can travel outside of school holidays or peak season (hello, summer vacay!), but if you can do it and save money, you won’t regret it. And, as an added bonus, you won’t have to deal with the hordes of tourists that tend to flock to popular destinations during high season. That means fewer lines, less traffic, better service, less competition for facilities and a more enjoyable overall experience.

Empty beach, travel off peak season to save money

6. Travel longer

This one is for all you digital nomads and long-term travelers out there. When it comes to travel, it pays to slow down and stay longer.

Think about it: short trips are more expensive because you’re trying to cram everything into a tight schedule. But when you’ve got time to spare, you can save money and take advantage of cheaper options, like finding deals on flights and accommodations, or opting for slower transportation methods.

For instance, taking a night bus or train might not be the most comfortable option, but it can help save money compared to flying. And spending the night on a bus also means saving on accommodation costs.

Plus, when you’re slow traveling and staying in one place for a while, you’ll have a chance to really get to know the locals, explore off-the-beaten-path destinations, and discover hidden gems that you might have otherwise missed on a whirlwind tour. And renting a place for a month is usually more cost-effective than renting for a shorter period.

Curious about long-term travel? Check out whether long-term travel is the right choice for you!

7. Choose the right destination

Skip the pricey destinations and keep the expensive destinations on your bucket list for when you are richy rich. I mean, don’t get me wrong, places like Australia and Iceland are amazing, but they’ll definitely put a dent in your wallet. Instead, why not head to places like South America, Central America (e.g. Nicaragua), the Balkans, or Southeast Asia (e.g. Koh Phangan or Vietnam), and save money? Not only are these regions absolutely stunning, but they’re also much more budget-friendly.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But what about finding deals and traveling on a shoestring budget?”. Of course, it’s definitely possible to travel on a budget and save money in expensive places, but it takes a lot of planning, research, and flexibility. So if you’re looking for an easier route to money saving, consider setting your sights on more affordable regions.

And one more thing to keep in mind when looking at how to save money while travelling: be mindful of peak season! Before you book that flight, do a little research to see if you’re traveling during a particularly popular time for locals. If so, prices may be higher and crowds may be thicker.

8. Track your spending

Digital nomads and travelers know the importance of being tech-savvy when it comes to managing their trips. But let’s be real, budgeting can be a real buzzkill. Luckily, there are some nifty apps out there that can make it a bit more fun and help you save money.

With budgeting apps like Tricount or TravelSpend, you can track your expenses in real-time and keep an eye on your spending. Set a daily budget and let the app tell you when you’ve gone overboard. This will help you readjust and make the appropriate changes to stay on track with your planned budget and save money in the end.

And that’s not all. There are plenty of other travel apps out there that can help you save money and make the most out of your trip. From finding cheap flights with Kiwi to last-minute deals on Booking, the possibilities are endless. So why not embrace the tech and make your travels a bit more budget-friendly? A little research can go a long way in saving you money while travelling.

9. Avoid tourist traps

Let’s face it: tourists are like walking ATMs to locals. And while it’s great to support local economies, you don’t want to empty your own bank account in the process. So instead of sticking to the tourist hotspots, try to venture off the beaten path a bit to save money. Eat where the locals eat, and avoid restaurants that are full of tourists. Trust me, the best street tacos aren’t found at that fancy restaurant with a view of the Eiffel Tower. And as tempting as it might be to enjoy your ice cream on the main plaza, you’ll likely pay a premium for that picturesque view.

Here are a few more money saving tips to help you avoid getting ripped off :

  • Skip the airport and find a local shop or bank to get a better deal on things like SIM cards and cash withdrawals.
  • If you’re renting a car, it’s always a good idea to take a few pictures of it before you drive Not just for the ‘Gram, but also in case the rental company tries to blame you for any damages later on. So, take a minute to document any scratches, dings, or dents, and make sure to show them to the rental agent before you leave. And if you’re feeling extra cautious, you can even record a quick video of the car’s condition. That way, you’ll have peace of mind and won’t have to worry about any unexpected charges on your credit card later.
  • Keep your cash and cards in different places to avoid losing everything in once. We learned this lesson the hard way during our travels in Mexico when someone broke into our room and found our cash stash. By splitting up your money and cards into different pockets, bags, or even on different people, you can minimize the risk of losing everything if one item gets lost or stolen.
  • Don’t feel like you need to carry your passport with you everywhere you go. The odds of losing it are higher than winning the EuroMillions jackpot. And let’s face it, replacing a passport can be expensive and time-consuming, so it’s best to avoid the hassle if possible.

By following these sneaky little money saving tricks, you’ll be able to save money on your travels. And if you need more tips, just ask me! I’ve gathered over the years enough hacks to fill an entire suitcase.

Similan islands, travel Asia to save money

10. Use the right credit card

When people ask me how to save money while traveling, I never forget to mention this money saving tip: have the right card in your wallet can make all the difference.

With Revolut for example, you can spend and withdraw cash abroad with minimal fees, and even get a replacement card anywhere in the world if you happen to lose it while traveling. The free plan allows you to withdraw up to 200 euros for free, and offers you up to 1000 euros of currency exchanges. With the premium plan (7,99 euros), you get a travel insurance, unlimited exchange fees and can withdraw up to 400 euros without having to worry about ATM fees. Bim, made for you to save money!

But before you jump on the Revolut bandwagon, make sure it fits your needs and that you understand all the fees and benefits associated with your card. And don’t forget to compare it with other options out there, like N26.

11. Take advantage of free activities

One of the best ways to save money while traveling is to take advantage of free activities. From exploring local parks and museums, to soaking the sun on a beach, to sunset watching, to hiking trails and attending free events, there are plenty of ways to have fun without spending a dime.

Many cities offer free walking tours, which are a perfect way to learn about the area’s history and culture while getting some exercise. You can also check out local markets and festivals, which often offer free admission and a chance to stuff your face with delicious local cuisine.

And when shopping in markets or hiring private tour guides, don’t forget to channel your inner haggler! Bargaining is often part of the game, especially in some cultures, but please remember to be respectful and not become one of those pushy tourists who haggle over one-cent intervals, especially in poorer countries.

Oh, and don’t miss out on free outdoor activities like hiking, climbing, and swimming, which are not only a great way to save money but also to enjoy the stunning natural beauty of your destination. Speaking of which, here is a list of my top 5 favorite summer destinations for outdoor adventures in Europe!

Hiking trail in Thailand

12. Or work just more…

If you’re feeling a little lazy and saving money just sounds like way too much effort, then my advice is simple: work more! You could try taking on some freelance work and travel jobs, Workaway gigs or picking up extra shifts at your job to boost your income. That way, you can avoid all the hassle of budgeting and saving and just enjoy the finer things in life.

Plus, with all that extra cash, you can treat yourself to some fancy restaurants or those drool-worthy houses I was talking about earlier. Who needs a budget when you can have it all? (But seriously, budgeting is still a good idea…)

Final Thoughts on How to Save Money while Travelling

So there you have it! These are some of my best tips that will help you save money and stretch your travel budget. With a little creativity and some smart choices, you can have an epic trip without breaking the bank. So go ahead and book that plane ticket, pack your bags, and get ready to live your best life. And remember, the only thing better than traveling is traveling without worrying too much about your finances. Happy travels!

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