Before we started our traveling lifestyle, we knew we’d need to come up with as many ways as possible to save money while on the road.
Our goal was to live on $30k or less a year, and most people can’t do that even while staying in one (relatively inexpensive) location.
We started gathering as many ways as possible to keep our expenses down, and have continued to add to our toolkit as we go along.
Here are a few things we’ve found useful that might help you travel for less.
Flying for less
- Travel hacking has saved us so much money. For a detailed explanation and how to get started, check out our post about it here.
- Google Flights has been very useful, especially the map portion of it. We were able to find much cheaper flights from Morocco to Croatia by looking at the map and realizing how inexpensive a flight to Milan was. As an added bonus, we got to spend a couple days in Milan!
- Skyscanner.com is a great website for comparing flight prices, including discount airlines that don’t always come up on Google Flights. It even has options that let you search from one location to anywhere, so you can easily compare costs if you’re not sure where you want to go.
Staying for less
- AirBnB (affiliate link) can be much cheaper than a hotel, especially if you can get a weekly or monthly discount. Also, getting one with a kitchen can help cut down on costs.
- Booking.com (affiliate link) and other similar sites help you compare lots of hotels and hostels in the area you want to stay so you can find the best price.
- Travel hacking works for hotels, too! Hotel points can be a great way to stay at a nice hotel for free.
- House sitting (affiliate link) – you can stay for free if you agree to watch people’s homes and/or pets. Read more about it here.
Eating for less
- Cooking for yourself is almost always the cheaper option. You don’t need to eat out for every single meal.
- Even if you don’t have a kitchen, you can buy some snacks and fruit from a local grocery store. If you have access to a fridge, you can get milk and cereal or other cheap refrigerated options that can cut down on expenses.
- Save on getting local currency by using a Charles Schwab online checking account to get ATM fees refunded.
- Bring a credit card with no foreign transaction fees and use it to pay whenever you can without additional fees.
- Choose only one kind of souvenir and collect them from each place you go. We get magnets. Don’t buy any other knick-knacks.
- Visit cheaper places to make your dollars stretch further (we explain this concept, called Geographic Arbitrage, in an upcoming post)
- Uber (affiliate link) can often be cheaper than local taxis due to a combination of not knowing the right price to haggle and Uber often subsidizing their rides in countries to gain market share (e.g. you pay the driver, but Uber is paying them more than you are, and they’re operating at a loss to grow their business there, making it cheaper for you).
Hopefully this list will help you have cheaper travels—and then you can use that money you saved to travel even more! It’s a win-win. 🙂