If traveling was free, you would never see me again. I have probably said this a thousand times and meant every single word. But that’s not the world we live in so I work to fund my travel addiction. I am definitely a budget-conscious traveler and try to find the best deals before booking anything. I look for the most affordable options for accommodations to activities while still achieving the things I am most looking forward to doing while I am there. Here are three ways I feel you can save the most money while traveling.
Anytime I am thinking about traveling to a certain city, for the accommodations, I always look at hostels first. They are a great option to help save you hundreds of dollars while you off exploring. I always like to look at it as you are probably going to be out and about during the day anyway, so in the grand scheme of things, you only really need a bed to crash into at night. Why spend more money at a place you are only going to see a few hours a day? Another budget-friendly option is to couch surf. I have not done this before, but am wanting to try one of these times during my travels! There are apps or Facebook groups that make finding this type of temporary living situation easy to find your ideal candidate. And the best part about this option is that it is usually free!
At the risk of sounding like my parents, the next way I try to save money while traveling is to not eat out. Don’t get me wrong, I do love to try different restaurants, but I also try to ration it so I’m not blowing all my money on food. Most hostels have kitchens where you by yourself or a group of people can cook up a delicious meal. I also might have fast food or get something at a food stand where the food is much cheaper than at a sit-down place. This also gives you the chance to immerse yourself into everyday life and live like a local with a task that I know I dread doing at home: grocery shopping.
While this next way may be hard to come sometimes, you can find activities that are cheap or even free to do! If you take my advice and stay in a hostel, most of them offer free walking tours of the city. Talk about killing two birds with one stone! Going on a walking tour can help you see the sights of the city and let you decide if you want to see them more in-depth. Some cities even offer discounts on attractions! When I was in Paris, I was going to the catacombs. I had looked online and it did not look like I applied for any of the discounts so I paid full price. After I paid, the employee had a confused look on his face and gave me back two pounds. He said I did meet the requirements for the discount. The only one I can remember that I could have been mistaken for was that EU citizens under a certain age got a discount, so they must have thought I looked the part, which is a win in my book! It’s also important to keep an open mind while trying to find activities to do. Staying in the city of Paris, I looked into going to Moulin Rouge while I was there. The tickets were more pricy than I would have liked, but I was debating it. I thought I would look up other cabaret shows in Paris just to give me an idea. I’m glad I did. I found an old school cabaret: no lights, no dancing, just people telling tales through song. Plus, it was way cheaper. It was a little hole-in-the-wall place. I had the best night even though I had no idea what they were saying because it was all in French, as it should be. But I never would have found it if I stuck with going to my initial place.
There are many different ways to save money while traveling. You might even have some of your own that you implement during your travels. These are some of my favorites that I try to use. Using these tips has allowed me to travel to different countries when I might not have had the chance otherwise. If you start adding up all those dollars you are going to save, you can start putting it toward another trip! And isn’t that the end goal here: to travel the world?