10 Easy Ways To Save Money While Traveling
Exploring new cities, countries, and continents is one of the best ways to learn about history, languages, foods, religions, and even yourself. But traveling isn’t cheap and it certainly isn’t an impulse purchase. Traveling can be affordable as long as you know where to save — let me show you how. Consider the two largest costs for travel: transportation and accommodation; if you can save on these from the get go, you might even be able to squeeze in an extra trip this year.
1. Traveling during the off-season
One of the best ways to save while traveling is to travel during the off season. How about February or March in Paris or Rome? While the weather at that time of year certainly isn’t the best, tourism is much lower allowing you to score budget-friendly prices and avoid massive crowds. Just do consider the destinations carefully since northern Europe tends to be very cold and grey in the winter and early spring.
2. Choose cheaper destinations
If traveling during the off-season doesn’t work for you, you can still save money by carefully choosing the destination or destinations you visit. For example, in Europe, Paris and London are popular tourist spots, but they are expensive. Instead, how about visiting Prague, Tallinn, or Puglia? These destinations are just as marvelous, and much more affordable. If thinking of traveling to Asia, Japan and Shanghai are rather expensive, but Laos and the Philippines are more budget-friendly.
3. Flight alerts
Flights are easily the most expensive part of any trip, but if you can be a bit flexible with your flight day and time, you might be able to find a budget-friendly option. Booking websites, like Skyscanner, have the option to create deal alerts, so this could be a great option if you have a slightly flexible schedule.
In addition to having a slightly flexible schedule, searching with budget airlines, such as Wow Air, can save a ton of money if flying from the US to Europe. Though food, drinks, and other comforts don’t come standard on most of these budget airlines, it can worth the savings.
4. Budget-friendly accommodations
Accommodation prices add up during the course of a week-long vacation. But they don’t have to! Searching for a lovely apartment through rental sites such as Airbnb or Booking.com can help you save money. Alternatively, if you prefer the comfort of a hotel, it is possible to select budget-friendly but still very nice hotels for under $100 per night in most cities.
5. Free walking tours
Free walking tours given in English can be found in many cities across Europe. These allow you to see the best of the city and only require a tip at the end of the tour. I’d suggest taking tours at the beginning of a trip when possible, so you can get ideas for where you’d like to return to see more of later on in your trip.
6. Eat a few meals in your accommodation
Whether you’ve booked an apartment or standard hotel room, it definitely saves to eat a couple of meals in. Eating breakfast at your accommodation or enjoying a picnic dinner with fresh foods from the market can not only save money but also be a nice way to become familiar with food available at local markets.
7. Pack carry-on only or at least follow the luggage rules
Save money and make transit easier on yourself by packing light. Airlines charge hefty fees for overweight luggage or multiple checked suitcases, so packing light will surely save you money. Check the airline’s luggage policy ahead of time to see what you are allowed.
8. Take public transportation where possible
To save some serious dough while traveling, opting for public transportation or walking will help save a decent amount of cash. Subways and buses within a city and trains or buses to other nearby destinations are great options when traveling in numerous countries around the world. Remember though that safety comes first, so if you are concerned with the area, spend that extra money and take a cab.
9. Look for free museum hours or book ahead
Many museums offer free days or free admission if visiting at specific hours during the day. Student and teacher discounts are also sometimes available. Doing a bit of research beforehand can definitely save you some cash.
10. Bring snacks to the airport
I don’t know what it is about airports, but food and drinks are always much more expensive. Save by bringing a couple snacks to enjoy on the plane and a refillable water bottle if the drinking water in the country or countries you are traveling to is potable.