Ah, travel. That enigmatic dream that is so clear and sharp as a peripheral image, but that quickly loses form and descends into haze the moment you fix it with anything more than a cursory glance. When you’re wielding the traveller’s sword against living expenses – perhaps the most tenacious beast you’ll need to slay in your journey – travel can indeed feel more like a myth than an actual possibility. But it doesn’t have to be this way. As travel becomes increasingly more accessible due to higher wages and lower travel costs, there’s never been a better time to research your options and grab yourself a great deal. We know it can be overwhelming at first, which is why we’ve put together this top 10 list of money saving tips for budget travel. Check it out, do some research, book your trip, and explore the world! You can thank us later.
1. Learn how to pack light:
Taking multiple bags, especially where oversized or excess baggage is concerned, can quickly rack up your bills, so try to shed some weight before embarking on your next journey. If flying on a budget airline that charges extra for checked luggage, it can even be helpful to restrict your load, where possible, to carry on only. How in the world can you manage this? It's easy with our famous Scrubba wash bag that enables you to pack less by washing clothes absolutely anywhere. You can also check out our top tips for lightweight travel for more handy hints.
2. Book a round trip:
It’s usually cheaper to fly in and out of the same airport, so where possible endeavour to return to your starting point just before the end of your trip. Having said this, sometimes two one way flights can be cheaper, so the most important thing is to research your options before making a booking.
3. Cook and sample foreign cuisine:
Look for apartments or hostels that offer kitchenettes so you have the option to cook during your travels. This can save a ton of money on food and is even a great way to channel your traveller’s inspiration by reproducing some delicious local dishes and sampling fresh local ingredients. If cooking really isn’t your thing, at least try to plan your restaurants a little ahead of time so you can be sure you’re getting the cuisine you want at the best possible price.
4. Research currency exchange options:
Some currency exchange centres offer bad rates, so it can pay to do a quick search to find the best deal in your area. If you’ve planned your trip well ahead of time, be sure to also keep an eye on the exchange rate so that you can book services at the most beneficial time.
5. Find a good travel bank card:
Do some research into your bank and your card(s) to find an option that waives foreign transaction fees or at least offers you the best deal.
6. Stay flexible:
When planning your trip, try to keep some of your dates open, as prices can change from day to day and season to season, while many countries have special tour deals or even free entrance to certain attractions on specific days of the week. If possible, align your visits with these days to keep your costs as low as possible.
7. Avoid taxis:
Taxis are one of the most expensive forms of transport available and don’t always offer the most authentic experience. Instead, consider riding a public bus or train, as these are some of the cheapest ways to travel. Try walking if distance permits, as this will enable you to soak in the culture and the sites without spending a cent.
8. Book a hotel outside of major "tourist areas":
Restaurants and accommodation are typically pricier the closer you get to major tourist attractions or city centres, so to find cheap hotels try broadening your scope. You'll save those pennies and start exploring like a local.
9. Consider overnight transport options:
It’s definitely not for everyone, but if you don’t mind forfeiting a little comfort in exchange for a cheap bus or train ticket, try travelling on overnight transport. In addition to sometimes cheaper upfront fares, you’ll also save on a night’s accommodation.
10. Be on the lookout for helpful travel gadgets:
From collapsible, reusable drink bottles to handy solar charging panels, the market is simply overflowing with lightweight gadgets that can be put to use in a variety of circumstances to help you save time and money on your travels. Our all time favourite is, of course, the Scrubba wash bag. Durable, portable, and lightweight, this nifty gadget is capable of washing clothes absolutely anywhere in only 3 minutes thanks to its internal, flexible washboard, ensuring you save the time and money usually reserved for dingy laundromats. For more inspiration, check out our great gadgets that fold down small gift guide.
With these tips, you’re bound to save money and get the most out of your next adventure. So book that ticket and roam, wander, and explore, all without breaking the bank!
Worried you might forget all 10 tips in the excitement of travelling? We've got you covered with this handy graphic that can be saved straight to your device!