How To Save Money While Travelling
Tips and tricks to spending less while abroad
Stay in hostels: This may seem obvious, but is the oldest trick in the book. Hostel World or www.hostels.com show you thousands of reviews, the cheapest stays in each city, and the opportunity to see the price breakdown of different rooms. Big dorm rooms are obviously the cheapest, but checking various websites can lead to finding single or double rooms discounted by up to 70%, which is always nice if you want to take a break from sharing a room with 12 people.
If in Europe, take Ryan Air or Easy Jet / receive their promotional emails: These two airlines are by far the cheapest when travelling around Europe. Spending a semester abroad and have a flexible schedule? Look for the cheapest weekends to travel and you could be paying less than $20 for an international flight. Being subscribed to their emails also means you could receive deals, exclusive offers, and the cheapest prices you’ll ever be able to find.
Go on private browsing so the prices to flights don’t increase: Your computer tracks your activity through cookies (and other technology I don’t understand). If you visit an airline page and often check the price of a flight, you may notice it increases. Your computer will track what you’re interested in, realize you’re most likely going to purchase this flight, and will increase the price. Private browsing is a fool-proof solution to this problem!
Get the ISIC student travel card: Depending on where you go, you may be eligible for discounts on various things, such as Machu Picchu, park entrances, transportation tickets and more. Cheaper travel, and it’s pretty easy to apply!
Talk to locals about where to eat food: No matter where you go, there will always be those restaurants that look “authentic” and turn out to be tourist traps. It may not be on a river or on the main square, but even places that seem like “hole-in-the-wall” places can be rip offs. Talk to locals! People who work at your hostel or hotel, local workers in grocery stores or travel agencies, and people who have been travelling for months can be very helpful in finding the best deals.
Buy guides and follow their recommendations: Travel guides are amazing in finding the spots you can’t miss in a city or country, and often have the best food recommendations. Find cheap eats and hole-in-the-wall places where you can enjoy a great meal away from tourists.
Book tickets with local bus companies: As tempting as it is to find buses and trains online and book them in advance, the best deals happen in bus terminals and stations. If you can afford to wait to purchase a ticket, head to the local bus terminal in the city you’re staying in. The cheapest options are often not broadcasted all over the internet because they’re small, local companies.
Negotiate!: The art of negotiating is crucial when abroad. A lot of prices are decided on the spot, depending on how well you speak the language, how touristy you look, and how willing you are to fight for a discount. When travelling, I met a group of people all on the same bus, the locals had paid the cheapest price, I had paid a little more, and the Germans next to me who spoke not a word of Spanish had paid almost double what I had paid. Fight for your bucks! If something seems overpriced, it probably is.