Traveling has become almost as indispensable in the modern world as breathing. There is hardly a person who isn’t daydreaming about the sunny coasts of Costa Rica or snowy fiords. For some people traveling is only about relaxing. Others want to broaden their mind or learn a new language. Whatever the reason – there is no doubt traveling makes us happier.
Frankly, I don’t have the slightest idea how to do the around-the-world-on-a-budget thing. Moreover, the very idea of traveling the world without sufficient funds and hotel bookings made three months in advance and confirmed at least twice scares the hell out of me. But, I do travel a lot and have invented my own protocol of planning a trip without breaking the bank. These are tried and tested tips that always work for me, and that will most certainly work for you. Some concern trip preparations, others are about saving when you’re already there. There are no doubt a lot of other, rather drastic, ways to save. However, I was developing mine having comfort in mind. No living in the car and taking a shower at a gas station kind of things. So, if you are anything like me, you will find those useful.
1. Sign up for newsletters and other notifications from websites offering low-cost plane tickets
Ordering in advance always helps to save, but not as much as catching those “hot” tickets whose prices were cut several times by mistake (or for any other mysterious reason). Also, there are services that will help you find the cheapest flight from point A to point B with as many intermediary points as you want.
Tip: I often plan my trips based on such recommendations. When a trip from Spain to the Great Britain takes three days with two 24-hour stops in Berlin and Rome on the way – why not take advantage of this?
2. Fly on Tuesdays or Thursdays
Prices prove to be the cheapest on these weekdays when there is the smallest number of passengers.
3. Monitor coupon websites for transport discounts
Preferably, use a localized coupon website of the country where you are planning to go. For example, you can get a discount on trains cruising all over Italy.
Tip: sometimes companies offer discounted trips only for its residents. However, most times nobody checks your ID when boarding, so you can buy tickets online and enjoy the benefits.
4. Rent an apartment instead of hotels
The price difference between hotels and rented apartments can amount to hundreds of dollars, and with the launch of Airbnb, it has become a complete waste of money to stay in hotels. Besides, they offer referrals and discount codes for more savings. If you are into couchsurfing, you can save even more – with slightly less comfort, of course.
5. Use museum passes
Instead of buying tickets to every single museum, try buying a museum pass that will let you in tens of them. Museum passes are usually valid for a few days only, so your sightseeing program will be rather intense, but they will also let you legitimately skip the line, which saves you around 4 hours in Louvre, for example.
6. Google money exchanges will benefit you
If you are going to a country with a different currency, search travel forums. People often report where they have bought local currency and compare rates. You can easily find the best offers in the craziest places.
7. Eat smart
There is a cool service called Eat With that will match foodies with chefs and lets you eat local at a reasonable cost. It also helps you avoid overpriced Michelin restaurants.
8. Look for company, share costs
If you have no other choice but to rent a car and if there are only two of you, you can find other travelers and share costs using services like Bla Bla Car.
9. Going to Asia? Don’t book the hotel for the entire stay
Since there are lots of small providers of accommodation in Asian countries, a lot of them are not included into world booking systems. Having booked a room for the first few days of your stay, you will then be able to find a cheaper option on the spot.
10. Learn to pack!
Oftentimes the price of the baggage will be higher than the price of your discounted ticket. That’s when you will need all your packing skills to fit as much as possible in a backpack. If we are talking about India or Bali, it will be cheaper to have your laundry done by a hotel rather than drag along a full-grown suitcase of clothes. And nobody says washing your underwear in the sink is not a viable option.
Hope these tips will help you discover the world without going to financial extremities and with sufficient comfort.
Veronica Hunt is an ed tech expert and an experienced blogger from Delaware City, DE. As a blogger, Veronica sees her purpose in providing her readers with up-to-date info in the spheres of marketing, entrepreneurship and psychology. Apart from work, Veronica adores traveling and yoga. You can contact Veronica on Facebook or Twitter @VeronicaHuntt.