This week I have a fabulous guest post from Carla of Exciting Adventure. Carla and her boyfriend Oliver are living the dream digital nomad life – travelling full time while earning money on the road. Here she shares her best tips for saving money travelling.
A lot of people want to travel but are held back by the belief that travelling is very expensive and that it can’t be done on a budget. But that is not true! Many people travel on a budget and have as much fun or even more than people that spend thousands of dollars on a trip.
There are many ways how you can cut down on expenses during your trip without missing all the fun that a trip is supposed to have. That is why we created a list with 5 tips that will help you save money while you travel.
We want you to be able to travel and experience the world. So make sure to read through these 5 tips so that you can start planning your next trip, even if you are on a budget.
1. Find the best option for accommodation
Accommodation tends to be the most expensive part of the trip. That is why it is important to find the option that fits you best. While many might just go on a search engine and take the first best looking place, some might spend hours looking for good value accommodation.
Some might say it is a waste of time, but if you want to save you need to find the best option for you. Find a place with breakfast, that is not too far from everything so you can walk…
Finding a place with a kitchen can also be a great way to save some money. This will allow you to cook so that you don’t have to eat every meal outside.
If you are looking for free accommodation there are also some options for you out there. One option is couch surfing. Here local people with an extra room share their house so that people can stay there. Create an account and see if it is the right thing for you.
Another option is to work in exchange for accommodation. There are many sites where you can find this kind of offers like for example Workaway, WWOOF or helpX.
The last option is to house sit. Here you take care of the house and usually the pets of the owners while they go on vacation. This might be a little harder to find if you want it in a specific location, but it is always worth a try.
2. Save on meals
Food is probably the second thing where you spend most during your travels. And that is normal, everyone has to eat. But there are also ways that you can save on food.
Finding a hotel with breakfast will already save you the first meal of the day. So if you have breakfast make sure to eat enough so that you don’t get hungry at least until lunch.
And if possible take something with you as a snack in case you get hungry, such as a fruit. If you know that you will need some snacks during the day go to the supermarket and get something instead of buying it somewhere in the street when you get hungry, which will for sure be more expensive.
If you have a kitchen maybe you can prepare some sandwiches for the day, so that you don’t have to eat out every day. This will also save you the time you would’ve lost looking for a place to eat.
If not, eat where the locals eat. In most places where tourists go food tends to be overpriced. A good way of finding cheaper places is asking the locals. They will know the local and cheapest options. I think the best is asking students, they are usually also on a budget and know the cheapest places for sure.
3. Be flexible with your travel dates and destination
The best way to save money is being flexible with the travel dates and destination, as well as, traveling off season.
Prices for flights and hotels change constantly. Sometimes airlines have great deals for flights, but of course, you won’t find them for the specific days you want to or maybe not for a specific destination.
That is why being flexible with your dates and destination will save you a lot of money. Search in Sky Scanner which allows you to search for the cheapest dates and cheapest destinations. Check our guide on how to find cheap flights in order to make sure you are getting the best option.
Most of the cheap deals are usually during the off-season. Here flights are not so full, hotels are emptier and prices drop. This also allows you to travel without a strict schedule because you can plan as you go since hotels and transportation is not usually fully booked.
Look also for other options than flights such as buses, trains or shared transport such as Blablacar. This might also save you money, especially for shorter distances.
4. Travel light and take snacks with you
When you look for the cheapest travel options it can happen that you have to compromise in some other things. Usually, the cheapest fares don’t include luggage, just a handbag.
So the lighter you travel the more you will save. If you are only going on a short trip travel only with hand luggage.
If you are traveling for longer go with one bag and try to keep it as light as possible. This way you will avoid paying overweight fees.
Another important thing is to always take some snacks and drinks with you. If you are traveling by plane take a water bottle with you. Usually, you will find fountains where you can fill it and that way you will avoid having to buy expensive drinks at the airport.
Same goes for food. Take some snacks, a sandwich and everything you need so you don’t have to buy it on the plane, bus or train. Food is much more expensive in those places.
5. Walk, take public transport and look for free activities.
The best way to discover new places is by walking. So try to find a place to stay that is pretty central so that you can walk to all the touristy places. This will not only save you money, but you will also see things along the way that you might not have seen otherwise.
If you want to go further than take public transport instead of a cab. Public transport is always cheaper than a cab.
Find also out what events are going on if there are any free activities going on. Most cities have museum free days, find out when they are and go to the museums on those days.
Find out if there are any free walking tours on the city. Most European cities have them, but there are also many other cities where you can find them. Free walking tours are a great way to get to know the city for a cheap price. Even though it is free, the guides live off of the tips, so always leave a tip.
Try to get out as many tips from the guide as well from other things that you can do in the city for free, cheap places to eat, events going on… They usually are aware of everything that is going on in the city and can give you local tips.
Now is your turn!
As you see these are not things that are very hard to do, but they will save you money while you travel so that you can travel longer.
You don’t need too much effort to apply them, and you will thank yourself that you did it when you see your budget going down slower than usual.
Now is your time to start planning your next trip taking these 5 tips into account. And if you want to know how to make money while traveling check out these 10 digital nomad jobs.
About the author: We are Carla and Oliver and together we run Exciting Adventure. We left our lives in Berlin to travel and explore the world. We became nomads by doing it and now we are on our way to become digital. You can follow our journey on our blog, where we give useful tips so that you can do the same. We believe that everyone should do what they love, and for us, it is easier as digital nomads.
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