It can be pretty hard to try and save money when travelling, even if you’re already on a shoestring budget. From booking flights, to finding accommodation, to trying out new foods and buying souvenirs, there’s always another opportunity to siphon your money away during a trip. So here are a few tips to make your travels slightly less of a burden to your bank account before you’ve even left!
Book flights early… or late!
We all know that booking extremely far in advance can increase the chances of getting extremely cheap flights, but people rarely consider the possible benefits of just booking a last minute flight and hopping on the plane, which can be just as inexpensive! I’m a big fan of buying one-way tickets to leave yourself the option of staying somewhere longer if you like, or flying back on a day when flights are cheapest. I try to leave booking until the last minute – not just because I’m disorganised, but because an unlikely deal could be just around the corner!
Use a booking app
I always use Skyscanner to find the best deals on flights, but lastminute.com was always my go-to before I discovered it. Both of these sites, and corresponding apps, show you different flight options for your chosen destinations, often far cheaper than booking through the airline website. I like Skyscanner in particular because it gives you the option to compare prices for all the days in a month and choose your flight accordingly.
Hotels and hostels are all well and good, but if you really want to save money, I’d recommend looking into Couchsurfing – a free website where hosts all around the world open their homes to travellers looking for a place to stay. The website does its own security checks, but it’s mainly a case of using your common sense and checking that hosts have positive feedback from previous guests on their profiles. I’ve met some of my closest travel friends through Couchsurfing, and would recommend it to everyone! Think about it – free accommodation! What’s not to like? I’ve stayed in a lovely flat in central Bangkok, and a brand new condo with a swimming pool in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Suck it up, youth hostels.
Using sites like workaway.info allows you to travel extremely cheaply, if not for free! It’s a great way to get to know local communities – you work for approximately six hours a day in exchange for food and accommodation. Placements can range from au-pair placements with families, helping with childcare, or renovation projects in the countryside. It may not be for everyone, but if you enjoy active travelling then it’s definitely worth checking out. By avoiding paid volunteer placements you can save so much money, and often give far more back to a community than if you were just part of a well-intentioned but ultimately pretty useless group project.
Hopefully, these tips have given you some of your own ideas on how to save money on your travels before departure!