Travelling abroad? I’ve gathered here 17 tips for saving money while travelling. With these ways you can save money before you start planning and whilst travelling based on my experience. If you’re the kind of person who will like to save then read the following. Believe me; it’s not hard to save money whilst travelling.
1. Travel off peak
If you can, travel on low season periods. This will save you a lot of money on flights and hotels. Also your destination will be much cheaper and less crowded so you’ll enjoy your holidays.
2. Book your flight early
Before starting saving money, the first thing to do is start with booking a cheap flight. If you’re not the kind of person who wants to travel on luxury then you can easily find the cheapest fare with a low cost airline. If you don’t know Kayak, then it’s time to find out about it. You simple enter your location and your budget and select where you’ll like to go e.g. Europe, Asia etc. The map will generate the available airfare within your budget to a variety of destinations so you can decide where you’d like to go (if you are just looking to get an idea about a destination).
If you know where you want to go, just book early e.g. 3 months before. You will save a lot of money. Also signup for Skyscanner Price Alerts so you can monitor the price of a particular flight on and make sure you get the best deal on your chosen route. Always make sure to check the price with the airline’s website since it might be cheaper.
3. Fly with low budget airlines
You can save a lot of money by flying with a low cost airline .e.g. Ryanair or Wizz Air (tried both and didn’t had an issue). Of course they won’t offer you food on board or a personal TV screen but who needs these? If you are the kind of person who can live without the extras and want to save some money, fly low cost. You can reach a destination by combining two low cost flights and it still might be cheaper than a direct flight with another company. Always check for the alternatives, it you have time and don’t mind wasting your time in airports and planes.
4. Pack light and don’t pay extra for baggage
Most airlines charge you extra for checked baggage. Do you really need extra baggage? I always travel light, with less than 10kg – even if I’ve travelled for 10 days to a destination, especially in summer where clothes are lighter. Airlines tend to charge around €25-€55 per route (so with a return flight you’re likely to pay around €50 – €110 extra) depending always which airline you choose to fly. Double check what you’re taking with you. I’m sure you’re not going to wear all the clothes you are planning to take.
5. Gather and spend points and miles
Most airlines offer a bonus scheme were you can collect points and spend them later by booking a flight for free. For example I travel with Aegean and gather points which I can later spend on another flight. Aegean also collaborates with a lot of other airlines from where I can also collect points on my miles & bonus card. Like Aegean there are also many other airlines. Check it out the next time you book a flight and make sure to sign up for their miles card.
6. Book your room directly from the hotel
It’s true that if you book directly with the hotel’s website the price is lower. Booking.com or other websites are a bit more expensive since they have to get their commission. For example I’ve booked a room directly from the hotel’s website and it was €15.00 cheaper than from booking.com
7. Book a room with free Wi-Fi
Most places offer free Wi-Fi coverage but some do not! Check if the hotel offers free Wi-Fi in order to avoid paying ridiculous money for internet. Once I paid €10.00 for 24 hours internet just to use it for 2-3 hours (i regret it). There are even places which charge you €5.00 per hour.
8. Take your food on board
Most airlines (cheap airlines) tend to charge food on board so you can make some savings by taking your own food and drink (buy it from the airport after security) on board.
9. Avoid the bank fees
Withdrawing cash from an ATM abroad adds up a good amount of money. Do you know that you bank charges your for overseas withdrawing? There are some people who have no idea. For examples my bank charges me €2.50 for every ATM withdrawal abroad – despite the amount. So even if you need to withdraw cash, try to get a good amount instead of withdrawing everyday €50.00 for example. Also try to take cash with you and keep it safe.
10. Buy a tourist card
For the price of a tourist card you can pay to enter a museum of visit an attraction. You can save a lot with a card that will include either entrances or skipping the queue to certain places e.g. museums, get cheaper prices for attractions and it might also include your travel within the city using the bus, metro etc. It always depends where you go. But a card will certainly save you money.
11. Eat & drink as a local
Avoid eating at touristic places. You’ll end up paying a lot of money and eating bad food. Yes! I’m saying that from personal experience. Thanks to the internet you can search and find places where locals eat. You’ll find cheap places and delicious food. Also check TripAdvisor or Foursquare and see what others have to say. P.S: Try the local beer/wine, it’s cheaper and you’ll get to try something new.
12. Avoid paying extra for hotel breakfast
I’ve been to hotels where breakfast was charged €15.00 (in Madrid) and €22.00 (in Berlin). WHAT? With this money you can pay for a proper meal. Instead of that prefer to take a sandwich from a local cafe and a coffee which are likely to cost you less than €5.00
13. Walk around the city
If you’re not lazy prefer to walk rather than using local transportation or taking the taxi. By walking you’ll have the chance to see a lot of things and take pictures and also save a lot of money.
14. Plan ahead your self guided tour
Find the interesting points you’d love to see and pin them on your map. Walking around on your own is cheaper than paying for a walking tour guide.
15. Avoid the hotel mini-bar – prefer the local store
Avoid eating snacks and drinking from the hotel mini-bar – it’s damn expensive. €4 for a pack of crisps? €3 Euros for a small bottle of water? Grab your snacks and drinks from the local grocery store and save a lot of money.
16. Ask for Wi-Fi code and don’t turn on 3G/4G whist abroad
If you are using your sim card whilst travelling avoid using on 3G/4G since roaming charges are very expensive on data. Most restaurants, cafes, even buses (in some cities) offer free Wi-Fi. Just ask for the password.
17. Skip the souvenirs
Do you really have to buy that mug? Are you going to wear that t-shirt? Just buy a magnet instead! And not from a tourist shop, which can be €4.00, a local store will have a souvenir magnet for €2.00 or less. The best memories from a travel are the pictures you’re going to shoot.
Keep it simple and enjoy!