I recently spent a year travelling full-time, and the biggest question I get asked is: how did you afford it? Lucky for you, I'm revealing my secrets in this article – keep reading to discover my best money-saving hacks while travelling.
How To Save Money On Accommodations
Whether you're travelling full-time or just going on a normal vacation, chances are that the biggest expense will be your accommodations. Here are a few tips to help you save a few dollars while still finding a great place to stay.
My husband and I stayed in the San Francisco Bay area for six weeks for free – yes, you read that correctly! How? We used a website called trustedhousesitters.com and got to watch other people's pets in exchange for a free place to stay while they were on vacation. We stayed in some incredible places, from a condo right on the San Francisco Bay Trail to the walkable Piedmont Avenue in Oakland.
Negotiate Airbnb rates
Did you know that you can negotiate Airbnb prices? Airbnb hosts are just like any other business owner – they want to make money! They would rather offer a discount to have their place booked than not book it at all. So, if there's an Airbnb that is a bit out of your budget, ask the host if they will waive the fees or lower the rate in exchange for a longer stay.
Some hostels, hotels, or working farms will allow travellers to stay for free in exchange for working onsite. These positions are often listed on workaway.info. You can find everything from month-long to yearly stays in exchange for part or full-time work!
Stay off the beaten path
If you choose a hotel, hostel, or Airbnb in a lesser-known area of a city, it's often much cheaper than staying in the main tourist area. While this might be slightly inconvenient, it's also a great way to experience the region like a local.
How To Save Money On Food
It goes without saying that food costs have gotten expensive. Eating out while travelling can get very pricey, so here are a few tips to help you save money on food while on the road.
Go to the grocery store
If you're staying somewhere for even just a few days, you can save some money by heading to the grocery store as soon as you arrive at your destination. Stock up on some easy breakfasts, lunches, and dinner items for quick and cheap meals. If your accommodation doesn't have a refrigerator, grab non-refrigerated things like bread, canned tuna, fruit, crackers, nuts, and chips.
Eat street food
Another way to experience the local cuisine without spending too much money is to enjoy street food. In some places, street food can be even cheaper than preparing your own meals. Whether it's a dollar slice in New York City or noodle soup in Bangkok, sampling the local street food is a must.
How To Save Money On Attractions
Enjoy free attractions and events as much as possible.
Most cities have several free museums, parks, libraries, and other fun events. This is a great way to keep your budget in check while experiencing the local culture and atmosphere.
Visit during the off-season
If you're visiting during the off-season, you can save on specific tours and tickets since there will be less demand. This is also a great way to avoid heavy crowds – so research when the off-season is in your destination.
Get travel insurance!
While travel insurance does have an upfront cost, it can save you big money if something goes wrong during your travels. Whether you lose your luggage or have a health emergency, travel insurance is a must before any long trip.
Who says that travelling has to be expensive? With these hacks, it's easy to stick to your budget no matter where you're going!