Lately, I’ve received some feedback asking for ways to “Travel On a Budget”, which can often seem like an oxymoron. Let’s face it, traveling, by nature is always going to be an investment, but I’m far from rich, and I’ve been able to make it happen. So can you, if you are willing to dedicate the time and resources necessary and make a few, painless compromises. Over the years. I’ve learned a few things that I put into practice to take the financial edge off my vacations. Here are some tips I utilize every time I travel to save a little money. By combining a few of these tips, you can make a significant difference on the cost of your next adventure.
1. Plan ahead!
This is probably the easiest and most significant way to cut costs. As most people know, airline tickets are much cheaper when you buy them in advance. I try to purchase my tickets six months in advance and have found that they can actually double in price in just a few months. If you are traveling to Europe from the U.S.A. as I have, you can purchase tickets to a major hub city, like London or Berlin, far in advance, and plan the rest of your trip afterwards. There are several reduced fair airlines that service most of Europe for under 100 euros and don’t increase as much over time, so you don’t have to make all your decisions so early. It can also be cheaper to fly into a hub city from the US, and take a cheaper airline to your final destination, rather than fly to a less trafficed city directly. I know, most people hate transfers, but after 6 hours or more flying over the Atlantic Ocean, a little downtime between flights can be welcome, especially if it saves you a significant amount of money. Flying throughout the U.S. doesn’t have the same advantages from what I’ve found though. It’s ALWAYS cheaper to reserve tickets in advance in the U.S. and there’s not as many opportunities for reduced fares. If traveling in the U.S. it is far better to plan your entire trip at least 4 months ahead. It’s also important to know how much luggage you are going to bring and pay any overcharges for extra items you’ll be bringing ahead of time. Every airline seems to have a different policy for how much luggage can be checked or carried on, and the size and weight limitations of the luggage. Know the luggage allowance for each flight, and pay for any extra charges in advance. The price will increase if you try to pay for overweight or extra luggage on the day of your trip.
The advantages we enjoy from this fairly new service go beyond financial. If you’re not familiar with AirBnB, it’s a network of private citizens who rent out their apartments to travelers at prices that are often less than the cost of a single room at a hotel. It’s expanded over the years into a highly competitive industry, which is great for travelers. I was wary at first to try it, but once I did I was hooked and I’ve saved a lot of money from using AirBnB as much as possible. You have to create a profile through their website, but once you are on, it provides a lot of great advantages. You will see a list of options based on price and location and can read reviews of each apartment from other travelers. You will get reviewed yourself as a guest, so it’s mutually beneficial to treat each other well. I try to go with moderate to low price ranges and am very rarely disappointed. It seems to have really picked up over the past few years to the point where most of the apartments I’ve stayed at are completely refurbished and up to date, especially in areas where tourism drives the economy. There are coutless advantages in staying at an apartment over a hotel room as you can imagine and several opportunies to save even more money. It will require you plan ahead however, since the longer you wait, the less choices will be available.
When your staying at an apartment, the opportunity to buy groceries is almost a mandatory cost-cutter. I make a habit of picking up groceries as one of my first missions whenever I arrive at a new location. Breakfast is almost always made at the AirBnB, which is a great way to cut the price of one meal by 50% or more. Add another meal in - (dinner at “home” can be a great way to relax after a day of hiking) and you start really reducing costs. This allows for a nice lunch out on the town while exploring, which gives you the opportunity to enjoy local cuisine at a less pricey meal than dinner. Of course, you can also save money in how you choose to dine out. Often there are cheaper dining options a block or two from the tourist heavy locations.
4. Bring Dry Food With You
This is similar to saving money through grocery shopping, but in this case, you pick up your groceries before you even leave home. Trail mix, granola bars, tea bags, or whatever snack you like that will keep for the duration of your trip will often carry you over during traveling. This will save you the price of an expensive snack at the airport or wherever you might find yourself ready for a quick bite. I made the mistake of bringing juice boxes once. Bad idea. I had to keep it in my checked luggage. It added noticiable weight to my luggage and didn’t really turn out to be very cost effective or appealing. Dry goods are the best way to go from my experience. I bring a few bags of granola and some tea bags on every trip now. They don’t effect the weight of my luggage very much and make my breakfast expense minimal, which really starts to add up over time.
5. Hop On, Hop Off Bus Tours
You will find these, or something similar, in most of the bigger cities in Europe and some here in the U.S. as well. Unlike traditional bus tours, they run buses all day in continual routes, meaning you can “hop off” and investigate the attractions you want to, then hop back on another bus and continue your tour, passing on the locations you’d prefer not to see and getting off again at whatever attraction you like. I was on a very quick trip a few years ago, only a few days to see Paris and Rome. Through Hop On, Hop Off, I was able to see almost all the highlights I’d hoped to in only a day. They are resonably priced and you’re provided with an easy to read map of the city. Through a day of touring, you can get a pretty good sense of your surroundings, making it much easier to get around for the rest of your stay. For this reason, I try to take the Hop On, Hop Off tours as my first order of business when I’m in a new city, to get a good sense of what I want to see more of, and how to get there.
6. Cheap Gifts
You don’t necessarily have to buy anything to remind you of your vacation, but I always like to bring something home for myself along with a few gifts for friends and family. You really don’t have to invest a lot in these purchases though. I love refrigerator magnets. They are are a cheap, daily reminder of my travels and some are very unique, crafty little works of art, often at bargain prices when buying more than one item. There are usually sidewalk vendors selling low priced gifts at every tourist location and often times some are either hand crafted or fairly presentable for less than the price of a t-shirt. I’ve seen miniature Eiffel Tower statues at French Restaurants in NYC that I’d seen hawked at a street side vendor in Paris for $5. Many tourist destinations have a local trade or custom that can be found in individually owned gift shops. Stained glassware in Venice or hand painted porcelain items for under $10 in Positano, for example. If you do decide to purchase gifts to remember your adventure by, go beyond a corporate gift shop, and try to find something with local flavor. You will probably find something that you and your friends will cherish at a minimal price.
When you’re in new location, particularly a beautiful one, every step can offer a new, more stunning view than the last. Why take an expensive cab, bus or subway when you can get some exercise, an enjoy several hours of fabulous imagery, literally for free? I personally love exploring a new city on foot and feel there’s no better way to get to know your surroundings. Often times, it can be a little intimidating at first, especially at night, but I almost always try to get out when I arrive in a new city and walk a little bit, even if it’s only to get a tiny sense of where my apartment or hotel is in the place I’m visiting. Sometimes it will only last long enough to pick up groceries, but I can’t count how many times I’ve forced myself to go out for a quick walk after a long day of travel, and wound up on a breathtaking, beautiful hike that I didn’t want to end. It’s also a great way to find a place to eat and the activity of walking makes the meal more enjoyable and well earned. Most tourist attractions come with an admission charge. You could break the bank going to museums, landmarks, observatory tours or any other site that requires a cover charge. Sometimes sightseeing by foot can be just as impressive and doesn’t cost a thing.
These are just a few pointers for saving a little bit of money on your next trip. The point of a vacation is to relax, have fun and forget about things like finances and budgeting, but that doesn’t mean that you have to throw money away. A few simple compromises can have a big financial impact and might even be the difference between dreaming and doing, if you’re willing to travel on a budget.
Hola Amigos Viajeros,
Me han preguntado ultimamente por consejos en como viajar y que al mismo tiempo nos salga mas barato y que nuestro bolsillo no quede muy afectado. Aqui les dejo unos consejos que me han permitido viajar. Hablemos la verdad, viajar es una gran inversion y estoy muy lejos de tener dinero. Solo lo hago de acuerdo a mi bolsillo. Y quiero compartirlo con personas que como nosotros les encanta explorar nuevos lugares.
1. Planea con tiempo.
Planea con anticipasion, esta es la mejor manera y me ha funcionado perfectamente. Si viajan de America a Europa, los pasajes estan constantemente cambiando de precio. Por lo regular compro mis pasajes de 3 a 6 meses con anticipasion. Lo he comprobado muchas veces que a la hora de viajar por lo regular el precio esta 2 veces mas caros. La mayoria de veces viajo a Londres o Berlin que desde America sale mas favorable, y de ahi compro mis pasajes para viajar dentro de Europa por separado. Otro consejo para hacer el check in de tus maletas la mejor forma de ahorrar dinero es hacerlo con tiempo pues si lo haces en el aeropuerto nos ha pasado que hemos tenido que pagar hasta mas del doble. Estos son algunos consejos que me han servido ahora despues de haber tenido muchos apredizajes en el pasado.
Como ya les habia contado antes, nos encanta quedarnos en apartamentos pues te sientes como en casa. Esta es una buena forma de ahorrar y tener al menos un desayuno saludable como lo harias en tu propio hogar. Tienes tambien mucho mas espacio par disfrutar de algun dia de tu viaje que solo quieras descansar y disfrutar de un lugar comodo. Nos ha pasado que hemos mirado hoteles y despues Airbnb's y los precios de los apartamentos son increiblemente favorables y estas como en casa fiuera de casa. Las experiencias que hemos tenido en estos lugares han sido espectaculares.
La oportunidad de quedarte en un apartamento propio mientras viajas te da acceso a poder comprar tus cosas favoritas para comer y ahorrar dinero. Por lo regular cuando llegamos de viaje a alguna parte el mismo dia salimos al super mercado a comprar lo que mas nos gsuta para desayunar y para tener en nuestros bolsos el proximo dia, o los proximos dias en los que vamos a estar caminando mucho y necesitamos hidratarnos y comer en los espacios de cada comida. Esto hace que el viaje sea mas placentero.
4. Trae frutos secos
Nos encantan los frutos secos, barras de granola, Granola, bolsas de te o cafe. Los llevamos desde casa, y no ocupa mucho espacio en tu maleta si lo sabes distribuir. Esto nos permite ahorrar dinero y son productos que sabemos no tenemos que llegar a comprar.
5. Hop on Hop off buses.
Estos buses creemos es lo mejor que han podido inventar, nos fascina ya que si vas por un viaje corto es otra buena manera de conocer los lugares principales y ahorrar dinero de alguna manera. Los disfrutamos mucho cada que salimos de viaje los buscamos. Te puedes bajar en las paradas que mas te llamen la atencion y los vuelves a tomar de vuelta al lugar donde empezaste. Lugares como Europa y America es primordial tomarlos.
6. Regalos Baratos.
Siempre a donde vamos nos gusta mucho comprar magnetos para el refrigerador que nos recuerden el lugar donde estuvimos. Tambien los damos como regalos para las personas mas cercanas. Los magnetos para el refrigerador los pueden encontrar en lugares donde todo es mas economico. Lugares como Paris, Roma, Venecia y New York son super favorables.
Caminar es la mejor forma de explorar un nuevo lugar y si te gusta hacerlo te puedes ahorrar mucho dinero en vez de tomar taxi o bus. Caminar para nosotros es primodial lo hacemos tan pronto como dejamos nuestras maletas en casa. Nos gusta tener una idea de como es el lugar donde nos estamos quedando. Caminamos mucho cuando viajamos. Para nosotros es la mejor manera de conocer y saber un poco como vive la gente local de cada lugar y no te cuesta nada.
Espero te sirvan nuestros consejos y puedas tener unas vacaciones increibles y de acuerdo a tu bolsillo. Esta es la mejor manera para nosotros de tener unasa vacaciones relajadas y sin preocupaciones de gastos. Y puedes ahorrar dinero para tu proximo viaje sin malgastarlo. Recuerda esta pagina se trata de como viajar de acuerdo a tu bolsillo y que no quede muy afectado. :)
Gracias por tomarte tu tiempo.