The student traveler, the luxury traveler, the nomad. Whichever type of traveler you are, we all have something in common, and that’s saving money.
You can start saving money before your trip even begins. We’ve got a list of wallet-friendly travel hacks for eating and drinking, accommodations and more. Let’s get into it.
Eating and Drinking
Look into the tipping culture. Places all over the world have different views on tipping. In North America, we see it as a form of customer feedback and appreciation for service. In some countries tipping simply does not exist, and in others, you might be expected to tip up to 25%. When it comes to deciding where to go, consider tipping in your budget for food and drinks.
Eat at local restaurants. Chances are, you’re looking to visit a place that has a considerably healthy tourism industry. Curb your craving for avocado toast and challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone. Learn how to order in the local language, download a translation app and step inside a local joint, where you’ll get to taste new foods and a cheaper bill at the end of your meal.
Combine DIY and eating out. Buy ingredients to make yourself a meal or two a day, and eat out for the other meal. A loaf of bread, some peanut butter, eggs, and fresh fruit make cheap and healthy breakfasts. If you have a kitchenette, make simple meals like spaghetti or take sandwiches in your daypack. Pack a pillbox full of spices, so you don’t have to break the bank buying full-sized at the store.
Mix and match. Packing light is key. If it’s easier to move around, you’ll find switching accommodations less painful. Book according to your use for the room. If you plan to spend time in the room, book something more comfortable. If you intend on spending most of your time outside exploring, consider a hostel.
Transition days. If you just need a place to sleep before your flight, visit Sleeping in Airports to see if the airport you’re flying out of has sleeping pods or quiet areas for a snooze. If you need a shower and a meal, veto the hotel room and check out the airport lounges. Most of them cost about $30-50 per visit and include a shower, free wifi, napping areas, coffee, beer, wine, snacks, and even full meals. Traveling by ground, some trains and busses have reclining seats or even beds, so opt for an overnight journey.
Take a risk and negotiate. Did you know you can negotiate with hosts on Airbnb? If you’re staying for more than a week, you may automatically see discounts. But it may also be possible to send them a message, especially if they’re a new property, ask for a better rate and assure them you’ll write an honest and thoughtful review.
Track your spending with an app. Bring your good spending habits from home on your trip with you. Set a budget in any tracking app like Trail Wallet or Mint, but keep in mind that your spending will differ from when you’re at home. Remember to be realistic about your budgets. If you blow it early, you might just abandon the whole idea altogether.
Ditch the sightseeing checklist. Just because you’re in Paris doesn’t mean you have to pay to visit the Louvre. If you’re not into art, skip it. Focus on the things that are interesting to you. It’s always better to spend more on one experience you’re really looking forward to, rather than 3 or 4 attractions you wouldn’t visit in your own country. No one really cares if you didn’t Sagrada Familia.
Share referral links. Before you leave on your trip, ask your friends who’ve been to the destination you’re headed and ask them to send you any referral links they have available. You can get free rides on electric scooters and rideshare apps, and even free meals on food delivery apps. If you’re traveling in a group, this is even easier.
Hungry for More Hacks?
Our recent post, Travel Like a Pro, has great budget tips for things like booking flights, which credit cards and banking cards to get, how to save on travel insurance and more.
Traveling on a budget doesn’t have to be complicated or take away from your experience if you have the right handful of hacks. Bon voyage!