Travelling can be expensive, there is no doubt about that. When you start looking at flight prices and hotel rooms it really seems a bit out of reach. There are many ways to save money for travel. Here are some ways that I have managed to travel often over the last year or so…
Travel in Off Season (Shoulder season)
Usually flights are cheaper. The weather may not be ideal at the time. Attractions may be cheaper, car rentals, hotel and hostels prices may even be lower at this time. Shoulder seasons are usually April/May and September/October depending on where you go.
Use google flights or skyscanner.
Both of these can track prices for your flights. Google flights puts out suggestions for saving money suggesting that if you fly out a day later or earlier you can save X amount. Skyscanner shows you all your options, length of trip vs price etc, both are really useful apps.
Stay at Hostels.
People automatically think of hostels as disgusting, dirty places that you don’t want to stay in. In actual fact they couldn’t be more wrong. I stayed in a few hostels in New Zealand that cost $20USD per night. They varied from 4 bed dorm with a private shower to 6 bed dorm with communal showers. All of these places were clean and well kept with pleasant and helpful staff. Bonus if you’re a solo traveller, hostels are a great way to meet new people so you have company on your adventures! Sure you may have a bad experience here and there at some hostels. Someone got a little too drunk the night before or people coming in at 4am after a party. Don’t let these little things ruin the fact that you’re on an epic trip and maybe the next place will be better!
Use Public Transport
One of the best things ever was booking a 10hour bus ride to Wellington for $1, one of the worst was booking a 10 hour bus ride! I booked ahead because I knew my plans but if you have the time the long bus rides will almost always be cheaper than a flight. Bonus, you get the experience more of the scenery this way. I used the Naked Bus in New Zealand and there were chargers and wifi, it was really quite comfortable.
More and more airlines are now charging you to carry one peice of luggage with you. Sure $25 US doesn’t seem bad at first but that’s only one way. So that is $50 you could have spent on an experience out or a few nights accomodation in a hostel. All those travel fees add up! So get a good carry-on bag and learn to pack light. It does take some practice but you get the hang of it. Check out some of the biggest packing mistakes and my Osprey Sirrus 36L backpack.
Travel to more affordable countries
Ok so maybe the plane ticket may be a bit more expensive to get there, but accomodation, transport and food will be way cheaper. Places like South East Asia, India and Nepal, and countries in South and Central America, even South Africa are cheap places to travel.
There are other options as well. You can work abroad on a holiday visa or join a WWOOF program where you work for your room and board.You can also teach english abroad. Couchsurfing is an option as well, I haven’t personally used it but I have met up with a couple of couchsurfers who were quite cool. Use with caution though, if something doesn’t feel right then don’t stay with someone just because it’s free.
I hope some of these tips encourage you to start exploring this beautiful world! You can check out this post about how to be a nomad if you want to travel full time. Book that ticket and go on your adventure.