40 Ways to save money while traveling
Do you want to travel more this year, but you don’t have the money to make it happen? Don’t stress! There are plenty of ways to save money on transportation, accommodation, food, drinks, activities, and many other things while traveling. Here are 40 ways to save money while traveling.
Nowadays there are plenty of amazing ways to carpool. Think about; Blablacar, Kangaride, or Rome2Rio.
Use a cheap taxi service
When there is limited transportation and you can’t walk the distance, you can use one of the cheaper taxi services. Use Uber, an inexpensive and safe taxi service. Via the application on your phone, you can hire a private driver to pick you up and to take you to your destination.
Spend your points and miles:
There are a lot of frequent flyer programs (travel loyalty programs) where you can save points and miles for free travel.
Travel during the night:
If you can, travel during the night. Take a night-bus or night-train, and save money on accommodation.
I love to walk and explore every sight by foot. When I do a city trip, I usually walk many kilometers a day and save a lot of money by not using the metro, bus, or train.
Save money on train tickets:
In Europe, it is easily the most cheapest to buy a train ticket two or more weeks into advance. When you are planning to travel with the train for many days and/or through many countries, you can also consider buying an interrail pass rather than buying single tickets all the time. One of the providers of an interrail pass is; Interrail.
Utilize the cheapest public transportation:
Do some research about the public transportation. Sometimes you can get cheaper tickets by purchasing online tickets or by travelling during the non-peak hours.
Use comparison websites:
There are plenty of websites to compare your costs for your transportation. Think about Skyscanner. Here you can compare all airlines, dates, destinations, and airports for departure. By comparing these things, you are sure you will book the cheapest flight for your trip.
Take a road trip:
A road trip costs not that much as you think. Gas is nowadays very cheap, and when you bring your own food and can camp in your van or tent, it will be a very cheap journey!
Fly on new budget airlines:
Every year new airlines start operating in a new part of the world and start competing with the big national airlines. Usually they are smaller, operate in more hours, but are also cheaper!
Camping is definitely cheaper than staying a hotel. There a plenty of camping website where you can find cheap places to stay. One of my favorite is; Campinmygarden.
Do you have some relatives, friends, or family members who live abroad? Yes? Swap homes with them! It is free and fun.
Nowadays, we live in a sharing-economy and share a lot of things… Airbnb is a very popular platform to book a cheap apartment, room, or house, that somebody else rents out to you.
Stay for free on a couch (or bed):
During my backpack trip through Scandinavia, I decided to join the Couch Surfing (CS) community to make my trip as cheap and enjoyable as possible. You will sleep at somebody’s else couch for free! In this post, I will give you some tips and will tell you why you should go CS on your next trip! Other nice websites are; Servas and BeWelcome.
Food and drinks
There are many websites that will help you to find a cheap place to have dinner. Join that couple and eat Turkish, go to the Italian restaurant to enjoy a day deal, or learn to cook Mexican with the Mexican that is living in the same city as you currently are. Websites; Eatwith or Colunching.
Use applications to find happy hours:
Popular apps like Foursquare or Thehapphourfinder can help you to find happy hours and cheap places to get some food.
Buy from the local street vendor:
Maybe a bit risky for the travelers with a sensitive stomach, but overall the street vendors know how to cook best. It is cheap and often very delicious!
Go cook yourself:
The cheapest way to have dinner, is to go grocery shopping yourself and to cook your own dinner. Go get those noodles, pasta, or rice and become a real budget traveler.
Walk some blocks:
If you decide to go out for dinner, walk a few blocks away from the touristic sights. Restaurants, cafés and shops close to tourist sights are always higher priced and sometimes the food even taste worse.
Free and cheap activities:
Some websites provide a platform where locals can provide tours to tourists for free or for a small fee. This is fun! It is not only cheaper, but you will also meet some local people. One of those websites is Vayable.
Use your student card:
If you are still a student, do not forget to bring your student ID while travelling. Many attractions offer some discounts to students.
Buy tourism cards:
If you are planning to stay for a longer time in a city, buy a tourism card. City tourism cards get you into many attractions for a cheaper price.
Free cultural days:
There are plenty of tourist attractions like museums, parks, or zoos, that offer a visit for free day. Do some research in advance and plan your itinerary accordingly, but keep in mind that those days are usually more crowded than other days and are best to visit in the early morning.
Take free tours:
Some cities provide free walking tours to explore the city and its suburbs. After the tour, you can give a donation if you want. It is a great way to meet new people and to learn more about the city for free.
Booking behavior tips
Visit cheaper destinations:
Usually travelling to South-America or Asia is way cheaper than when you travel to Australia or Europe. Or a trip to Warsaw will probably be cheaper than a trip to Paris. Reconsider the places you would like to visit.
Travel low season:
Travel in the low season. Travelling to the Caribbean or Mediterranean Sea can also be very beautiful in winter and in the same time you will save a lot of cash.
Avoid public holidays:
Prices go up during public holidays. Try to take some days off after or before the holiday season.
Use last-minute deal apps for flights, hotels, cruises, and airport lounges:
There are many last-minute deals for flights, hotels, cruises, and airport lounges. Think about websites like; OntheFly, HotelTonight, LoungeBuddy, or Cruisesheet.
Go Beyond the Cities:
Paris, Barcelona, NYC… Yes, they are all great cities, but maybe it is also nice to go beyond these cities and to stay in less known cities. Get off the beaten path and visit smaller, cheaper, and probably more beautiful remote towns.
Book via low-budget tour operators:
Famous low-budget tour operators in Europe are Holiday Pirates or Travel Bird.
Join a Facebook group:
Yes, a Facebook group… This can be a group that focuses on special deals, last-minute deals, or a group that focuses on the destination you would like to visit. Within this kind of groups, you will often hear about off-beaten track activities, discounts, or other nice deals.
Make use of your social (international) network:
When travelling to a country, think if you perhaps know a local? Even though you met a while ago, message or phone your friend, and perhaps you will have a free place to stay and a friend to hang out with!
Write down your expenses:
By writing down each and every expense, you know in the end of the month exactly where you spend your money. Via this way, you know exactly where you spend too much money on and on what you can or should save money the next month.
Work during your trip:
There is always the possibility to travel the world and find work overseas to pay your journey..
Use a travel-related credit card:
With a travel-related credit card you can accumulate miles without ever flying or spending more than you normally would. Great way to earn miles and spend them on a free flight!
Do voluntary work:
Even though these jobs do not pay, you will save money because often you will get a room or board in return. It will keep you longer on the road. Handy websites to find volunteering jobs are Working Abroad, Volunteer international, Grassroots Volunteering or United Nations Volunteers. In this post, you can find my volunteer experience with Work Away.
Know Your Currency:
The currency exchange rate changes constantly, so it is good to know about the current rate before exchanging your money. You could save a lot of money by exchanging before the currency value increases again.
Always double-check prices:
Sometimes two one-way tickets are cheaper than a return ticket. So, when booking a flight, always check this and who knows you can save some money!
Buy local sim cards:
Make sure you have an unlocked phone, so you can buy new local sim cards and keep phone costs low. The local rates are usually way cheaper than the rates of your provider.
Ask the locals:
Ask the locals what something should costs. They know the standard price for products like tours, activities, but also for food and transportation. You can ask the people who work in your ho(s)tel.
Do you have any other money-saving travel tip?
Let me know in the comment section below.
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Some fab tips here – I walk everywhere when I’m abroad and love sampling street food too!
OMG this is such a great resource! A mistake I make frequently that loses me money is doing sloppy currency exchanges – I never hunt around I usually just go with the first place I find! 🙁
So, next time prepare a bit better, know your currency, and save some extra money! =)
Picking a cheaper destination is my tip #1 for sure! It’s so easy, those locations are incredible, and it really saves a ton of money! Great tips
This is a good comprehensive list. I think walking and local street food make a lot of difference in saving good money. Couch surfing and airbnb are my favorite too!
Great advices, and lots of new information I’ve never thought of. I didn’t even know https://www.eatwith.com/ exist. I will have to make use of that one of these days. That is awesome!
Thank you! Yes, a great way to meet new people and enjoy cheap food!
This is great advice! I last year used Couch Surfing for the first time and this helped me alot on my journey. This allows a lot to see and get to know people.
I definitely agree!! It is a great way to travel! =)