As a student on a budget I traveled to over 30 countries and I want to share with you how you can save more to travel more. Leading up to a trip, there are things that you can do that will help you save money while. Being prepared and doing research can help you avoid extra costs and find deals. As you prepare for your next trip, keep these tips on how to save money when planning a trip in mind.
Budget Travel Tips to Save Money When Planning a Trip
There’s nothing I love more than finding a great deal! Why spend more than you need to, especially if you are on a budget. In addition to saving money before a trip and saving money during a trip, there are lots of ways you can save money when planning a trip.
1.Pack Light and Avoid Baggage Fees
The first tip to save money when planning a trip is about planning your luggage.
Airlines love to charge you for extra baggage, especially discount airlines. Check airline’s luggage policies before booking flights so you know how much you can bring. If you plan on travelling with a variety of airlines, then the best thing to do is remember less is more.
If you have a hard time packing light, this article on 11 Tips For Packing Light will help you.
While backpacking around Australia and New Zealand for four months I brought nothing more than carry-on luggage. That way, I never had to worry about paying extra baggage fees. I got a bit tired of wearing the same few outfits the whole trip but I managed just fine and never had to pay for extra luggage! I also never had to worry about pulling and lifting a big bulky suitcase around. Want to know how you can travel the world with only a carry -on bag?
In addition to saving money there are many benefits to packing light. Still not convinced of the benefits of packing light? This article on Advantages of Packing Light is sure to change your mind!
2. Check Nearby Airports
The next tip is to consider nearby airports. When I fly somewhere I will always check prices from Edmonton and Calgary to see where I can get a better deal.
When looking for flights, make sure to check not only the closest airport but also the surrounding airports. Many discount airlines only leave from certain locations, usually secondary airports. Compare the flight prices of different airports close you where you are leaving and going. See if it’s worth spending a bit more time traveling to get a better deal.
3. Find Free Entertainment
You don’t need to spend money to have fun! Wherever you are planning on going, there are going to be free things to do.
Do some research before and see if there are any free attractions and events happening. These can include things like a free museum night or a free outdoor show. If not, go for a walk and soak up the sights. Admire the beautiful architecture of the buildings. Check out a local park. Walk through a market. Sit down on a bench with a snack and people watch. It’s easy to have fun and save money while traveling!
4. Find Free Guided Tours
This next step to save money when planning a trip is also about planning your itinerary ahead of time to take advantage of free opportunities.
Check and see if the places you are visiting offers free tours. Many cities offer free guided walking tours. Often they are around 3 hours long and give you the opportunity to see the city’s highlights and hear fun and interesting facts. Of course, the tour guides make their money on tips and I wouldn’t advise running away at the end without leaving them anything. As an unemployed student I would usually leave 5 Euros. Since you pay at the end of the tour, and the guides depend on your tips, they always make sure that the tour is entertaining and fun.
5. Research Public Transport
When planning a trip it is important to research your transportation options to great a great deal and to make sure that you don’t get ripped off.
Check the different public transport options as well. For example, at the airport in Vienna the CAT, a public train, is advertised as the way to get to the city center. What they don’t tell you is that it’s almost 10 euros more expensive than just taking the normal public train, the OBB.
There are normally many ways to get around when traveling. Do some research in advance to find out the cheapest and best option for you. If you have a lot of time, then why not take the train instead of a plane? I did this from Vienna to Berlin and from Toulon to Florence. It was cheaper than flying and I got to enjoy an amazing views of the countryside that I would have missed if I had flown.
6. Research the Rates of Taxis Ahead of Time
Taxis are usually the most expensive option for transportation. However, if you are travelling to a country where things are generally much cheaper, and where public transport is either limited or overwhelming, then it might be the best option.
When I arrived at the airport with a friend in Ho Ci Mihn city, we decided since we were both tired from travelling that we would get a taxi. Having not done research on the cost of taxis, we just took the first one we found and paid what the driver asked. I knew that we had been ripped off but only realized how badly the next day. Another friend had arrived the morning after and had also taken a taxi to the hostel. She had done research before about how much taxis should cost and ended up paying almost three times less than we had.
7. Look For (Groupon) Deals
When planning a trip take the time to look for deals and sales. Sites like Groupon offer great deals on all types of things from classes, sightseeing, events, spas, and food.
8. Visit Cheap Countries
This can be a great way to save money when planning a trip if you are open where you go. Research which countries are the most affordable for you to visit. You don’t want to arrive in a country and be shocked by how much things cost. Research things like accommodation costs, food costs, and transportation costs.
Get the most bang for your buck by visiting countries that are cheap and/or that have a favorable conversion rate. Check out The 30 Cheapest Places To Travel In 2017.
9. Travel During Off-Seasons
If you can be flexible with travel dates, then look for off-season deals and bargains. Certain times of the year, such as Christmas and summer, are generally going to be much more popular times to travel. The increase in demand will cause an increase in prices. An added bonus of travelling in the off-season is that places will be less crowded because there will be less tourists.
Budget Travel Tips
With proper research and planning you can almost always find ways to reduce costs when planning a trip. If you are flexible with where you go and when you go then you can get more bang for your buck!
What are your tips to save money when planning a trip? Let me know in the comments!
Happy travels and happy budgeting!