Travel is one of life’s great joys. However, the costs can be prohibitive for many people, leaving them frustrated at being unable to turn their dream adventure into a reality. Unfortunately, stowing away on aircraft is both highly uncomfortable and incredibly frowned upon by the law, so the more resourceful among us are forced to find more creative and legal ways of cutting corners without reducing our enjoyment.
Fortunately, you’re not the only one looking to squeeze every ounce out of a limited travel budget, so here are a few tried and trusted methods of doing just that:
The Path Well-Trodden,
Like every adventurous soul, I like to chart my own path and explore on my own terms. However, sometimes it makes better financial sense to take part in professional tours. There are plenty of websites offering incredible deals that include all travel, meals, guides, entrance fees and other hidden costs.
Usually, these companies are able to negotiate reduced prices so that the tour is actually cheaper than if you went by yourself. For example, on my last trip to Thailand, I decided to book my Phuket tours with Travezl and I was amazed at how economical it was.
Eat Like a Local
Food can be a massive expense while on the road. In non-English speaking countries, in particular, the temptation can be to stick to massively over-priced restaurants around the most popular tourist spots. I once spent 3 months travelling through Europe eating literally nothing but bread slathered with cheese and tomato. While there was some gratification in comparing the bread and cheese from country to country, you might not be quite ready for this level of austerity. Rather, it pays handsomely to be adventurous.
Take the extra time to wander into the areas that locals live and duck into regular restaurants. You might not understand the menu, but that is part of the adventure. You’ll be surprised what culinary delights you may discover. The best part is, your meal is almost guaranteed to be a quarter of the price and 4 times as delicious as that soggy pasta next to the Colosseum.
Cinders and Ashes!
Sure, there are plenty of budget airlines offering ludicrously low fares, however, they inevitably come with hidden costs. If you wish to include luxuries like, y’know, using the toilet, not to mention taxes, airport charges, mongoose levy the list of extra charges is endless. For cost and sheer enjoyment, absolutely nothing compares to rail travel. Systems such as Eurail, Japan Rail and Amtrak offer some of the most affordable ways to get around. It’s far less stressful and you get to see so much of the country rolling past your window.
Avoid Peak Season
You might not like the cold, but your bank balance will.
Travelling off-season can literally save you thousands. From air and train fares to accommodation, tours and food virtually everything is significantly cheaper when your location is not crawling with tourists. This is a trick that I have used repeatedly, and I can assure you that most attractions look infinitely better when they are covered with a thin blanket of snow and not crawling with 20,000 tourists. Suck it up and go get yourself some thermals with all the money you will save. You can thank me later when you’ve thawed out!
Travelling in groups allows you to pool your resources and save big time on accommodation, food and entertainment. If you don’t have someone to join you, it is incredibly easy to meet people on trains or in hostels. If you find some people heading in the same direction, it’s a great way to strike up amazing friendships and save money.
Good luck, bon voyage and let us know if you found any additional handy tips for saving cash on your travels!
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