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Hey there, travel fans. Here’s a little secret for you – travelling the world, living the dream and getting a killer tan, doesn’t have to cost you very much at all.
Don’t believe me you say? Well, read on below and I will let you in on my top three tips to save money while on the road…
1. Travel slow
Travelling slowly has a lot of advantages, particularly for your bank account. If you rock up in town for a night or two you are inevitably going to end up trying to see as much as you can in far too short a time. That means splashing the cash on hotels, taxis, restaurants, sights, etc.
If you travel slow however you can spread out your sightseeing, get to know an area on foot, rent a bike, find out where the good local places are to hang out, make friends, learn where the best and cheap places are to eat, etc, etc.
Plus, and here’s the biggest money saver – instead of throwing a wad of cash at a hotel or hostel – you can rent a private room and save a ton.
Not only do you save money by slowing everything down but your experience of a town or city will be greatly enhanced. Isn’t it far better to get to really know a few places than simply race around ticking things off your list? I think so anyway!
2. Leverage the power of the dollar (or euro, or pound)
Why work your ass of for months and years to save a bit of travel money and then burn through 90% of it in a week by making money pits like Paris or London the first stop on your trip. €10 for a glass of wine? No, thanks!
While it is possible to find cheap things to do in towns like London if you’re travelling on a budget – and you really should as it makes everything more fun – be sensible, and travel to destinations where you get a bit more bang for your buck. You can also look for voucher codes to get accommodation and activities for a much cheaper price in those expensive cities.
Believe me, you’ll be able to travel in style in Vietnam for the same amount of money that simply surviving in Tokyo or Dublin will cost. Save your expensive trips to Florence for your honeymoon!
Not sure where’s cheap and where is not, well, fortunately, there are some handy things out there on the world wide web to help you out, try this cost of living calculator for a start.
3. Join the sharing economy and save a fortune
If you’re serious about saving money while traveling then you need to think about eliminating your biggest daily cost – accommodation.
Now you could just sleep on a beach, after all life is better with sandy toes. But after the third or fourth night of sand fly bites and crabs pinching at your bum – you might start to get a little tired of the beachlife.
After all whether you are at home or travelling the world, getting enough rest is vital. Both for you health and your enjoyment. You just gotta get your vitamin Zzzzs people! To increase your odds of a good night’s rest, check out the expert advice given by The Sleep Advisor gang
A tent could be an option. Camping, and wild camping in particular, is a great way to save a fortune when traveling and I wholeheartedly recommend it. Some of my top twenty travel memories involved nights spent under the stars.
Committing to camping does limit your destinations quite a lot. You kinda have to avoid towns and cities and head out to the sticks, which is great if that’s what you are into. It also means you will be lumbering around with a lot of gear.
Another option, my preferred option, is to get involved in the sharing economy. What do I mean by that? I mean embrace platforms like Couchsurfing, Workaway and even AirBnB. As well as all their peers.
If you’ve been traveling at all in the last decade then these three phenomena probably aren’t new to you. At the very least you will know their names.
AirBnB allows you to find cheap as chips rooms in shared houses. Couchsurfing goes one step further and allows you to find free accommodation. The only thing a Couchsurf host asks for in return is your time, a cultural exchange of sorts.
Workaway, is a platform that advertises volunteer opportunities across the world. In exchange for a few hours work a day ‘workawayers’ receive accommodation and sometimes food too. The opportunities on offer range from the skilled to the very much unskilled, you could find yourself teaching mechanical engineering at a evening school in Myanmar or looking after a sick dog while their owner goes to work.
All three platforms, and their peers in the sharing economy like Hospitality Club, Bla Bla Car, offer an unbelievable opportunity to have new experiences, meet like minded individuals and save money at the same time. What could be better than that I ask you?
Well there you have it – three top tips to help you save significantly while traveling. In my experience your fondest memories will have no correlation to money spent. Life isn’t complicated, a beach, a sunset, good company and some nice palm wine. That’s it! They can keep their Hiltons and Marriotts!