Thrifty Travels ( Part 1 )
Traveling is one of the most exhilarating experience one can have. It can also be one of the most expensive experiences! It’s amazing how easy it is to spend copious amounts of Pesos, Pounds, Euros, Yen, and Sheckles when on vacation. I remember having to call my mom (collect) two weeks into a 3-week European vacation with an urgent request for funds. Clearly, my 19-year-old self didn’t know the tips and tricks for traveling on a budget! So, for those of us who don’t have unlimited traveling funds, fly first class, or stay at the Ritz, this blog is for you! The good news is that you can still travel in style without taking out a second mortgage on your home! Before planning for your next big adventure, here are some helpful tips and tricks that will allow you to see the world without breaking the bank!
Avoid Pricey Hotels
These days even shoe box hotel rooms can come with a hefty price tag (and the roaches cost extra)! A great alternative to booking an expensive hotel room is using one of the many home-sharing websites. Of course, Airbnb is one of the best known, but there are others such as Couchsurfing that offer guests rooms with amenities such as wifi, laundry machines, and fully equipped kitchens. This can be a wonderful alternative to staying in a hotel room, as you can meet locals, cook at home instead of going out to expensive restaurants for meals, and live in a more authentic neighbourhood away from high-priced touristy areas. Most of these home sharing sites will provide you with several stay options, so you can choose to share the home or rent the entire place for more privacy. Either way, home sharing can be a great way to save money without sacrificing comfort. Just be sure to do your due diligence and read the reviews and comments of previous guests carefully!
Saving in Numbers
Take it from someone who travels predominantly alone–it’s far cheaper to travel in groups. Heck, even traveling with just one other person can cut your travel costs in half! Sharing the cost of accommodation, food, and transportation will save you hundreds! However, before gallivanting off with your BFF, make sure that you both have similar spending habits and ideas of an acceptable budget. I once traveled with a much more wealthy friend, and their idea of a cheap hotel room as 500 dollars a night! Suffice to say, I came home with a very light wallet!
If you decide to travel in a group, it’s a great idea to assign one trusted member who is good with money as the “treasurer,” to set a trip budget, help keep track of spending and keep a running tally of expenditures. My friends and I did this on a week-long vacation in Honolulu, and it was the first time I came home from a vacation with unspent money!
When in Rome…
Taking some time to find out where the locals eat will not only save you money but provide you with a truly authentic culinary experience. Why eat in the touristy areas and pay through the nose for what is usually substandard fare. My most memorable meals were always establishments that were far from the tourists, and somewhat clandestine in nature. It’s not too hard to find out where these hidden gems are located. Simply chat up a local and they’ll usually be more than happy to share their favourite haunts–some will even take you there!
We’ve got more travel saving tips for you, so stay tuned for part 2! In the meantime, save those Rubles!