Travel is often considered an expensive pleasure that is only available to some. Most people work all year and save up for a holiday where they spend thousands, but it is possible to travel affordably, and we are sharing our best tips here.
Whether you’re young and hungry for adventure, or if you’re retired and looking for some calm and beautiful experiences without paying a fortune, you can apply these ways to travel cheap.
We are not talking about free travel here – we are talking about ways to save money and ways to get more out of your trip without having to pay extra!
Choose the right destination
First and foremost, you have to choose the right destination if you want to travel affordably.
It has to be a destination that you can get to without paying a fortune, and the price of accommodation and food shouldn’t be overly high.
Now, most cities, even expensive ones, generally offer cheap options. But there can be a huge difference in prices depending on your destination. By choosing the right place to go, you will prepare yourself in the best way possible for a trip where you can do a lot of things without paying a fortune.
For instance, Copenhagen is a lot more expensive than Berlin. And Rome is a lot more expensive than Athens. So keep that in mind when you pick the city you’re going to. Many web pages compare the costs of various cities around the world, so you can easily find some inspiration here.
Find the cheapest way of transportation
When you have chosen a nice destination that suits your preferences, you have to find a way to get there. When it comes to international travel, it will most likely be a flight.
If you take a flight, and you intend to save a bit of money, it doesn’t really matter which airline you choose. Not in most cases, at least.
You can use Skyscanner, Expedia or another comparison site to find the best and cheapest flight to your destination. It’s a plus if you are flexible with the travel dates, but if it is a popular destination, you can usually find affordable flights all year.
Aside from looking at the prices, keep an eye on the travel time as well. We actually recommend paying a bit more to avoid a layover, since it gives you more time on your holiday and less stress overall.
Frequent flyer programs
Many airlines give you bonus points for flying with them. Eventually, you can cash these in – either for small products, seat upgrades, or even for a new ticket if you manage to accumulate enough.
Don’t pack too much
It shouldn’t ever be necessary for one person to travel with more than one suitcase (and perhaps a small handbag/backpack). Yet, most people overpack massively when they go on vacation. And this might end up costing money – for instance, it can be expensive to fly with one additional suitcase. Imagine a family or a group of friends where everyone overpacks: Huge amount of money wasted!
So how much do you need when you travel? Check our packing list here!
Accommodation matters a lot
One of the biggest costs related to any trip will be accommodation. If you’re going on vacation for over a week, it will definitely be one of the main expenses – possibly even the largest.
Therefore, try to find affordable accommodation that still has a bit of quality to it.
If you’re young and looking to discover the world, find a cheap and social hostel instead of an expensive hotel.
If you’re a family or a group of friends traveling together, book a big holiday apartment and forget about multiple hotel rooms.
Simply looking for a nice place to stay? A nice hotel can still be affordable, just make sure to compare the prices online and find the one that provides the most value overall!
Use public transport upon arrival
Aside from maybe a taxi when you need to get to and from the airport, we advise you to use public transportation as much as possible. It’s cheap, and in most big cities around the world, it is easy. Especially if there is a metro system.
Transportation can really cost a lot if you take taxis everywhere, or even if you choose to rent a car in some locations. For a city trip, those are definitely not needed. For a longer road trip, you obviously need a car, and in that case, try to. pick an economic one.
Find the right places to eat out
When most people travel, they love eating out. We don’t blame them: Trying foreign foods is one of the biggest pleasures of traveling.
However, you can still save money here without compromising with the quality. Instead of eating out 3 times per day, maybe you can do it 2 times. And when you are going out to eat, don’t just go and pick a random place in a touristy area – these are the overpriced ones! Instead, we urge you to search online for authentic, popular and affordable restaurants in your destination. Maybe you can even ask locals for recommendations upon arrival. Usually, locals know the best places to eat, and they obviously don’t go for the central, touristy restaurants where you get ripped off with the prices.
Shop with a budget
We know – a budget doesn’t sound so fun. But if cheap travel is what you want, it is one of the most important areas.
When going to a new location, it is interesting to look in the local stores. And sometimes things can even get out of control – cheaper prices abroad might lead some to actually spend more money! So in any case, we recommend sticking to a budget. It can be anything you consider reasonable yourself. For some travelers, it will be $10 – for others, it might be $100.
Take advantage of free opportunities
In many cities, museums and exhibitions are completely free. Parks, outdoor sights and some other major attractions in any given city might also be free. Look up all the popular free things to do in your upcoming destination, make a list, and enjoy some great experiences without paying a cent!
Work as you travel
What if you could make money while you travel? In that case, it wouldn’t be necessary to save so much. It would be like having a job and being on vacation at the same time.
We know, it seems unrealistic. But a lot of people do it. How can you work and travel at the same time? The answer is by working online. Create your own website, possibly even a travel blog, or offer some kind of service online. If you are good at writing, skilled with graphics, or an expert in the area of coding, it would be easy to work on your own as you travel your way through the world!