General: DIY / How-To
World travel is exorbitantly expensive nowadays, so few of us can afford to visit the places we dream of.
There are ways you can cut the cost of travel and realize your dreams:
1. Take Care of Home First
No matter where you're going, the first challenge you'll face concerns saving money at home. Cut off any unnecessary utilities, such as cable, Internet connection or satellite service, and even consider renting to a tenant if you're able to fill the spot - there's nothing like making money on your trip before you even leave home!
Taking it a step further, you could take care of home first, by doing a home exchange. There are a number of websites that offer this service, but the one that is in the market longest, is Home Exchange who have been serving customers since 1992. They have 65,000 members spread over 150 countries.
2. Saving on Airfares
No matter which way you look at it, airfare is expensive and will likely represent a good deal of the cost of your trip. While saving in this area can be difficult, there are two easy ways to ensure that you're paying as little as possible: flying during seasonal off-times, and shopping around for your tickets.
Most destinations have a typical tourist cycle, and this cycle is almost always reflected in the cost of airplane tickets; at the peak of tourism season, tickets are at their highest prices, while seasonal downtime typically means savings. Given this fact, consider taking your trip during the off-season in order to nab lower rates.
Booking in advance can also help to get the best rates. Most airlines and airfare comparison websites now offer alerts, set up a frame and a destination and you get an email (or a tweet) when the prices gets closer to your ideal price.
No matter what time of the year you fly, be very sure that you compare rates from as many airlines as possible in order to ensure that you're getting the best available prices.
Jackie de Burca of Catalonia Valencia has some awesome tips here:
I often notice patterns with days of the weeks, as well as flight timings sometimes. With days of the week, if I play around long enough I can normally get a better deal, by being flexible on my travel days, dates and times.
Also on my next trip, it suits me to fly out of one airport and back into an other, to be able to do extra travelling, and in this instance, it is costing me less also. I also factor in the costs of getting to and from the airport, and in this instance, I tied my outbound flight into that of another person I know. We're not travelling together as such, but we do need to get to the same airport on the same morning. Therefore more money is saved, by sharing a car.
3. Saving on Accommodations
No matter where you're headed, you can bet that there are a variety of hotels all vying for their share of your travel budget, so be sure to track down the lowest rate on the right room for you. The Internet is a valuable tool in this case; for example, if you're looking for the lowest possible rates on a room in the United Kingdom, you can compare hotels via cheaprooms.co.uk or find hotel deals and getaways at Groupon.
Consider AirBnB as an alternative to hotels- You always get a kitchen and you will spend less money in bars and restaurants every night.
Balance out the higher costs of inner-city apartments with the savings in travel costs and time using trams and subways. Inner city can work out cheaper overall, especially when you factor in the improved convenience.
There's a site for every locale, so always be sure to closely compare what's out there!
Why not consider minding someone else's house? In our case we have a large number of pets, so we appreciate this concept, which is house sitting combined with pet minding. Do be aware that each owner will of course have needs, such as dog walking and so on. As yet I haven't used the site, but I plan to - it is TrustedHousesitters.com
Another idea is to become a Woofer!! Now by that I don't mean that you need to woof in order to seem like a dog, but it's the pet name (excuse the pun) for people who work abroad on other peoples' farms, or homes, helping in various ways. This system normally requires that you work a minimum of 4 hours a day, in return for lodging, food and being welcomed into the family unit. If you're travelling for a while, this can be a great way to save money, and get inside introductions on places and what they're really like. This is the site that I am most familiar with, and I know people who have used it as hosts and are very happy with it - www.workaway.info
4. Finding Quality Package Deals
Never forget that travel and accommodation can often be had at a major discount when you purchase a package deal, typically from a travel agent. Visit one or two of your local agents in order to find out what value may lay in store for your travel plans.
Visit one or two of your local agents in order to find out what value may lay in store for your travel plans. VERY STRANGE wording
Visit a few travel agents to make sure you find the best possible value-for-money
5. Getting Information For Free
While you could spend big dollars on travel guides, translation books and the like, keep in mind that the Internet, combined with the many travel apps available for smartphones, puts all of that information at your fingertips at absolutely no cost. Save that money for something that can't be found for free!
Many tourist offices around the world offer free travel guides of their major destinations. Most of them are online documents, but there are still a few of them that will provide you with printed copies of maps, brochures and such.
We've also found that learning the bus and taxi system of your destination, before you go on your trip, is very important if you are not renting a car. We have had cab drivers try to rip us off knowing we were tourists. And we have found the bus system in many places often works better.
6. The Currency Exchange Challenge
When you're visiting a different country, one great way to limit your costs is to do your currency exchanging well in advance, at a time when you're able to get the very best exchange rate. That will require keeping on eye on the market, investigating trends, and pushing the button when the time is right.
Another important thing on saving is knowing the costs of using your cards. Some banks will add an extra currency exchange charge for using your card abroad. Others will offer you free ATM's service but will charge you for paying at stores, hotels and restaurants.
7. Consider Volunteering
If you'll find yourself with time to spare while you're abroad, consider volunteering in exchange for food, a room, or any other service that will help you to save money while staying longer. Again, the Internet is a great place to track down volunteering opportunities - you'll be surprised at just how many deals there are to be struck out there!
8. Travel Lots? Get Multi-Trip Insurance
If you travel more than once per year, it's very likely that purchasing an annual multi-trip travel insurance package will prove more economical than buying a temporary package on the spot with each trip. Speak to your travel or insurance agent to learn more.
Check on sites like GoCompare.com for the best deals
9. Saving on Food
While it may not factor very high on your list of the highest costs associated with your trip, food bills have a surprising ability to add up much more quickly than you'd expect. The main reason for this is simply because we tend to be a little looser with our cash while traveling abroad, even if only due to necessity, and also because eating on the run tends to be a bit more expensive than we've planned for.
The best solution to this challenge is to eat in, no matter where you're staying. That may mean that, depending on the length of your stay, springing for accommodations that include a kitchenette may be economical.
The best solution to this challenge is to eat in, no matter where you're staying. That may mean that, depending on the length of your stay, springing extra for accommodation that includes a kitchenette may more than pay for itself.
Another way to save on food is buying local, going for imported goods or international brands tends to be more expensive when you travel.
Also helps learning about the food shopping culture. For example, japanese department stores offer their food with a huge discount in the evenings because they will not be able to sell it on the next day. But fruit is very expensive at those stores because they only sell premium goods, so you should buy it elsewhere.
10. Cruise, Anyone?
While flying to your destination is often the first thing that comes to mind when you're planning a trip, there are great deals to be had if you're willing to stretch your travel time a bit and take a cruise on the open seas instead. Besides being cheaper and typically offering all-in-one deals, there is no end to the fun that can be had on a cruise ship, often making the journey as fun as the destination!
Watch out for hidden (and hard to see) costs in cruising. If you are a drinker, you may want to buy some bottles from the liquor store on the ship instead of ordering individual drinks in the bars or restaurants onboard. Because the cost of drinks go on your room card, and the full bill is paid at the end of the cruise, it can be hard to grasp how much you are spending and easy to spend too much!
Thanks to my awesome helpers: Philip Turner, Leticia Perez, Kari, Jackie de Burca
Article written by Anna Fox who is a hobbyist travel blogger and a passionate traveler.
Disclaimer: We're not affiliated, authorized, associated, endorsed by, or officially connected with the company or entities listed here, or any of their subsidiaries or affiliates. All trademarks cited, listed, or shown here are the property of their respective owners. We are not responsible for errors, omissions, safety issues
, or inaccurate information. This site is for entertainment purposes only and is not an official guide. Attempting anything you see here is done so at your own risk and we are not responsible for your safety, loss of life, legal or medical fees, or damages because of anything you see or read on this site.