There’s no denying travelling is an expensive hobby. I’ve certainly had to compromise over the years. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to save your pennies when trekking across the globe so that you’re not left completely out of pocket. Here are seven handy tips if you’re on a tight budget to help you save money during your holidays:
1. Work whilst you travel
It might not sound like your idea of fun, but sometimes working whilst travelling provides some of the most unforgettable experiences of the whole trip. A lot of travellers decide to help out overseas with activities such as teaching English to local children in schools, running camps and excursions and even bartending to get that little bit of extra cash.
Another method of getting an income is through travel blogging. And although it isn’t the easiest way to make money (I promise you it looks harder than it seems), it’s certainly one of the most fun.
2. Have a daily budget
Although it may seem like an obvious idea, it’s worth stressing that a daily budget is absolutely one of the most helpful methods of saving money when travelling. Planning your expenses in advance means that you’ll never be left out of pocket when you least expect it.
That’s why it’s also important to leave room for any unexpected costs. Things such as medical bills, cancelled accommodation and travel fees could leave your purse looking empty. But by planning in advance you’re minimising the chances. Goats On The Road have published a handy guide detailing just how much they spent per day when travelling through several countries, which may give you an insight into how to do the same yourself.
3. Haggle your way around town
The art of haggling is one you’re going to have to master. If you’re a noticeable tourist, browsing the marketplaces and stores in your location will lead to extortionate costs if you’re not willing to negotiate. Visiting Morocco the souks in Marrakech I quickly learnt the art of haggling.
Vendors will take advantage of you if they see you’re an inexperienced tourist with money. So be prepared to have to haggle prices down to what they should be. Don’t become irate or frustrated, though – this usually isn’t appreciated.
You might like to read about tips for travelling in Marrakech
4. Don’t book in advance
One thing about travelling is you’ll become extremely spontaneous, deciding to ditch plans last minute for something more exciting. Buzzfeed recommends avoiding booking things in advance for that exact reason. As you’ll be forced to stay somewhere that you aren’t enjoying or have to fork out cancellation fees if you decide to do something else. Go with the flow and avoid wasting money on things you’ve booked way too eagerly.
5. Stay in hostels or try couchsurfing
You’re going to have to expect less than luxury if you’re travelling on a tight budget. Hostels are an obvious choice for accommodation, and although your skin might crawl at the thought, they are nowhere near as bad as you may expect.
Travellers often flock to the cheap shared rooms due to their low costs and adequate facilities – some even offer catering. But how about taking it one step further and couch surfing, as suggested by The Secret Traveller. There are a select few websites now that locals have advertised spare rooms on. So if you’re looking for a genuine insight into the local culture, this is the way to do it.
6. Fly really early or really late
You may have to sacrifice a lie-in for an early flight if you want to save a bit of money. They say the early bird catches the worm and in this case it couldn’t be more true – choosing to fly either early in the morning or during the night could save you a lot of money as opposed to flying during the day.
Consider flying during the week, too, as flying on a weekend is sure to see the prices hike up due to how many others are looking to travel at the same time. And make sure that you aren’t travelling during peak times, such as school holidays – this again will see prices soar.
7. Use your feet as your main method of transport
Okay, so you may feel tired and get the urge to hail a taxi. Don’t do it! Walking around is the best method of transport when travelling – you’ll be moving at your own pace, taking in the surroundings and saving your pennies at the same time.
Taxis are another way for locals to take advantage and get more money from you than they should, as echoed by Nomadic Matt. And if you do resort to catching one, ensure it’s properly licensed and registered so you’re not left paying much more than you should. Try to avoid them anyway, in favour of walking and catching the bus if necessary.
How do you save money for travelling? Have you got any more great tips for those on a tight budget? Tell me in the comments below: