Experienced travelers are convinced that you don’t need to have a lot of money to travel frequently. The only thing you really need is the desire to travel and the ability to look for information.
We have collected pieces of advice from travel bloggers that will let you see the world without spending a lot of money. At the end of the article, there is a great bonus about useful things for every tourist. We hope you have more trips very soon!
11. Travel on your own.
Traveling on your own (without travel agencies) is much more interesting and way cheaper. Yes, you have to remember that all the responsibility for any problems will be on your shoulders. However, travel agencies often can’t help in such situations anyway, so they blame the airlines, unforeseeable circumstances, the country you are visiting, and so on.
When you travel on your own, you can plan the route that you want, choose the cheapest flight, book the best hotel in terms of location and price, and choose your transfer.
Andrey Mironchuk, a blogger from Belarus, says, “A trip from Minsk to the Canary Islands with a travel agency costs around €1,100. If you plan your own trip, the worst-case scenario is that it will cost you €500.” That’s a lot of money! And we think that it’s well worth the time you spend carefully planning your trip.
10. Plan your trips.
The earlier you start planning your trip, the cheaper it will be. This goes for plane tickets, railway tickets, hotels, and tickets for different events, concerts, and festivals. In European countries, they start selling tickets a few months before the departure date. It’s quite possible to buy tickets 2-3 times cheaper than the standard price if you do it during the first days of a sale.
Buying online tickets for entertainment, concerts, and festivals in advance is a great way to save an average of 10% and avoid spending hours in lines.
9. Save money on transportation.
The cost of going from point “A” to point “B” is one of the most expensive things during any trip. There are many different websites where you can find information about sales and discounts for plane tickets, train tickets, bus trips, renting a place to stay, or a car. Such websites usually don’t sell anything, and they don’t provide any tourist services. They simply provide information about sales and discounts with the links to the original websites. When you choose what you need, you go straight to the company’s website to book a hotel or buy tickets yourself.
8. Look for different ways to buy cheap plane tickets.
Blogger Stanislav Rabunski is 24 years old, has already visited 35 countries across different continents, and has some great strategies for finding and buying cheap plane tickets. He suggests that you go to the official website of the airport in your destination city. There, you can check which airlines fly to this city and choose the one that flies from your city or the closest place. Then go to the website of this airline to find out if they have any sales right now and if it’s possible to save any money if you join the passenger club of this airline.
Blogger Vitaliy Klimov recommends trying kiwi.com. You can use it to find the cheapest flights from airports (it doesn’t matter where you are going or when) and the cheapest flight for certain dates and destinations.
7. Save money on the transfer from the airport to the hotel.
You can get to a city from any airport in the world for a very cheap price using a bus, not a taxi. We recommend that you check the airport website in advance and find out which buses go to the city center and where the bus stop is located.
If you choose a taxi anyway, don’t get one in the airport itself — it will cost you a lot more. You can even get robbed in exotic countries. Besides, not all taxi drivers can speak even basic English.
You can order a transfer from the airport to the hotel through an international transfer service such as Kiwitaxi or HolidayTaxis. A driver holding a card with your name will meet you at the airport. You can order extra options in advance like a baby seat or Wi-Fi in the car. And you can pay for the taxi by credit card.
6. No hotels
Blogger Vitaliy Klimov went from the west of Russia to Africa by bike and travels around Europe spending less than €7 a day. Klimov recommends choosing hostels if you are traveling alone or with friends. They are cheap, and you’ll have a chance to meet new people. By spending time with them, you can also improve your foreign language skills.
If you are traveling with your family, you should choose an apartment. First of all, you can save a lot of money on food. Of course, you can go to a restaurant a few times during your trip because eating local food is part of getting to know a different culture. But buying food in the supermarket and cooking it yourself is much cheaper. Second, if you stay at a hotel, you get the experience of being a guest of the city. But if you stay in an apartment, you live like a local person: you go to the supermarket, you buy food on the street, and you have your own key to the door.
5. Try an alternative way to find a place to stay.
Agrotourism is one way to get a free place to stay, free food, and a chance to understand another culture in exchange for just a few hours of help to the owners.
You can always find an interesting, unusual, and free place to stay during a trip. For example:
- You can use the Help Exchange website. People from all over the world offer tourists free accommodation and food in exchange for helping around the house, working on the farm, and other services.
- WWOOF is an international organization of organic farms and gardens. Anyone can come to work in exchange for free accommodation and food, and there are branches in more than 70 countries around the world.
- Couchsurfing is an international system for having guests. You register at the website, and then you can have guests at your place or go to someone’s place. And the best part? It’s all for free.
- Housesitting is looking after someone’s house. The owners go away for a long time, perhaps for the whole summer, and you get to live in their house for free. You can find offers from any country in the world. Such offers can be found here.
4. Rent your own place while you are on vacation, or try to exchange your place for someone else’s.
An exchange vacation is a chance to stay somewhere for free during your vacation.
Traveler and blogger Vladimir Druganov recommends renting out your own apartment or house while you are away using Airbnb. You will get money sent to your credit card during your trips, which is profitable and convenient.
The second option for saving money on accommodation is going on an “exchange vacation.” If you are ready to let other people live in your apartment (tourists from other countries or even from your own country), then you will get the keys to their houses for free. The most popular internet services for this kind of tourism are here:
Homeexchange.com has a very convenient navigation, a huge number of houses and apartments in its database, and a wide range of countries.
Homelink.org is one of the pioneers of house exchanges. This resource provides a wide choice of countries and a convenient system of filters.
3. Don’t lose your chance to have fun for free.
A free walking tour in Krakov, Poland
Before you go anywhere, go to Google and search “Free entertainment in city X.” Ideally, use the English language. Festivals, concerts, open days, excursions — you can find a lot of free events in big cities and small towns. For example, you can use this website to find information about free walking tours.
2. Don’t buy things you can get for free.
- Wi-Fi. When you book accommodation, choose an apartment or a hotel with free Wi-Fi access. During the day, you can use free Wi-Fi in restaurants, gas stations, and malls.
- Local maps. You can find free maps in many hotels, apartments, and hostels. You can also get a map in a tourist information bureau. Most of the time, they can be found downtown or near tourist sights. Download digital city maps to your cell phone in advance.
- Water. In Europe, you can drink tap water everywhere. There are water fountains in many cities, and you can drink that water. In order to check, you can use maps.me — all the sources of drinking water are marked “drinking water” in the application. Also, check for “Not for drinking” signs near the source. If you don’t see any, you can easily drink there.
- Visiting restrooms. You can use McDonald’s, Burger King, and other public places. Business centers, museums, libraries, and supermarkets are places you can visit too. All big buildings have public toilets.
1. Be flexible.
The most common piece of advice that travel bloggers give is “be flexible.” Don’t be scared of experimenting or suddenly changing your route or dates.
Traveler and blogger Johnny Jet draws people’s attention to a very important fact: the most expensive time for a trip is when other people are going to the same place as well. So if you are going somewhere during public holidays or other days off, it is the most expensive time to travel. Simply changing your date by one or 2 days can save you money. And don’t forget to check the dates of public holidays in the country you are visiting.
Pay attention to when the high season starts in your destination country or city. Try to get there a few weeks before the start of the season. You can save up to 50% this way.
Bonus: links to the biggest and most popular tourist websites where travelers can find answers to any questions
- wikitravel.org is an English-language “wikipedia” of traveling.
- lonelyplanet.com is the forum for a famous travel guide in English.
- budgetyourtrip.com is an English-language resource that will help you calculate the budget of your trip.
- agentika.com is a huge tourist internet resource that contains a lot of useful information: how to find the right transportation, where to eat, where to stay, and where to have fun.