6 Ways to Save Money While Traveling

Traveling is a rewarding experience. And while we all have dreams to live lavishly: stay in awesome hotels, eat all of the best local cuisine, and participate in awesome adventures (sky diving, scuba, camel rides, etc.) these things can become exceedingly expensive. Why scrimp on the good stuff when you can cut back on daily expenses. Here are a few tips on how to save some money so you can spend it on other, more important (adventurous).

Stay in a Hostel
Duh. Most of you know that if you’re staying in a 5-star hotel (unless you’re Paris Hilton) than you aren’t exactly saving money. However, if the idea of staying in a room with a bunch of strangers doesn’t excite you, using sites like Hostel World will give you options. Some hostels offer private rooms for relatively cheap. If you are traveling with a friend or a honey this might be the way to go. However, if you’re looking for a little challenge, bunking with a bunch of people is a great way to meet travel buddies and exchange travel advice.

Buy tickets early
Or buy during the off season. Traveling to Mexico for spring break might be pretty pricy. However if you decide to travel in the off season (predominately autumn) you’ll definitely save some money. Furthermore, if you buy in advance and a flexible you might be able to find insanely cheap tickets. Browse around before committing; sometimes you can find great deals on regional airports.

Use Skype/G+
Whether you decided to bring your tablet/computer or you are counting on internet cafe’s using Skype or G+ will save you major bucks on your calls home. If you are video chatting both services are free, just make sure you get the time change right. Furthermore, you can call from computer to phone for just pennies! On that note, if you’ve brought your cell phone, keep it off or turn it to airplane mode. Roaming charges will be stupidly high if your phone is constantly searching for service in Bhutan.

Volunteer
If you are REALLY on a budget and would like to avoid hostels one way to travel cheaply is to find a reciprocal program. If you are strong and willing to work WWOOFing might be the program for you. Most WWOOF hosts exchange room and board for working–mostly on organic farms. If you are willing to volunteer your time there are many programs that will host you. BONUS: If you decide to teach English abroad (especially in Asia) many programs will pay you! Talk about saving money…

Take the train
Taking the train is my favorite method of transportation. If you are a student, you can often find special prices on Eurorail prices. Using airlines like Ryanair may seem like a steal but they’ll snub you on all of their hidden fees and you can kiss any leg room goodbye. Taking the train is not only inexpensive, it offers a relaxing and scenic mode of transport.

Shop at grocery stores
This little bit of advice is most useful in countries in Europe where the exchange rate is not in our favor. While traveling abroad is the perfect opportunity to try new foods, some restaurants are absurdly expensive. Save these meals for special occasions or dinners. If you are counting your pennies, buying breakfast/lunch foods at local grocery stores is the way to go. It may not come with the ambience but it also won’t come with the price tag. Pic a nice spot for a picnic and you’ll never know the difference.

By Caroline Kellough

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