Travel broadens the mind and develops you as an individual.
But, like most wonderful things, it isn’t free.
Today, we’re going to discuss the 5 best ways to save money while traveling!
1. Stay in a Hostel
Have you ever stayed at a hostel?
If you have, you know that they can be a cheaper alternative to hotels.
However, you will also know why they are less expensive.
Hotels offer many awesome services when you stay the night: maid service, room service, privacy, fresh towels, ect.
Hostels don’t offer nearly as many services, but because of that, they can be significantly cheaper.
What is a Hostel?
At a hotel, you typically rent a room. But at a hostel, you rent a bed.
Some hostels will rent out rooms, but that is only cost-effective if you are traveling with 4-8 people.
Female Only Hostels
If you are a solo female traveler, you might not feel comfortable staying in a room with a bunch of strange men.
Fortunately, some hostel are for women only. If a hostel is for females only, it will tell you directly on their website.
What to Bring
Don’t assume that the hostel will provide you with shampoo, conditioner, and body wash like you’re used to at a hotel.
You will likely be given one towel and one blanket.
If you are going to be visiting a pool or the beach, I would definitely recommend that you bring an extra towel.
Locating hostels is incredibly easy. Often times, hostels will list their empty beds/rooms on the hotel booking sites you’re already browsing.
If you’re not seeing any hostel on the site you’re searching, don’t panic. Just google “hostel” + [city you’ll be staying in]. One you find the names of a few hostels, you can type those into any hotel booking website to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
When I think of hostels, I tend to think of Europe because they are popular there. But, you can actually find plenty of hostels in large U.S. cities as well!
For example, I stayed at a hostel when I visited Miami with friends and saved a ton of money!
Often times, a hostel’s prices will start to increase the longer you stay. They do this so that they don’t end up with long-term residents.
In order to get around this, you might have to stay for a couple of days at one hostel and then move to a different hostel or even a hotel.
It might be a little inconvenient, but it will certainly save you a good deal of money!
If you want more tips on booking a hostel (or even a hotel), check out 10 Tips to Effortlessly Book Your Ideal Hotel for Cheap!
2. Only Take a Carry-On
Some flights include one checked bag but most don’t.
Plus, the tickets that include a checked bag are likely to be more expensive anyway. Plus, you won’t have to worry about it getting lost in transit. So, if you can, skip checking your bag and just take a carry-on.
This is difficult for me. I want to pack everything!
I avoid this by packing versatile pieces that I can layer.
If you’re expecting that the weather might be chilly, make sure you pack a scarf. It doesn’t take up much space but can help you a lot when it gets cold. Also, carry your coat onto the plane. This will save space in your bag. Besides, you’ll most likely need it when you land anyway.
Leave Toiletries at Home
I know. You want to know how you’re going to clean yourself.
Don’t worry. Purchase travel sized toiletries when you get to your destination. If you’re traveling to a city you shouldn’t have any problems finding them.
Even if you’re going to be traveling into the jungle or rainforest, you will likely be landing in a pretty big city first.
If you’re concerned about not being able to find biodegradable soap for your trip into the jungle or rainforest, go ahead and pack some of that, but leave everything else at home!
Leaving as many toiletries as possible will give you more room in your carry on for the things you can’t easily replace.
3. Save Money on Food
Food is expensive.
However, I believe that food is an important part of experiencing a new place and culture.
Simplify 1 Meal Per Day (2 for Maximum Savings)
If you eat 3 meals a day, try getting food from a grocery store or a cheap fast-food restaurant.
This sounds unappealing, but it will save you money!
If you are staying in a hostel or hotel that gives you access to a microwave, use it! Go to the store and purchase fruit and a frozen meal for breakfast and/or lunch!
If you are staying in a city, you should be able to walk down to a grocery store and take it back to wherever you’re staying, pop it in the microwave, and bam! You have a prepared meal that was easy and inexpensive.
Look for Affordable Restaurants
This is a no brainer but still needs to be mentioned.
Not all restaurants that provide you with an authentic experience are expensive.
Use Google to locate inexpensive restaurants that have great ratings!
4. Do Your Research
Most cities have fun, free things to do throughout the city.
At the same time, there are probably some paid experiences that interested you.
Simply prioritize what you want to do the most.
Look up prices and decide how much money you want to spend on experiences.
Sprinkle those throughout your entire trip and fill in the gaps with free activities.
5. Find Cheap Flights or Drive
Red eye flights
These types of flights are incredibly unpopular, which is why they tend to be less expensive than your average flight. Just be prepared to sleep on the plane!
Be okay with layovers, even long ones. They make your travel take longer, but also cheaper. If you’re flying to Europe you will most likely have one layover, but if you opt for a flight with two, you might find that the price drops enough to make it work it. Just plan for this when you’re making your plans. Maybe throw in a couple extra days to make up for it. 😉
If you have a layover in Atlanta’s airport, check out 3 scary truths to help you prepare!
Plus, if you’re new to flying, read about 12 tips to help make your experience awesome!
Skyscanner is one of my favorite tools for finding inexpensive flights.
It allows you to search for flights to anywhere, meaning that you don’t have to have a destination in mind. You can simply look for the cheapest ticket.
You can also search for the cheapest month to travel to your destination.
It is an incredibly powerful tool. However, you should shop around. Check the deals being offered on different Airlines’ websites. Sometime they offer great deals. You just never know.
You should also search other 3rd party flight finding websites. Never be satisfied with just one!
If you can drive to your destination, you might be able to save money! Definitely take into account the number of miles you’ll put on your car, the price of gas, and any sleeping accommodations you might need.
But, if it ends up being cheaper, you can turn your vacation into a road trip! Plot out stops to make along your journey. It’s best not to stop every hour or else you’ll never get to your destination but stopping every now and again to see something cool will help break up the long hours.
No matter where you travel, there are always ways to save money. As you start making decisions on your next vacation, you will most likely discover more ways to save money.
Do you have any awesome money-saving advice? I’d love to hear it! Leave it in the comments below. 🙂
Until next time,