TRAVELING ON A BUDGET: Tips & Tricks
The number one thing that keeps us from traveling 24/7 is money. It’s expensive to travel and it’s even more expensive if you have to take off work. There are a few things we do that make it far more financially feasible, and while it’s still expensive, every little bit of savings counts! The goal is to travel without stress, so here are a few tips I’ve gathered over the past two years!
Use public transit. I say this in literally EVERY post, but seriously. It’s so much cheaper for you to just learn the subway system! Uber is always available as well, but can add up with how many trips you’ll be making. Don’t have public transit??? May I suggest walking? You’ll see fun things along the way, and probably discover places that you’d otherwise miss if in a taxi/subway!
Day passes are usually your best bet, so look into pricing! Toronto had a BOGO Free deal for Sundays! Look into it before you go, or talk to someone working there (if you can find them)!
Eat in for at least one meal. This will save you more money than you think. If you’re in a hotel, pick one with a continental breakfast. If not, grab snacks a local market so that you can have items to snack on! By not going out for breakfast (although we did do this daily in Spain because, pastries man) we saved easily $15 a day. Also, you don’t need fancy expensive Starbucks. Grab a coffee from a local shop and save a couple bucks!
We also tend to eat cheap for all our meals except for one special dinner each trip. We will hit up a local pub or food truck, and then, for at least one dinner, we go all out. Again, this saves us at least $40 a day. Also, consider grabbing a bottle of wine and heading back to your hotel/Airbnb instead of going out every night!
Use sites like Kayak and Skyscanner to compare prices of flights. More importantly, make sure to use “flexible dates” to get the best deal. This will show you the cheapest days to fly that destination within the two week window of your trip. Also KEEP CHECKING we ended up finding our flights to Portugal for only $800 and that was because Blake checked the websites non-stop.
Clear those cookies. The internet is watching you.
Use Airbnb for ultra cheap options, but know they come without any special accommodations. Also, consider comparing with the price of a hotel after you see what the taxes add up to. Some cities/states/countries have higher taxes on Airbnb’s and so it’s not always the best deal. Have an open mind! Even better, travel somewhere where you have friends and couch surf!
Don’t. go. shopping. Unless you are completely in LOVE with an item that you will never find anywhere else, don’t buy it. Plan accordingly and bring clothes you want and are excited to wear! I didn’t buy a single clothing item in Spain/Portugal and actually loved each outfit I had planned for the trip. Now, I bought some items prior to, but they were way cheaper than purchasing clothes while in the touristy areas of our travels.
Take advantage of Happy Hour. We are like 80-year-olds in 35-year-old bodies because we eat dinner around 5pm. Research places that you want to check out ahead of time, and then check to see what their specials are during the week. Many places have weekday incentives, and since you’re traveling you’ll probably be able to adjust your dinner time to best fit your budget. Also, check out coupons in brochures. A lot of these places advertise in hotels and offer deals to people visiting their town!
Check out free entertainment in the city you are staying in! For us, this usually means exploring and seeing the area. For Maine, we rented a car and headed out to explore the coast. The car cost us $75 for the whole trip, and allowed us to get out of the city and explore without spending tons of money. In Portugal, we found street artists performing downtown, and we could grab a drink and enjoy the atmosphere without any significant costs to us. Ask around too! Locals always know the best places to go!