You don’t have to be a millionaire to be able to travel the world! In fact, if you’re more a budget traveler who travels on a budget, you can still ease your wanderlust with less money spending. And these travel tips can help you have a better saving trip yet still enjoy it to the best.
The trick is simple: know things before you go.
How to save money on flight tickets
Remember to keep your flight tickets searches private
This is not a tech-savvy kind of thing but I myself have just found out a little while ago: always search for flights online in private browsing mode to have the lowest prices displayed.
So, always use Incognito mode on your browsers when searching for flights online.
Stay alert to flight’s price-dropping hours
You can do a little research of your favorite airlines to get their regular time for cheap flight tickets. Or, you can save your effort by using an app like Hopper and it will notice you immediately when there is a cheap flight ticket price. Also, always compare flight ticket prices via different platforms. Other helpful tools in comparing airplane ticket prices or get notification for cheap fares are Google Flights, SkyScanner, Kayak, etc.
You can also join different budget travel groups on social channels to get updated of the latest travel flight deals. There will be even last minute flight deals. And trust me, in most groups, the members are very active!
However, there will be no cheapest airfares ever! There will always be a cheaper price than the price you paid. So, be reasonable and choose the cheap price that you can afford. That’s good enough.
Choose late-night (or less desirable time) flights
Sure, not many people want to land in the middle of the night so the prices of the flight are less than day time. The only disadvantage is that you won’t get enough sleep that day!
Beware of multi-stop flights
Although multi-stop flights seem cheaper, but the time you have to spend on waiting for the next departure, the money for food and drink while waiting might exceed the amount you save. So, be careful and calculate before you decide to choose a multi-stop flight.
Choose one-way flights
Sometimes, a return ticket costs more than two one-way tickets. So, always remember to compare the price of your return ticket. Does buying one-way ticket from two different airlines cost less? If yes, then just select one-way flight.
How to save money on travel baggage
Live like the minimalists
One of the things I admire from the minimalists the most is that they know what they truly need in life and don’t stuff their life with loads of unnecessary things. Minimalists are really good at that.
When you travel, the baggage fee is always among the biggest costs. The heavier or larger it is, the more it costs. So, be simple and only choose the things you really need so your suitcase won’t be overweight. Don’t use too big suitcase either. For example, most hotel/hostels provide hairdryer or bath towel so you don’t need to bring them with you. I used to flock my poor suitcase with everything I use in my daily life. That’s totally pointless.
Check with your hotel/hostel first to see what they already have so you don’t have to bring them with you.
Learn how to packing your suitcase
This will help you a lot in having a much less weighed luggage with you. Choose enough clothes for your trip. Only go for flexible and low-maintenance ones so you can easily wash and hang them to dry. Plus, choose to have a casual look and shoes or sandals that can easily pair with your clothes.
You can look up different ways to pack a suitcase effectively and wisely and apply for yourself.
Carry-on whatever you can
Having a carry-on luggage saves you not only money but also time at the airport. Plus, it’s easier to move around when you only have one light backpack.
How to save money on local accommodation
Choose the right location
Staying at the center of the city will help you save money by the public transportation. However living at the middle of a big city will cost more than at its surrounding areas. So, research for the price difference in both the cost of staying and the public transportation to have the brightest choice.
If the nearby town or the outside of the city doesn’t cost much plus the transportation is cheap and convenient, why not choose to stay there?
Stay with a local
When you are looking for cheap ways to travel, you can’t miss this tip: choose to live with a local. There a plenty of benefits: the lower cost in comparison to hotel’s cost, the direct culture exchange, staying-at-home feelings, chances to get local friends/tour guides, local suggestions…. Use Airbnb, Couchsurfing, etc. to search for your local friends.
Stay at a hostel or shared apartment
Here you will have a lot of chances to meet other wanderlust hearts. And don’t worry that hostel is much less comfortable than hotel. In many countries – Asian countries for example, hostels provide you everything you need and with great customer service: from free wifi, cheap laundry, breakfast, car/motor renting to local tours, etc.
If you travel in group, renting an apartment with a few rooms and you share together the price will be cost-saving better than renting different couple rooms in a hotel. Booking.com is the best place for searching local hostels and apartments.
Other travel tips to save more money while enjoying your trip
Get a local SIM
Before you go, do a research for prepaid local data-roaming SIM so you can access the Internet (most of the best travel apps and Google Maps need internet to work). You can do everything as long as you have the internet!
If you don’t use roaming SIM or don’t want to use it while travelling to save your data usage, you should download the offline versions of your needed apps so you can still use them.
Eat like a local
Trust me, you won’t be able to taste the local cuisine if you choose to stay in a famous restaurant or eat at fast food chains to save money when travelling. What’s the point of spending hundreds of dollars just to eat KFC in another country?
The best way to understand and taste the local food is to find where they usually have their meals. In South East Asian countries like Vietnam, the street food is the soul of their gourmet culture. Eating street foods is way cheaper than dining in a restaurant, too.
Make friend with local people
Hanging out with the local people will help you understand their lives better than renting a tour guide. If you can have a chat and make friends with some local people of the place you’re about to visit, it would be better.
Not to mention that, being the native citizen, they’ll be able to tell you which places worth visiting (so you won’t waste your time and money for “uninteresting” tourist attractions) or some price bargain tricks when you’re shopping.
Don’t plan to visit too many places
When your plan is filled with too many different places – I know many of us still do it – you’ll end up spending too much money for less exciting trip. Visiting too many destinations means that you have to move around a lot, have many things to prepare and always in a rush for the next places. That’s not how you’re going to enjoy a trip properly.
Think twice before spending on souvenirs
There must be gifts for your friends and family when you come back? If yes, I think that the best gifts you can give them are the wonderful stories you’ve lived in during the trip. Tell them stories. Souvenirs sure don’t last as long as your memories. Plus, they’re unnecessary expensive and overpriced for tourists.
So, it turns out that the cheapest trip is the one you prepare for the best. And more importantly, the more flexible you are, the cheaper your trip can become. Hope that with the travel tips above, you will have a great trip while still protect your wallet from being ripped off.