Saving money as you travel is super important for making the very most of your travels – and making your trip last as long as possible.
Learning to be thrifty and how to cut corners on your spending, could end up making all the difference between an extra few weeks in paradise, or an early return to your desk, and is a bit of a skill in itself.
STA Travel has been around for a while now – nearly 35 years in fact – so we’ve learned a few tricks when it comes to low cost travel, and we’re willing to share our best tips for saving money while travelling with you; because we’re nice like that.
This little piggy went to market. This little piggy went to STA Travel. | Photo by kenteegardin
16 Ways to Make Your Money go a Further When Travelling.
Be Flexible with your Flights
Different destinations have different high/low seasons. Do your research and, if you can, book your trip to leave within the low periods to get cheaper flights.
Eat on the Street
Pad Thai for the equivalent of 50p on the side of a Thai street is just as tasty (sometimes more so) than a Pad Thai from a mid-range restaurant. Just make sure you stick to the food stalls that are busy, and so are therefore constantly refreshing the food.
Stay in the 10/12 Bed Dorms in Hostels
If you want to save money, 10 or 12 bed dorm rooms in hostels are generally the cheapest place to lay your head, and while it may seems like a bit of a nightmare situation to some, this could actually be the place you meet a big group of new best friends!
Use the Hostel ‘Library’
Don’t buy new books in expensive airport departure lounges along the way. Most hostels and hotels have traveller libraries, with the idea being you simply leave your old book and pick up a new (previously left) one to take with you.
Make Yourself Comfortable for Less
Take an old bed sheet or duvet cover from home for when you’re sleeping in the dirt cheap (and dirty) hostels, you’ll get a cheap sleep but nice clean sheets guaranteed.
Book as much overland travel as you can in advance
Indian trains, American night buses and Kiwi Experience hop-on hop-off passes will all work out cheaper the further ahead you book, as will most other examples of overland travel. If you know when you want to go book it!
Adventure tours are another great way of saving money while tarvelling. Mainly because you’ll probably have paid for it before leaving the UK but also because once it’s booked that’s your accommodation, travel, some food and most of your activities sorted. Making budgeting much easier.
Booking an adventure tour can help you keep your budget in check while travelling.
Lighten the load and stock up for the next destination. Swapping clothes with other travellers is perfect for when you’re crossing paths with people heading up to altitude/down to the beach.
Students! Reap Your Rewards
Take advantage of your student status (if you have one) and get an ISIC card. This little card will enable you to save serious cash while you travel the world. You can get money off travel, hostels and hotels, activities, restaurants and shops as you travel the globe.
Do Some Serious Haggling
It may not be ‘the done thing’ across the majority of the UK but haggling is super important across a large part of the rest of the world.
In fact, costs are often pushed up to start with, as sellers prepare to be haggled down. So if you don’t haggle, you’ll probably end up paying way over the odds. Check out our guide on The Art Haggling to help hone your skills.
Talk to the Locals
Generally speaking, the tourist areas of cities are usually more expensive than other districts, so talk to the locals and ask them to tell you about the secret, hidden gems of their city, the places where they go themselves to get a bargain.
If you have no idea where you’re going, great! Who cares?! Walk, discover, absorb and engage with the new place you are in. You’ll see more than you ever would by train/bus/car and you’ll save money by not using these types of transport. Bonus.
Get a Working Holiday Visa
Save while you earn. Simple. Work while abroad and you could save some serious bucks, perfect for funding the next part of your travels or whatever else your heart desires.
Book a hostel or hotel with breakfast included and you’ll save money everyday. Tuck into as much as your tummy can handle and you’ll only need a light lunch too.
Bring Your Own
Stay in hostels with kitchens so you can cook your own food. There’s a reason why traveller eat so many super noodles you know!
Step Away From the Strip
Go two roads back from the main strip and you’ll find restaurants with food for half the price of those in the tourist trap.