Traveling is an incredible, life-changing experience, but it can quickly become expensive between transport, accommodation, activities, and tours. Fortunately, there are many ways to save money while traveling and get the most out of your travel budget. With this in mind, here are five simple ways to save money while traveling:
1. Eat local food
Eating in expensive, touristic restaurants can be costly and quickly lead to you overspending on your travel budget. Fortunately, it’s possible to keep food and drink costs low by visiting traditional restaurants and eating at the same places as the locals.
These venues are typically far cheaper and offer a more authentic dining experience. You can also save money by purchasing food from supermarkets and food stalls instead of eating every meal out in restaurants. You can find the best value traditional restaurants by asking for advice from locals and seeking guidance and tips from travel blogs and online tourism forums.
I recently went to Stockholm for the weekend; and I stayed in Gamla Stan, a touristy area. Most of the restaurants were pricey, about $15-$20 a person (drinks not included) for just lunch. I ended up stumbling upon a street stall selling authentic Swedish food (fried herring with mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam). I got a whole plate for only $6! If I were to go to a fast food restaurant, I would have likely paid even more than $6.
2. Stay in Hostels
The type of accommodation you choose will have a significant effect on your overall travel budget. For instance, staying in shared dorm rooms is an effective way to instantly cut your travel costs and maximize your travel budget. Staying in communal rooms will also give you the opportunity to meet fellow travelers and get involved with social activities.
You can find hostel accommodation on both Hostel World and Airbnb.
3. Book in advance
Booking things like accommodation, transport, and tours in advance could save you significant amounts of money as you will be able to take advantage of the best deals. Accommodation and tours in popular tourist areas tend to get booked up well in advance, so it’s always best to book early to avoid disappointment later on.
You should also use price comparison sites like Skyscanner and Trivago to help you find the best available deals. If you’re planning on renting a car when you arrive at your destination, then it’s advisable to reserve one in advance using companies like Advantage Car Rental. This will ensure that you get the best price and secure a quality vehicle that suits your travel needs.
4. Reduce your transport costs
Transportation is likely to take up a large portion of your overall travel budget. With this in mind, here are some simple ways to reduce your transport costs while traveling:
- Try to use cheap transport like trains and buses instead of flying
- Share taxis and minivans with other travelers to split the costs using Uber Pool or Lyft Line
- Walk, cycle and use public transportation whenever possible.
- Book flights in advance and be flexible with your travel dates to get the best deals.
- Plan the most efficient route possible to reduce the time and costs associated with travel
5. Look for free activities
Paying for activities and tours can get expensive while traveling. Fortunately, many destinations offer a variety of free activities that can keep you entertained. For instance, walking tours are a popular activity that is offered for free in most cities around the world.
Spending the day at the beach or going for a walk in the park are other fun activities that are typically free. Do some research online to find information on any free activities offered in the destination you are visiting.
Want more budget travel advice? Read more:
- How to Travel to Amsterdam While on a Tight Budget
- 10 Places You Must Visit in Costa Rica
- 7 Incredible Places to Visit in Canada
If you plan on traveling for longer than a week, you should definitely consider travel insurance.