What would you do if you knew you have only a few months left? “Go traveling, of course!” is the most popular answer we hear after such a question. But what are you waiting for now? Why do people consider traveling to be that luxurious dream not everybody can afford and treat exploring other countries something they would need to sell all their property to pay for? It is not that difficult to make your journey budget-friendly. A little planning and a few secrets of saving are all that is needed. Air tickets, hotels, visas, transport, food, communication – be sure there are a lot of life hacks on how to save a coin on each of these steps.
A plane ticket is NOT a luxury at all if you buy it in advance. The cheapest tickets can be snatched 10-12 months before the intended trip. It is better to search for tickets through the “Incognito” tab in your browser (Ctrl + N). Sites selling air tickets even consider your search history, and if you have recently searched for some expensive goods, the system recognizes you as a wealthy person and doesn’t show cheap tickets. Also, cheap tickets can be hidden if you regularly search tickets for the same destination.
Finding Travel Companions
Travelling on budget can be expensive despite our best efforts, especially in certain popular locations that tend to be expensive. In such cases, it is always better to team up. Even if you are a solo traveller, you can always find out like-minded people. Just socialize, talk to people at your backpacker hostel or the pub. I have found cotravellers on many occassions on the road. This helps as you can always share room, transport, and food costs with them. If you are even more ambitious, there are even places to find your travel dates!
The most popular way to find cost-efficient accommodation is to surf through multiple booking systems before making a decision. You can find everything your heart desires, from hostels to luxury hotels at an affordable rate if you do enough research. Please note that accommodation during the high season, on weekends, during major festivals or sports games will cost more. With their help, you can rent a room, an apartment, or even a house in the desired city. This is also beneficial because you will have a kitchen, which will save some extra money on food. If all else fails, there is always Couchsurfing where can find a person anywhere in the world who agrees to take you in for free. Here, you can find friends who will show you the city like no other tour guide would be able to.
Give up paid city tours. This is the most boring and most unnecessary way to learn a new place. Walk until your legs begin to heart, do not be afraid to get lost, dissolve in the city, mix with the crowd, and feel the magic of observing everything on your own. Rent a bike; in many European cities, renting bicycles for a day is worth a few trips on public transport. In Amsterdam, a bicycle for 24 hours costs from 8 euros, and traveling by bus will cost you 2-3 euros per ride. Select places with a free entrance in advance. Examine their sites and working schedules to keep up with everything. In many museums, there are days with free admission or a big discount for students or pensioners and so on. What is more, in some places, such as amusement parks, there is a reservation system similar to transport — the earlier you buy a ticket, the cheaper it will cost.
Lunch even in an inexpensive European restaurant can hit the wallet. Therefore, it is better to buy food in a supermarket somewhere far from the center. If you settled in a hotel or hostel without a kitchen, find out where the locals love to eat. Usually, in such places, the food is cheaper and tastier. Carry a water bottle with you, as you will definitely meet special taps/fountains with drinking water. Promise yourself not to succumb to the culinary temptations of street hot dog or ice cream cone.
Other Useful Hacks
If you have to spend the night at the airport, there is a whole special website where travelers share reviews of overnight stays at various airports called Sleeping in Airports. Also, you can always get a money refund and an overnight stay for a delayed flight. It only works if all the tickets for a flight are sold. The fact is that companies sometimes sell more tickets than seats in an airplane, supposing not all passengers may appear for the flight or hand over tickets. And if you come at the very beginning of check-in and say that you are ready to wait for the next flight, if there are more passengers than boarding passes, they will give you money (on average 500 euros, but the sum can be limited to a hotel stay price), or they can provide you with an overnight stay at the hotel and food in a restaurant.
As you can see, traveling can be budget-friendly. Next time you plan a trip, use some of these tips and enjoy your holidays!