Welcome to second installment of the best budget travel tips from our favorite bloggers. After the success of the first collaborative post we couldn’t wait to get another article out there showcasing some more amazing tips!
This collaboration not only helped us network with some fantastic blogs, but it has also helped expand our own own knowledge of budget travel. Check out the tips and book that trip!
Always stick to local transport – eTramping
If you want to save a lot of money when traveling the world, you should definitely avoid taxis and travel around the country using local transport instead – trains, buses and subway. It makes a huge difference when it comes to saving, trust me. Usually most of the cities you’ll travel to have a number of train stations, so you can often move around the city with a pass. Also, if you’re planning on being in a city for a few days, a travel card for the bus, tram, and metro will often save you money on buying single tickets.
Another cheap alternative is to rent a bike and experience a town or city at your own pace. Some cities are more geared up for cyclists than others, for example Amsterdam is a cyclists’ paradise!
Plan ahead – Have Blog Will Travel
The days of carelessly backpacking through Europe on a whim are no more. With many European cities hosting large festivals, concerts, and events year-round, the cheapest and best accommodations frequently book up and must be reserved well in advance to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Booking transportation early, a month out for trains, longer for flights, is also crucial to scoring a great deal. We made the mistake of overlooking our train reservation from Paris to London and ended up on an overnight bus to avoid paying nearly $150 US dollars per person for the train. Unfortunately, most last minute tickets are similarly overpriced. In addition to planning ahead, staying flexible when booking can also be crucial to saving money. While those traveling on specific dates are forced to pay a set rate, travelers with more flexible schedules can shop around, adding or subtracting days from their itinerary to get the best price possible. It’s a balancing act but well worth it for the sake of your budget.
Find cheaper flights – IndieTraveller
The cost of flights often makes up a significant slice of any travel budget. Fortunately, you can make substantial savings on your tickets by digging around a little. The differences in price can be so huge sometimes that the savings can easily represent weeks of additional travel. That’s why rather than going with the first flight option I can find, I will happily spend some time researching the options.
Momondo and Skyscanner are two great search engines for cheap flights. I’m especially fond of using Momondo as it has a bunch of great tools for finding the right flight. Be sure to play around with the dates and consider alternative airports nearby. Some budget airlines are not included in these search engines however. Search the name of the airport on Wikipedia and you will typically find a list of budget airlines going there, which then lets you search with these airlines directly.
Sometimes you get lucky by finding a super cheap flight. Recently I flew very cheaply from Colombia to Peru by purchasing a ticket in combination with a return flight via Ecuador. Bizarrely this return ticket was cheaper than any single ticket I could find, so I simply flew to Peru and never used the return. Dig around long enough and you might find such a ‘glitch in the Matrix’ and benefit from a cheap ticket most people would not know about.
Research the local cuisine before you leave – Cook Sip Go
Knowledge is the strongest tool to ensure you eat well on a budget while traveling. Before you leave, block off an hour to research the cuisine of the destination online. As food connected to a place can evoke pride and passion, there are many blogs, websites and Wikipedia pages dedicated to providing information on national and regional cuisines. This approach is a big money-saver and the key is figuring out the everyday or staple dishes. Given their importance to the population, staple mains and sides will be widely available at a good price. You’ll be able to find these foods at market stands, food carts and small restaurants. These places cater to locals, who will not tolerate touristy rates. Even if you’re stuck in a restaurant that targets foreign visitors, don’t be afraid to order off-menu. The national foods are usually available and will be cheaper than the pizza or burger. And they’ll taste much better. Your knowledge of everyday foods impacts more than your travel budget. Ordering locally-sourced dishes also supports the farming community and reduces the emissions necessary to transport the ingredients. A little bit of research can benefit many.
Or maybe you’ve got something different you’d like to share?