6 Ways to Save Money While Traveling

Traveling the World can be very expensive if you don’t go about it the right way. Many people spend much more money than is ever necessary, because they haven’t done the research. Here are six ways to save a lot of your hard earned dollars (or whichever currency you may carry)!

1. Stay in a Hostel or Guest House

Hostels are not just for youth or travelers looking to party, they are inexpensive accommodations for all travelers. They provide private rooms as well as dorm rooms, which start at around $40. This is much better than spending a small fortune on a stuffy hotel room, plus you have the added benefit of meeting other travelers in the common areas. Even when I have the extra money to spend on a hotel, I prefer the hostel environment.

2. Buy your own Groceries

Grocery Shopping isn’t reserved for at-home errands. It might be a good idea to plan ahead, and check out the area that you’re traveling to before you leave. Do a search for nearby markets, and pick up a few essentials upon your arrival. You can even pack a few dry snacks in your luggage to last you the first couple of days. It is much cheaper to make a couple of packets of pasta, than to eat out at that Italian restaurant every night.

3. Take a Walking Tour

Most cities offer free walking tours to all the major attractions. Do a quick search to find the meeting locations and tour departure times, and plan your day accordingly. You will get an up-close look at the city, and a real guide is much more personable than a tour-bus headset. Plus, not only are you going to save $50, but you will work off all that pasta you’ve been eating!

4. Ride the Public Transit

Public Transit does not have to be a scary word. Most metro systems are very understandable, and easier to navigate than street-level. An average fee is around $2-3, or you can usually get a day-pass for about $10 in most cities. Taking a taxi will cost you upwards of $20 per trip, and that’s not including tip.

5. Pack Less

When it comes to traveling, one of the biggest hidden costs is extra luggage fees. Even if you’ve only exceeded the weight limit by a few pounds/kilos, you’re going to pay for it. Before you leave, pack your bag, and then repack it again. Take out at least 10 items, and leave behind the toiletries that you can easily purchase upon your arrival (and usually for less!).

6. Hand Made Souvenirs

Souvenirs can get really expensive, really fast, especially if you are buying for a lot of people. Sure, that miniature English Phone Booth might be cute, but do you really need to spend an extra $25 on Aunt Suzy? I once gathered a couple of smooth stones when I was walking around Stone Henge, painted Union Jacks on them, and gave them away as souvenirs. It’s pretty cool to say that you have a stone from Stone henge, and it cost so much less! Of course, packing rocks into your luggage might make it a little harder to pack light.

There are so many ways to save money while traveling, and it doesn’t have to mean that you will live like a nomad. Kick the unnecessary fees, and still live like a (thrifty) King or Queen! Happy Travels!

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10 Responses to “6 Ways to Save Money While Traveling”

  1. Sheryll
    May 31, 2011 at 4:16 am #

    Love the tips! I never thought about making your own food. Most people think that travel automatically means eating out everyday, but I think that cooking in a different country can be just as awesome of an experience!
    Sheryll recently posted..Marriage Completely Freaks Me Out

    • Seattle
      May 31, 2011 at 8:23 am #

      Especially if you get creative and try to make some local dishes 😀

  2. Ryan | PauseTheMoment.com
    June 1, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    Excellent tips! Thanks for sharing these.
    Ryan | PauseTheMoment.com recently posted..Sleeping Bag Liners Don’t Leave Home Without One!

  3. Tijmen
    June 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    Ow, those bags of pasta bring back many memories 🙂 Still can’t believe how often I ended up eating that stuff together with the majority of people around me in the hostel. When I came back home, it took a few months before I ate pasta again 🙂
    Tijmen recently posted..Strange Foods from Around the World

  4. Scott - Quirky Travel Guy
    June 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    I prefer couchsurfing over a hostel but these are good tips!
    Scott – Quirky Travel Guy recently posted..Quirky Attraction- Mrs Butterworth Julia Grant statue

  5. Seattle
    June 4, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    Yeah, Couchsurfing is definitely a good way to save while traveling!
    Seattle recently posted..Rainy Season in Trinidad &amp Tobago

  6. Andrea
    June 7, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

    Great tips, especially for the more expensive destinations. Sometimes we find it cheaper to just eat out in some of the less expensive countries, though. Saves time, which is valuable when travelling.
    Andrea recently posted..Awash in Salt- Photos From Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia

    • Seattle
      June 7, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

      You’re probably right about that! Especially just grabbing a quick lunch at a street vendor or sandwich shop.

  7. Chris Booth
    October 24, 2011 at 8:23 am #

    I thought about saying ‘drink less’ but that’s just silly. Better advice would be to drink the same but stop insisting on buying rounds of drinks later in the evening!

    • Seattle
      October 24, 2011 at 11:18 am #

      haha! YES–that’s a good one. There should be some sort of wallet-timer that locks around 1am.

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