Save money while traveling the world is usually one of the biggest concerns for people. I currently make enough to live in places like South America or Asia on my freelance salary alone. In addition, I have been saving for the last few years. Most people like to save for houses, cars, families, and retirement. While those things are important, I like to save money to travel. I want to show people, (especially women) who are on the cusp of leaving their office job that it is possible to do if you are careful with your money and you just take action.
I would say I am a middle of the road traveler. Sometimes I stay in nicer hotels and eat in nicer restaurants, however a lot of times I also will stay in a hostel in a single room or in a 3 star hotel in order to save money.
Below are ten tips on how to save money while traveling:
1. Go to countries in the off-season. Many countries thrive on tourism and often have cheap flights and deals during off-peak times. By doing this, you also avoid places being filled with tourists since it isn’t as busy!
2. Walk. Cities are filled with new sites, food, and people. What better way to see a city than to walk? You get a more local point of view and often discover things that you would not find taking transportation.
3. Use public transportation vs. taxis. If you aren’t a walker, using the local public transportation is the next cheapest option. Taking taxis will quickly get expensive and taking local trains and buses can also give you a local perspective of a new city.
4. Look for hotels/hostels with breakfast included. Eat a big breakfast and skip lunch. Then just eat dinner later on, or do some combination of that.
5. Bring snacks. If you bring snacks from home, they can fill in for the lunch time gap if you get hungry. You also are saving money by not buying snacks and getting ripped off in a local market or convenience stores.
6. Look for restaurants that have a “Menu of the Day.” Many restaurants will serve a larger lunch with three courses for a fixed low price during lunch hours.
7. Bring a refillable water bottle. While all places you visit will not have potable drinking water, you can fill it up at airports and coffee shops that do have clean water. This will save you a lot of money in the long run from having to buy bottles of water.
8. Just bring a carry on. Many of the economy airlines and bus companies offer cheap trips, however they charge high prices for extra luggage. Having only a carry-on and a backpack will save you money from having to check a bag, as well as time from having to drop it off and wait for it when you arrive.
9. Once you arrive, check with the local tourist information office for discount city cards. Many cities have passes that are one price that allow you entrances to different sites and museums. Often they also have discount cards for restaurants.
10. Take a free walking tour. Many cities, especially in Europe, having companies that offer free tours. The only thing you pay for is tipping the guide at the end whatever amount you think is fair. These tours take you all around the city for 2-3 hours and the guide usually has some good tips and recommendations as well.
I am sharing these tips to show you that it is possible to travel to new exciting places at an affordable price. They also will help stretch your money farther if you are planning to travel full time.