“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer” – Anonymous
Having travelled a lot over the last few weeks, it’s needless to say that I am now broke and I’m supposed to be saving! The camino was a relatively cheap break but I made up for it in Murcia! (I’ll be doing a blog post all about Murcia this week so keep an eye out.) In order to try and help you avoid doing the same thing, I’ve teamed up with Frank to try and figure out how to best stay within your budget without even noticing. I also thought I’d add a mini photo diary of a trip I took to O Grove. It’s a stunning seaside town outside Pontevedra in Galicia. I visited my friend Raquel there and we had a blast! I’d definitely recommend it as a weekend trip out of Santiago de Compostela – if you have time.
Travelling can be one of the most rewarding and fascinating experiences you can have. Even though it is a great hobby to have, it is also somewhat expensive. Globetrotters are always looking for deals and tricks to save money on their trips across the world and it is usually a very difficult task to fit your trip into your budget. However, anyone thinking that there is no way of saving money on a trip to a foreign land is mistaken, there are numerous ways of saving money when you’re travelling abroad.
There are many ways of saving money on a trip and most of them just require the use of simple common sense such as looking for cheaper deals before making reservations online. There are other ways which you only find after you’ve had some experience and then there are some which very few discover. We’ve collected tips which the majority of people might not know or haven’t thought of yet but can greatly benefit from.
Look for value
Anyone who is reading this list is already familiar with many of the common ways of saving money and finding the best deals on everything travel related such as Kayak and Skyscanner or Booking.com. Looking for the cheapest price is one way of doing things but a better way is to find deals which offer more value for money even though they may appear expensive at the outset.
A good example is that hostel rooms in Europe charge something like €10 for a single bed for a night whereas you would get an entire apartment on Airbnb for €30 which would not only include accommodation but also an area to cook for yourself which saves money. If you have to have all of your meals at restaurants, you’ll rack up a hefty bill. It also ensures a quality night sleep along with the guaranteed safety of your personal possessions. Another great way to save money is to use Groupon in the area for the best deals.
Wear good shoes
This one might seem a bit odd. But we’re trying to provide tips you haven’t thought of yet! We all have those sturdy rock-solid waterproof shoes lying around somewhere; we just forget to wear them once we buy them. Travelling is the time to bring them out and finally use them. Travelling to a new place involves spending a lot of time walking which can really take a toll on our shoes especially if we’re wearing sandals or flip-flops. These shoes are only suitable for leisurely relaxing trips to the beach but they aren’t suited for exploration. You never know what kind of circumstances you’re going to find when you’re away so instead of getting your toes squished to death or even getting an infection, a much safer alternative is to wear good shoes. This is cheaper in the long run because you won’t have to panic buy a different pair of shoes while you’re away and you’ll save money on Compeed plasters (lifesavers)!
Mind your money
Travelling costs a lot of money but what’s worse than spending money is parting with your money without even using it. It is very easy to become a victim of pickpockets if you don’t blend in with the crowd and take precautionary measures. Buying travel insurance is always a great idea. To avoid becoming a victim of pickpockets, you should wear travel shorts which have a zip pocket or wear a handbag that zips closed and make sure you always have it closed. You should also keep yourself on high alert when you’re in crowds or places which are famous among visitors (like on La Rambla in Barcelona where I just walked clutching my bag the entire time!). Also, keep the minimum amount of cash you need in your wallet and in case you do become a victim of pickpockets, make sure you know how to easily cancel your debit/credit cards.
Fake it to afford it
Like all other industries, tourism and travel too work on the principle of supply and demand. When the demand decreases, businesses offer incentives to lure customers in. This decrease in demand is your best friend. If you’re travelling on a weekend then you should look for business hotels as their peak business is during the weekdays and they’re willing to lower their prices on the weekends whereas the opposite is true for leisure resorts.
Another tip to remember is (if your circumstances allow) to travel either a short while before the peak season or a little while after it. Travelling off-season can save you money as well as give you a chance to explore your destination without the swarm of tourists everywhere. When we visited Thailand, we went during the off-season and all of our accommodation was half the price you pay during the peak season.
Follow the faux-pas
This might sound crazy but… hear me out! Some of the most affordable trips can be enjoyed in places which have been ruled out by others because of their political conditions or in the aftermath of a natural disaster. The first thing which happens after a calamity is that the government builds the infrastructure to both support the locals in their daily activities and to attract foreign travellers. This is the window of opportunity which you can avail of in order to travel cheaply. You still want to be careful with this strategy especially if the country is suffering at the hands of a civil war or something of that nature. As Ciara from Ciara London Fit mentions in her post all about Kalkan, Turkey, people don’t want to go there because of what they’ve heard in the news – but it’s actually super safe and now extremely cheap to visit!
There you have it, some of the tips for trying to stay within your budget while travelling without feeling it too much. I think it would be easy to stay on budget if you didn’t notice when you’re actually saving. I hope you enjoyed this post and let me know if you try any of these tips. My personal fave is saving by using Airbnb – I love Airbnb, I think it’s such a game changer. Megan my cousin works for them and she is always raving about how great using it is on her blog. If you haven’t tried it yet – be sure to give it a go the next time you go on a trip.