How to Save Money While Traveling

An easy way to extend your travel funds is to save money not only before you travel, but during. Like I said before, many people believe that travel is expensive and is something only the rich can afford to do. Not true. You just have to be smart about it! 

I understand everyone has their own preferences and I am not here to convince you that our way is the right way, but to give you a few tips on how we’ve managed to spread our money to last longer. 

Transportation: 
Airfare-This is where it all begins. Flexibility is the key when finding great deals, so it is helpful if you are able to do your research as early as possible. There are a plethora of travel websites that will update you on regular deals from your place of origin (like TravelZoo) and again when you do your actual flight search. I often find myself heading to Skyscanner.net, as they compile airlines that are not traditionally listed in sites like Kayak or Expedia for example. 
Alternative transport-Depending on the country you are in, try other forms of transport when you arrive. Amauri and I have traveled by everything you can think of to save money. Buses, trains, boats, motorbikes, and even by horse. In most places this can be cheaper than a flight and will help avoid those stupid luggage fees. 
Accommodation: 

Hostels– Our most common accommodation while traveling is at a hostel. Even if you book a private room without roommates, it can be a lot cheaper than a hotel. While I won’t knock someone who prefers hotels, it is my personal belief that the higher the price of accommodation, the less free things you get. I also don’t see the point paying for an expensive room just to sleep. Most hostels (and yes, there are hostels in the US) will give you free breakfast and/or free wifi. We love it because we are also able to meet fellow travelers and have gotten some really valuable advice from people taking the same trip. My favorite website for hostels is hostelbookers.com. 
Home Stay-Another type of accommodation we have used is a homestay. This was pretty common in Bali and the types of homestay’s can vary ranging from huge compounds to tiny bungalows on the beach. In all of them we were able to stay with a local family and could engage with them as often or as little as we wanted. The type of hospitality was more than often above and beyond what you’d see at other types of accommodation since there are typically a maximum of 5 rooms available. Airbnb.com is the site we have used in the past. 
CouchSurfing– While we have not done this yet ourselves, I know a lot of travelers that swear by it. The site’s rating system ensures that arrangements remain safe and that poor hosts are avoided by travelers. People can choose hosts based on location, gender, type of room, and even email other travelers who have stayed with the host in the past.
Home Sitting-Lastly, there is home sitting. While we have not pursued this route, I am definitely keen. There are a ton of websites set up for this and basically you go stay somewhere in the world for free if you help the person feed their dog or water their plants while they are away. Typically, this is a longer commitment of a few months. 
Food/Drink:

Food is the next big expense while traveling. One benefit to avoiding hotels is that most of the other accommodation I listed will have a community kitchen where you can cook and store your own meals. If we want to eat out, we try to hit the lunch specials to avoid the dinner prices. We’ve even been known to pack a bunch of snacks in our suitcases so we could skip a few meals. 

Alcohol can be pricey depending on location. Whether its $1 in Bali or $10 in New Zealand, its good to keep an eye on how much you are spending to make sure you don’t blow your entire budget on a late night out. You could stay sober the entire time, but that’s not really fun, is it? Amauri and I often try and take advantage of happy hours, traditionally offered in the early evening at most bars. 
Site Seeing:

Seeing the “must haves” of a particular place can add up. They are called tourist traps for a reason, right? I suggest creating a list of priorities and picking a few. My personal belief is that half of the things suggested are overrated. It sometimes is more enjoyable to just avoid the crowds and hiked up prices all together. I often see tourists rushing from site to site, looking completely stressed out. You are on vacation, people! It’s OK if you don’t see everything. The point is to enjoy the new culture and scenery, not tick things off a list. 

Eating lunch in a park in London. 
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