Hey there from Vancouver!
Since I’m travelling in Canada right now, it seemed like a right time to make a travel related post. I thought about, what might interest you guys and that might be saving money. I know, that it’s important to me, so I wanted to share some tips regarding that with you too.
Travelling obviously means that you need to have money in order to do that. But for me, it’s also finding ways how to travel on a budget and not spend too much. I’m going to point out a few tips and recommendations, which I use in order to keep myself on not spending too much during one trip. This gives me the opportunity to travel more frequently and not end up broke.
1. Being flexible with date & time of travelling
If you’re looking for plane tickets, it’s good if you can be flexible with your dates. This gives you the chance to book the most cheapest flights. You can use online searches to find the cheapest dates to fly. Also, it’s good to fly, when others don’t. For example, late night or early morning flights; low-season months like January and February; avoiding weekend and holiday flights. Also, I’ve seen that flights on Tuesday and Wednesday can be cheaper.
My favourite sites for flight searches:
www.skyscanner.net (you can choose “travel anywhere” and see also whole month prices)
www.azair.eu (you can choose “travel anywhere” and it shows automatically the cheapest prices to every location)
www.momondo.com (sometimes finds cheaper prices than any other site)
2. Saving on accommodation
There are several ways to save money on accommodation. One of the best ways is, if you’re travelling to a place, where your friends, relatives or family live. You can maybe stay with them and not spend money on accommodation at all.
Another basically free way is to use couchsurfing, if you’re not intimidated by staying with strangers. You can create your profile and start searching for like-minded people in the destination you’re travelling to.
I’m used to book accommodation mainly through Airbnb, because I also do it myself in Pärnu. It may be so much cheaper than a hotel and also more convenient. In Airbnb search, you can look for the cheapest price, read reviews of others and decide for yourself, if the place is for you. Also, many Airbnb places are really convenient. For example you may find a place, where you get a smart lock code and get inside a place very quickly and easily.
Tip: the more you stay in Airbnb apartments, the more reviews you get as a guest and the more reviews you can leave yourself and be useful to other travellers.
3. Saving on foods
Eating out can be really expensive. Especially, if you’re travelling and you have to think about food all the time, because it may not be as accessible as it is at home. One of my favourite hacks is to book an Airbnb place and cook for myself at least once or twice a day. That way you’ll definitely save some money. My way is normally to cook my own breakfast and eat lunch out. With dinner it depends, if I’m still exploring around or staying inside.
Tip: In some Airbnb places, the host may provide coffee, tea
or something else that you don’t need to spend extra money on!
It may also be mentioned already on the listing description. Keep your eyes open!
A good hack is also taking some snacks with you if you’re going exploring around. I try to take some fruits, protein bars, nuts or granola bars with me in case I’m hungry and don’t want to spend a lot of money. Also, these are some healthy snack choices, so I won’t grab something unhealthy and not nutritious. A good thing is also bringing your own water bottle or why not even coffee with you. So you don’t have to buy them from kiosks or coffee shops, where they can be quite expensive.
Read more about staying healthy while travelling from my previous post here.
4. Using Google Search & TripAdvisor
If I’m looking for a place to eat out, I’ve used Google to search for cheap places to eat out in the destination I’m at. It’s a 100% effective and you may find a place, you never would have found on your own. You can also use TripAdvisor and categorise the restaurants by price range.
Using search engines is also a good way to look for activities that are free of charge. For example, I’ve Googled “Top free things to do in…”. You may find a full list of activities in your destination, that don’t require any money. These kind of lists may be totally different of your ordinary travel habits, but why not give it a try. There may be several free museums, hiking trails, photographic places, interesting neighbourhoods to walk in, galleries, parks, events, markets etc.
Tip: on TripAdvisor, it’s also great to see the reviews and recommendations by people who’ve actually been to a place and can share useful information about it.
5. Saving on transportation
The best way to explore a place is definitely on foot! This way you’ll save so much on transportation. You can just walk around and use Google Maps to find the best places in the destination. Also, a good way is to take your Airbnb place in the downtown, so you won’t need to walk huge distances.
If you certainly need to use some kind of a transport, it’s good to check some day passes for bus, metro or train and use it wisely throughout the day. If the weather allows, it may also be a good idea to rent a bike and ride it around the whole day. Why not even check if your Airbnb host has a bike that you can borrow?
In some cities, I’ve driven the train or bus for free. I don’t necessarily recommend it, but I’ve done it for example late at nights, when I know for sure, that nobody is gonna check my ticket.
I hope these few tips were useful to you and you can adapt these on your next travels. I would love to know, if you have any hacks on saving money while travelling as well? Maybe we can share ideas and be useful to each other. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.