The question we’re always asked is, ‘how can you afford to travel for months on end around the world?’ Our answer always is the same, sacrifices and stringently save a large chunk of your wage each week.
This can mean missing out on big nights on the town, expensive gadgets and avoiding social events. However, it is all worth it when you are trekking around the world, discovering all there is to see.
Travelling the world on a budget, doesn’t mean you have to scrimp and save. If you are careful and clever with your money, you really will be able to travel for longer on less. It isn’t always easy, but there are heaps of ways you can catch a bargain when travelling, here’s are our 10 favourite cost saving tips.
1. Allocate a daily budget
It is important to plan ahead and consider how far your currency will go within that country. In places like Western Europe you can easily spend $100 or more a day, however in places like Asia you can spend half of that. Allocating yourself a daily budget in each country can help save you money when it comes to converting currencies.
2. Blow the idea of five stars out the window
The reality is that if you want to travel months on end you need to say goodbye to luxury travel accommodation. Budget accommodation such as hostels, campsites, Airbnb and couch surfing are the ideal way to get the best bang for your buck.
Hostels can be the best way to travel anyway; they allow you to meet and mingle with people from all around the world. You’ll find out secret locations and places to visit that aren’t listed within a travel guide.
3. Find the best food on the street
One of the biggest mistakes travellers make is not enjoying in the delicacy of eating from street food stalls in the fear of becoming ill. Some of the best and most tasty food is found on the street. The way to avoid getting ill is going to the stalls where you see many locals visit.
If you’re still keen to eat in a restaurant always make sure to walk away from the touristy areas. Eateries near tourist attractions will charge 20-50% more because tourists don’t know what food usually costs in that country. You will also find that you’ll get a more authentic experience away from these areas.
4. Take early morning flights
Flights are generally cheaper in the early morning as they are less convenient for most travellers. Plus, you'll arrive in your next destination with the entire day to get out and about exploring your new surrounds. And don’t forget to check out budget airline prices to save even more.
5. Volunteer and save
This is by far our favourite way to experience and give back to the country you are visiting. By offering to volunteer you’ll save money by preoccupying yourself with other tasks. and you’ll be less likely to spend money on exxy activities.
6. Make your own tours
Guided tours can come with a hefty price tag and sometimes they’re not even worth it! Before you book search on the internet for free tours. You can even make up your own with a bunch of friends from the hostel. Never forget that where there is one tour operating there are bound to be others, ask a few places and see if you can haggle to lower the prices.
We recommend Hop-On-Hop-Off bus tours as these can be inexpensive whilst providing you with maps, discount coupons, audio information and travel expenses covered for the day.
7. Get family to help you
If Christmas or your birthday is coming up before your trip, ask family and friends for foreign currency or money towards your trip instead of other gifts.
8. Take overnight transport
The best way to save on accommodation and travel expenses is by travelling long distances on overnight trains and buses. Whilst they aren’t exactly luxury you’ll survive. Take some ear plugs, a pillow, and eye mask to make it more comfortable.
9. Stop paying bank fees
Banks charge an international withdrawal fee every time you use an ATM with your normal bank card. On top of this conversion rates used at ATM’s are usually well below what you would get back home. To avoid these charges, you can get a multi-currency card with no foreign transaction fees. These cards are usually free and you can pre-load multiple currencies onto them when the exchange rate is high.
10. Use social media to find deals
Following local travel deal sharing pages will update you on the latest deals from flights to accommodation. Liking your favourite travel sites, airlines and hotels on Facebook or Twitter can alert you to deals as it is becoming more common for these companies to announce promotions via social media. Social media can also be great to get in contact with other travellers for tips and cheap recommendations too.
And of course....Don't forget travel insurance
Remember you wouldn’t be covered for any accidents that might happen to you overseas. If you tripped and broke an arm, medical bills could be in the thousands of dollars. Save yourself some pennies and buy yourself a cheap travel insurance policy today.