When it comes to traveling, people sometimes ask me “What do you do?” or “What do your parents do?” – which translated means “How do you afford to travel so much?”
Well it’s time to reveal the secret! And no, I’m not rich and I don’t sell drugs either!
Many of my trips were/are study or work-related, but I travel as a tourist as well. So here are a few tips that can help you save money if you are traveling on a budget.
1. Where to book flights
I usually book my flights on lastminute.com and use “flexible dates” so I can see what combination is cheapest. Kayak.com is a good option as well, as it compares prices from many different booking sites and comes up with the best option.
Another site I use at times is edreams.com. It usually helps you find good deals but depending on the payment method they might add an extra €50 or so at the time of actually buying the ticket.
2. When to book flights
I usually book my flights 6 or 2-3 weeks prior to the date when I’m planning to travel. That’s when prices are usually lower.
3. Choose multiple destinations instead of layovers
If you are supposed to travel from A to B with a layover in X, you can choose “multiple destinations” on the site where you book your flight and travel A-X, spend a few days in X and then X-B, usually for the same price. This way you get to visit X without spending extra on flights.
4. Stay downtown and save on transportation
Couch surfing or staying with friends or friends’ friends is obviously the cheapest option, but if you don’t know anybody in the place you are planning to visit, choose a hostel or a hotel located as close to the city center as possible.
Most tourist attractions are usually located within or close to city centers, so chances are that, if you are staying somewhere downtown, the main tourist sites will be at a walking distance. This can be true even for some large cities.
I usually book my hostels on booking.com. They help you find good deals and they even offer free offline maps and tourist guides for the main cities.
5. Travel at night
Check if there are night flights/busses/trains available for the place you are tying to reach. It is not the most comfortable option but at least you won’t have to pay for the hotel.
6. Choose busses rather than trains
This is valid for Europe, where trains are much more common than busses.
Yes, trains are more comfortable and faster and you can even find good offers at times, but traveling by bus is usually much cheaper.
7. Eating options: Street food and marketplaces
I love street food and even if my budget is not tight I’d choose street food over fancy restaurants. Also, my stomach can eat pretty much anything and the weirdest the food the better!
In many countries you can get good, cheap food at marketplaces or on the streets and there’s a plus to it! Food there is usually similar to what people cook at their places, so this can be a great way to discover local cuisine.
This is how I try to save money when i travel. Do you guys have other tips that can help? Feel free to comment below.