Below you’ll find my best tips for saving money during a holiday. If you travel often, like I do, it’s important to not go over the top with spending and to stick with your budgeting goals. It may seem like a lot of effort, but I promise you it’s not. And the money you save will allow you to jet off on your next holiday sooner than expected!
Save money on food
Don’t be scared of street food. One of the best things about travelling is experiencing different types of food. Street food will allow you to experience the local flavors at a fraction of the cost. When you pick a place to eat make sure that it’s a place where locals eat. This is the best way to tell whether you’ll be getting authentic, good food.
Now, I know there is a general fear that street food places in Asia can be a little more questionable than the places in Australia, Europe or even America. However, I have eaten out of many street food restaurants and food trucks in Bali, Thailand, Vietnam and many other Asian countries and I have never had a problem. The trick is to scope the place out, make sure it looks clean enough and that there are other people eating there, and ask the opinion of locals, if you can.
Try to eat out for lunch instead of dinner. Lunch items tend to be cheaper than dinner items. If you are travelling in a big group, this is a great way to save money.
Save money on accommodation
Pick hostels over hotels. If you are a solo traveler in an expensive city, staying in a hostel will save you a substantial amount of money during your travels. You will be sharing your space with other travelers, but I have met some of the most interesting people I’ve ever spoken to at these hostels. They’re usually people just like you, looking to save a little while they travel. When you book a hostel make sure that they offer cheaper tours and meals as well. This is a great way to save money on tours, meals and to meet new people.
Offer service in exchange of accommodation. At some hostels you can save even more money by offering some freelance work. This could be anything from taking photos to working in their reception for a few hours a day. This is a great way to earn bit of extra cash while you travel.
Use cheaper Hotels during transits. This has been a great trick I’ve used over the years and it has always saved me lot of money. Why would you spend a lot of money on a room, if you are not going to stay there long.
If you are someone who enjoys a lavish lifestyle, try choosing cheaper hotels to stay in while traveling in an expensive country. You can still go for the luxury option whilst in a cheaper country.
Save money on transportation
Public transport. Try to avoid rental cars unless you are planning to travel in places without public transport options. Using the combination of public transport and ride sharing will save you money in comparison to the daily car rental fee.
Travel overnight. If you are travelling long distance, try to travel overnight. This is a great way to save money on transportation and accommodation. If you are a light sleeper this might not be the best option for you but in an expensive city, saving money on one night’s accommodation is usually worth it.
Rent or share a bike. Bali is one of favorite destinations. I spent so much money on taxis when I first started holidaying there. I then decided to get my motor bike license in Australia simply because I wanted to hire a motorbike when I travel to Bali. It’s a cheaper, more convenient way to travel.
Bikes are not just useful in Bali. Hiring a push bike instead of using public transport or a rental is a healthy, fast and affordable way to get around the big cities in place like Europe and America. Splinter is a great place to find bikes in most cities around the world.
Pick cheap group tours. I don’t think there is a better way to experience a new city than walking or taking a tour by bus. Touring in a group is always more fun than walking by yourself. In North America and Europe, prices for these group bus tours could vary from “pay what you like” to $60AU. Even if you are traveling in Asia it is so much cheaper to book a group tour than to book a private tour.
Save money on your mobile plan
If you are planning short-term international travel you don’t really need to spend $5 a day on your mobile plan. Most of us can get by with free Internet calling apps like Skype and WhatsApp. Most destinations these days also offer free Wi-Fi.
If you’re traveling for business and need to reach local contacts by phone, it may be worth investing on a local sim card. This is the cheaper alternative to using your sim card from home.
Feel free to take as little or as many of these tips and put them to use. You’ll be astounded by how much you can save, while still having an amazing time traveling.