Traveling is amazing, it opens your heart and mind and, just like Saint Augustine said “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page”, but it can also be very expensive sometimes – especially if you don’t know how to do it right – which is why many people avoid it.
If you think you can’t afford traveling, here are some hacks to make it cheap that will prove you wrong.
Get to know the place you’re going to!
Go to the Internet to know the basics about your destination – banks, money, personal and other insurance, health, vaccinations, language, important customs, weather conditions, their police system and the law – things that could save you in many situations and different ways!
There is no need to know everything, just the basics. It pays to have an idea on most things around so that you can create a good plan on how to save on them!
Get a new email address and mail to yourself all the copies of your important papers – passports and visas, travelers’ check numbers, insurance certificates, medical info, important phone numbers, addresses, – for emergency access.
This one hack has been proven pure gold for me in the past! When I went to Budapest in 2015, I lost my wallet – and all the documents inside it! – but luckily this trick literally saved my life – and trip!
MEET SOMEONE NEW
You might be wondering how this is supposed to save you money.
Well, first of all, the more people you are, the less you pay – you can divide almost any cost during the stay (e.g., a hotel room, )
Secondly, if you meet someone local, they are gonna help you get to the less expensive – and more fun – places, which alone will save you tons of money. You just need to talk to someone, that’s it. You can start by just asking for directions – conversations often come easily.
It definitely depends on where you go – whether it’s a big city or a little town – but people are usually pretty friendly if you ask politely. So, almost everybody will agree to have a good talk and recommend you the best places around!
Or, if you are traveling alone and want to talk to other travelers like you – and maybe more experienced than you are – you can use message boards on Internet to find other travelers in your area. Also, traveler pubs and bars are the best places to meet them.
Make lists about what you have to bring before packing.
Using lists to keep track of what you have packed will help you figure out what you’re actually using, what’s really necessary and worth taking – this will definitely save you time on preparing for your next trip!
And probably buying that one neck collar from the local shop when you already have three packed will not look like a good idea anymore!
Instead, maybe, you need more clean clothes. In other words, this will help you realize if you overdid things.
Also, keep this list to check on your belongings just before getting back home, to make sure you’re not forgetting something.
In your list, always include a small amount of US dollars – or other money from your own country. Most places accept them, in case things go wrong with your cards or your other local cash. Also remember to pack a small medicine bag as your cabinet with emergency medicines (aspirins, diarrhea tablets, water purifiers, etc.) and a first aid kit.
Bring only two or three pieces of travel-size personal items such as soaps, shampoos, deodorants, toothpaste tubes, lotions, and perfumes — if your stay is short. If longer, bring some more.
This will also prevent you from buying expensive ones at the airport, or at the hotel!
BUY FROM MARKETS
This is useful for two main reasons.
First, you need to be careful with the local food, because your stomach needs to be used to it. Rotate eating foods you know – which you can buy from markets – with those of the local cuisine.
And second, this is gonna save you money, because going out to eat is so damn expensive!
EXPLORE DIFFERENT ROADMAPS
Repeat and remember this as a mantra:
The cheapest place is where nobody goes – and this doesn’t necesserely mean is a bad place.
It’s actually often the opposite: the least known places often turn out to be the most beautiful ones.
Since I started applying this “mantra” into my traveling journey, I get more curious about places I go to, because I spend less time worrying about checking places on my must-see list and spend more time actually exploring the territory and culture.
Just because everybody goes somewhere, it doesn’t mean it’s your kind of beautiful. Focus on finding what you enjoy seeing in the place you’re visiting, not what everybody expects you to enjoy visiting.
And, this will save you money.
USE AIRBNB FOR YOUR STAY
I’m not saying that staying at an Airbnb is always the best choice. It usually depends on the renter, on the city, on the area you’re staying and so on. And there are many and different completely free alternatives to hotels or Airbnb – like sleeping under the stars, or Couchsurfing for example – but it couldn’t be your thing.
In most cases, however, Airbnb allows you to have a more private and cheaper alternative to hotels – in my opinion. For me, personally, it’s a great choice!
DO NOT EVER ask a taxi driver for a hotel suggestion, or in general a place to stay.
They might have an interest in suggesting you a place rather than another one just because they have an accord with the owner of the place – this error could result in paying many more money than the average.
Instead, ask a local.
Do you use these hacks when you travel, or do you have other suggestions? Let me know in the comments!