So you’ve read up on a country that you’re dying to go to, or perhaps you’ve seen some stunning pictures on Instagram making you dream of a faraway place, either way you would also have thought ‘I can’t afford that’ and wished you’d never even heard of the place.
I’m here to tell you that travel itself isn’t as expensive as mainstream media lets you believe. Sure, who wouldn’t want to spend the night in a spa-bath overlooking NYC in a beautiful suite, or relax on a private balcony overlooking the ocean in Tahiti, but if you REALLY want to see a place it’s 100% possible on a budget. Read on for money saving tips for the 3 biggest purchases of your trip.
TIP 1: Accommodation
I know this one is super cliche, and some people would rather put pins in their eyes, but check out hostel options. I know the word conjures images of drunken backpackers who sleep until noon and party until dawn but they’re not all like that. The Hostelling International brand have amazing standards and are utilized by all ages and traveler types. Sure you still share a room and bathroom but I’ve never seen a cleaner bathroom than that of the HI in NYC when I was there. Depending on where you stay their properties are often unique to the area and have spacious, stylish common areas.
If hostels aren’t your scene, and they wont be for everyone, then don’t be afraid of Airbnb. Sure it’s someones house, but that someone lives in the very place you want to visit and they’ll be the best type of tour guide because they navigate the area on a daily basis. It also keeps costs down as you can cook meals if you wanted to ‘eat in’ for breakfast or maybe the occasional dinner. They’re generally priced very reasonably meaning you will be comfortable, stocked with local knowledge, and have spare change for a morning coffee.
TIP 2: Seek alternative travel modes
There is more than one way to get from point A to point B. Some places are a little more restricted than others when it comes to transport but mostly you’ll have a couple of options. The trick is to do your research; for instance did you know that flights from Australia are cheapest in May and November, and it’s best to book flights to Europe 25 weeks prior to departure whereas flights to Bali are best booked 11 weeks prior to departure.
In regards to times of day and days of the week, you’re best off looking at times where the ‘workers’ want to avoid. Look at early morning or late night flights while avoiding the early evening rush (where people go from the office straight to the airport) along with midweek departures. People often try to make the most of their vacation while taking the least amount of time off work which leaves the other times prime for those chasing the best price.
TIP 3: Dining
You’ve booked your accommodation and arrived at your destination – great! After all that travel you’re probably a little peckish. Unless you’re travelling in South-East Asia eating out can be a huge drain on your travel money. Don’t worry – I wont be telling you to make 85c Mi Goreng noodle packets for all you’re meals, but here are some handy things to remember while you’re out and about.
If you’ve got a day of touring planned you don’t need to stop off for a meal at a restaurant that will cost you a fair chunk of money and a lot of time. A local supermarket is a great place to pick up a drink and a sandwich for under $10 and you can take it outside and eat your lunch while taking in the feel of the city. If you do want to try out that cute little place you saw near your hotel, or taste that dish you heard about on Facebook, you may save money if you book in for lunch rather than dinner. Never be afraid of something new either. Turn down that street, go inside that quiet looking pub, you’ll most likely end up somewhere just as great as you would had you stayed on the ‘tourist strip’ but you’ll get it for cheaper.
Hotel concierges are also great as they know what places nearby have specials nights. Get the right night and you’ll get a jug of beer and two steak dinners for $20!
So there you have it, 3 of the biggest purchases of your trip and a few things to consider when deciding on what to book and purchase.
If you want more money saving tips feel free to comment below. Happy travelling!!!