Are you planning a trip around the world, but aren’t sure if you’ve really got the budget to make it happen? If so, read this list of 20 money-saving travelling tips to help make the most of your budget:
Saving money on flying
1. Pre-book airport parking: You’ll save a considerable amount compared to last-minute bookings; or better yet, ask a friend to drop you off at the airport and cut out the expense of parking altogether.
2. Know when it’s cheap to fly: Flexibility with travel dates and times will save you money on airfare. Depending on your route and the time of year, it’s often cheaper to fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
3. Avoid high season: Following on from the previous point, it’s always going to be cheaper to fly to a destination during its tourist low season. The timing depends on your destination, so do some research first.
4. Consider alternative airports: There may be alternative airports near your destination that are cheaper to fly in and out of. Using an online booking agency such as SkyScanner, Kayak or FareCompare will allow you to include nearby airports in your search for the cheapest fares.
5. Take snacks on your flight: These days, airlines charge extra for anything and everything – and that includes on-board refreshments. Dried fruits, crisps and other non-perishables are usually permitted through security, allowing you to avoid paying a premium once on the plane.
6. Weigh your luggage: Another extra that airlines are bound to charge for is luggage – at least over a certain threshold. Know your airlines allowances and weigh your luggage ahead of time to ensure it’s within the limits.
7. Or, if you have to, wear it: If, at the last minute, you realise that your luggage is still over the limit, remember that no one’s applying a weight limit to you, the passenger. Wearing some of your heavier items could get your bag within the allowable weight range.
Saving money on accommodation
8. Arrange a housing exchange: There are lots of online housing-exchange communities that allow users to swap rooms. If you’re willing to give your room up to a traveller for free, it’s likely you can take advantage of the same.
9. Ditch hotels for private rooms: Even if you would rather pay for a room, you can still save money through private room schemes offered by the likes of Airbnb and similar providers.
10. Ask for a discount: Hotels often feature fluid room rates, and there’s usually room for discounts and upgrades. Try calling a second hotel once you’ve already booked another to see what kind of deal they’ll offer if you switch.
11. Check neighbouring communities: Sometimes, you can save some money on accommodation by looking at neighbouring communities. As long as public transport can get you to and from the hot spots, this could be worthwhile.
Picking up extra cash whilst travelling
12. Pick up a job: The most popular job for travellers has to be teaching English, and there are positions available all over the world.
13. Volunteer whilst travelling: While it doesn’t generate income, volunteering can be a great way to give back and enjoy some discounted (if not free) accommodation along the way.
14. Sell souvenirs: Depending on where you’re travelling, you may be able to find handicrafts and souvenirs (think clothing, jewellery, faux antiques, etc.) that you can sell either when you return or on EBay right now.
Other money-saving travel hacks
15. Look for deals on travel accessories: Before you strike out on your holiday, spend some time shopping around online for the gadgets and accessories you’ll use whilst travelling. You may be surprised how much you can save with voucher codes at retailers such as Amazon and similar discounts.
16. Find cheap angles on expensive destinations: You’d be surprised to find how affordable even the most expensive city can be – as long as you’re willing to skip some of the big-ticket items and invest in culture and experience.
17. Leverage technology: Your mobile device can save you lots of cash while abroad. Buy a local sim card with a data package and save on calls home as well as extra Wi-Fi charges at hotels.
18. Be flexible: Flexibility with travel plans on everything from destinations to modes of transport will serve to bring your travel expenses down significantly.
19. Eat like a local: Local food is almost always more affordable than international fare. For example, skip the Full English for a bowl of rice porridge in Thailand. It’s cheap and cultural!
20. Exchange currency smartly: Withdrawing cash from an ATM abroad comes with hidden fees, as does swiping a credit card. Meanwhile, currency exchange rates vary and aren’t always advantageous. It’s usually best to withdrawal large sums of cash or to exchange before you travel.