Travelling can be an expensive hobby, but it isn’t just for the wealthy. Travelling is possible for everyone, including those on a budget. Learning the tricks of the trade will help you manage heading out on great adventures to discover the world, or even afford a weekend getaway. Follow these 11 tricks for travelling on a budget and you’ll be off on your next holiday in no time.
- Start saving money now. Grab a jar and start throwing every last nickel and dime into it. A jar of coins might not seem like a lot, but it eventually adds up, especially if you throw in some bills every now and then. You can also set-up a savings account just for travel, and each payday have a pre-scheduled transfer of funds go into it; you’ll never notice $50 or $100 per pay, and it adds up really quickly. Whatever you do, make a concerned effort to save, save, save!
- Sign up for as many airline mileage programs as you can! It is free and often companies will give you free miles as a bonus for signing up. Also subscribe to as many weekly email specials through the mileage program as you can and selected your preferred home airport and other interests so you don’t get bombarded with junk mail or offers for destinations you’re not interested in.
- Sign up for points.com. You can buy, sell, and trade airline miles from different airlines, including ones that are not in the same miles program alliance or affiliated with each other. It is amazing.
- Sign up for travel deal websites like travelzoo, kayak, skyscanner, and Orbitz. These emails can get excessively annoying, but if you pay attention you can find amazing travel deals you never though possible.
- Be open about going the BoHo route. If you are really trying to save money, there are several sites you can sign up for like couchsurfing.org and homeaway.com. These are sites designated to helping travellers and hosts find and give free accommodation. Hostels are good too, and are always cheaper than hotels. How much time are you actually going to spend pent up in your room, anyway?
- If you drink alcohol, buy a bottle of Stoli vodka and bring a flask with you. You’ll end up saving a lot of money. Otherwise, opt for cheaper options, like beer.
- Travel during off-season and mid-week. Off-season flights, accommodations, and some activities are discounted or at their lowest rates. Flying in and out on weekdays versus weekends can drastically lower the prices.
- Research your tickets at a friend’s house or library first before using your home computer or cell phone. Airlines are multi-billion dollar corporations that have websites with algorithms that track your searches. These tell the airlines you are looking for fares and it will make the airline increase the prices for their tickets in connection to your IP address. Also, you should only begin looking when you are ready to purchase, and make your purchase during that first search for the best available rate. Prices will go up if you book later.
- Bring a friend. Go with someone! Rooming with someone or sharing accomo really makes the trip much cheaper, and more fun.
- Meet the locals. This may require you to pick up a new language, but gaining inside information is worth it. Locals always know the best place to go and how to save money, and often, all it takes is asking the right person.
- Quit spending your money on frivolous things. In your regular day-to-day life, don’t go to the bars every night: save your money so you can travel. Don’t buy expensive clothes, save your money and travel. Make dinner at home versus going out to save money and travel. Wait until movies come out on Netflix, versus dropping the $20 to see a flick in theaters that will be released in 3 months, anyway.
If you have a desire to travel, you can do it. It just takes determination. These tricks will have you travelling in no time, even if you’re on a limited budget. Travelling will enrich your life, even if it does mean going on the cheap, and there’s nothing wrong with that.