Here is how you can save money while traveling. In this post, I’ll share my top tips for saving money while globetrotting!
Does the cost of traveling freak you out and make you anxious? I get it, traveling can be so expensive! If I’m being 100% honest I’ve found it to be more pricey after the dreaded ‘C-word pandemic! That’s why I’m sharing my top 10 tips for saving you some extra cash! I want to help you to make your money last longer. Of course, these tips won’t automatically save you hundreds and don’t always work but they’re little things that have ended up being big things in the long run.
Before we begin, let’s talk about flights
Spending money always starts with your flights. Flights to your destination are nearly always the most costly thing about going away. There is again no magic to saving money on flights but here is a full detailed post with details of how you could save money on them.
Here is how you can save money while traveling
1. Cook your own meals!
Let’s start with the one that many people avoid but are an absolute game-changer for your bank account. Buy your groceries in the supermarket and cook your meals yourself. Yes, it’s not as exciting as ordering a big bowl of freshly made Italian pasta! However, it could literally save you up to €20 a day! That could be an extra night’s accommodation depending on where you are. This really does depend on the type of trip you’re going on. If you’re going to Spain for a week fair enough that you splash out on meals most days. However, if you’re backpacking for a few weeks, get the pots and pans out and start cooking!
2. Remember; hostels are not always cheaper!
Speaking of an extra night’s accommodation, one thing I wish I knew before traveling; is that hostels are not always cheaper than hotels! I found most of the time hostels in Central and South America were actually more expensive than private rooms in hotels! This is because hostels are most of the time very social and run free activities for their guests. This increases the demand for them and therefore increases their prices! If you’re traveling alone, you’ll more than likely stick with the hostels. If so, I recommend splitting up your nights between booking the more expensive and popular hostels with the cheaper hostels. I highly recommend looking on all accommodation platforms to find the best value for money place before just booking.
3. Look for hostels that offer meals included
On the same topic of accommodation, a top tip is to look for accommodation that offers a free breakfast! This means one less meal you’re paying for that day, which means extra cash in your pocket! The best way to do this is to check on either Hostel World or Booking.com.
More often than not, the free meal included isn’t 5 stars or anything too fancy. It’s usually cereal, and sometimes fresh fruit and pastries. Even if it is just the basics, I’d take that over spending more money on food.
4. Do your research on activities!
It’s so important to do your research and choose the activities that you want to do before booking! It may seem like an effort, but spending time researching prices helps result in you saving money while traveling! Attractions like paddle boarding are easy to find, so compare prices before booking. We paid €18 for 1 hour on a kayak in Bacalar, Mexico. We then got to rent paddle boards all day for free in Free Cereva in Guatemala. Again in Tulum, one company was going to charge us double the rate of another company!
5. Take public transport!
Another top way to save money while backpacking is to take public transport! Public transport could be taking the local bus instead of flying and taking private shuttles. Of course, public transport isn’t always as safe so it’s important to weigh out your options. My top tip when taking public transport is to travel in groups. This way, you’ll feel safer and be so busy chatting that you won’t even notice the journey taking longer! If you’re staying in a hostel, it’ll often be the case that there will be a group of you looking to go to the same place.
6. Split transport costs!
On the topic of traveling in a group, a great way to save money is to transport fees! Splitting Uber/taxi fees is a great way to keep your cash stacked higher! You’re probably thinking ‘Well, how do you find these people?’. It might seem daunting at the start but 99.9% of backpackers want to save money just like you! I guarantee that they are trying to pluck up the courage to gather a group to travel!
7. Walk where possible!
Speaking of getting from one place to another; a big way of saving money is to walk when you can instead of paying for taxis or Uber! Too many days of saying; ‘sure an Uber is only $4’ will add up quickly!
8. Wash your own clothes!
If you’re not a fan of doing chores, you might want to skip this one! Of course, you’re in a new country and hopefully having the best time. So who wants to be doing their washing? No one, obviously. But who wants to save money while backpacking? Everyone. Again, this one only really applies if you’re traveling for a longer period of time. The majority of the time, it’s actually relatively cheap to get your laundry done. This is especially the case in the likes of Asia. However, if you’re getting it done once a week or so, doing it yourself in the hostel will save you money along the way.
9. Pack as light as possible
This one is tricky and I get it, packing can be super stressful. Packing light is essential for literally every type of trip that you go on. Overpacking can be such a burden on a trip.
Here are the things that you absolutely need in your backpack or suitcase.
Here are an additional 8 things that you absolutely need to make your flight easier.
I have a full blog post about this little bag that you can read here.
This is definitely not always possible and I fully understand that, but I often travel with just a small under-the-seat bag and I can’t even begin to describe how much money that it has saved me!
The video below shows the bag that I use and how I manage to fit so much into it!
10. Work and travel at the same time:
Consider working while you’re in a new country. Have you ever worked and traveled at the same time?
I did this with a company called Worldpackers last year and I definitely recommend it!
Click here to use my 10-dollar discount code!
What is Worldpackers all about?
Worldpackers is an organization that aims to provide cheap and safe travel for people on budgets.
How does Worldpackers work?
In exchange for FREE accommodation and most of the time food and extras such as free activities and passes to tourist sites you’re at, you offer a couple hours a day of work.
What kind of volunteering can I do with Worldpackers?
When I say anything there are SO many options here are just a few:
✅ Bar cleaning, and reception work at hostels.
😍 Party promoter.
✅ Construction so building, painting, decorating, etc.
🧘 Teaching yoga.
✅ Web design & social media manager.
✅ Animal care.
What did I do with Worldpackers?
I volunteered at working behind the bar and reception in a small hostel in Vilnius, Lithuania.
‘Lithuania is so random, why did you go there?’
I’ve never been & had heard it’s beautiful and safe for solo travelers. Flights were also so cheap and they had a minimum stay of 1 week which suited me perfectly.
Where else can I volunteer with Worldpackers?
Again, when I say anywhere, they have hundreds of programs from ones in Central America to Africa to Australia to Europe.
How do I sign up with Worldpackers?
You need to get a yearly membership. Once you pay that you can sign up for as many as you’d like!
So you can either do;
- A Solo Traveller Package
Regular Solo yearly membership = €47.80
Solo Package Yearly membership (extra insurance, discounts, etc) = €96.57.
2. A Plan for couples/friends
Regular couples/friends = €57.58
Couples/friends package = €116.13
Here’s a video with a little taste of the type of work that you can do with Worldpackers!
Here is how you can save money while traveling: One last tip
My final money-saving travel tip is to download a spending app! My absolute favorite is ‘Travel Spend’. The app allows you to split your spending into countries! This means that you can map out a budget for each place! You can further split your spending into categories such as ‘accommodation, restaurants, activities, etc. This is handy so that you can pinpoint exactly where you’re spending too much money!
By using these tips to save money while traveling, you can still travel while on a budget.
Let me know how you save money while traveling, I’d love to hear some more tips!