Everyone has their own version of their dream holiday. I’m sure you have your own travel bucket list that you’ll want to complete while you can. It may be going on a cross-country trip across the United States of America or adventuring in the frigid cold of Norway. Even something as simple as going on a shopping spree in Bangkok is great if you’re up to it.

The thing is, merely talking about your dream destination is easy. Talk is cheap, after all. Though the opposite can be said about the cost of fulfilling your lifelong travelling goals.

Travelling can be pricey at times, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips to save while you’re travelling.

 

1. Avoid Peak Season Travel

 

 

peak season travel
Image via wlimail.com

 

Okay, so this one’s not exactly a method to save WHILE you’re travelling, but we digress. Picking the right time to travel will come a long way to help you in managing your travel budget.

 

airport crowd
Image via cheesetraveller.com

 

Depending on when and where you’re going, peak seasons may vary. For instance, most European countries have their peak season from mid-June to August. On the contrary, Asian countries will have their peak travel seasons at the end of the year i.e. from November through February the following year.

Knowing when to travel is a key skill in getting the perfect head start to your budget travels. Travelling during off-season allows you to save on airfares. Even something as simple as flying on a weekday will also help you in saving that little bit more. In the long run, the money you’d be saving could instead be added to your travel budget.

 

book flight clear cookies
Image via businessinsider.my

 

Bonus Tip: When booking or browsing flight options, remember to clear your cookies (or web browsing history). Airlines are said to use these cookies to raise prices of tickets based on your search history.

 

2. Pack Smart

 

pack smart
Image via dornob.com

 

It’s common knowledge that airlines charge you a fee for excess or oversized luggage. So it’d be best to try and avoid going over the weight limit while packing.

One tip is to only bring carry-on bags, especially if you’re flying with a budget airline. Depending on how far and how long you’ll be travelling, one carry-on luggage is more than enough most of the time. And more importantly, you’ll have an easier time carrying around a smaller bag than a large, oversized one.

 

packing luggage
Image via consumerreports.org

 

We’d recommend learning how to pack efficiently and bring only the bare necessities. And if you find that you didn’t bring enough, you can always go on a mini shopping spree while you travel.

Bonus Tip: Disposable clothing is a great option to bring with you if you’re trying to save precious space in your baggage. Simply dispose of the article of clothing (normally undergarments) once you’re done for the day.

 

3. Accommodation

 

hotel
Image via agoda.com

 

Similar to airfares, there’s also a right timing to book your hotel room. Booking in advance, and planning your stay during the off-peak season will allow you to save some cash. Furthermore, we’d recommend booking a lower-end hotel for your stay, since you’ll only be using the room to sleep in anyway.

 

budget hostel
Image via hostels247.com

 

However, if hotels aren’t your thing, there are normally other budget-friendly options at your disposal. Hostels and guesthouses are cheap and usually frequented by the backpacking community. Alternatively, homestays are also an excellent budget option.

 

overnight train
Image via bucketlist.org

 

Also, if you’re planning on long-haul travel, we’d suggest looking into overnight transportation. Overnight transport via bus, train or even plane is normally cheaper. And you’ll be able to save on a night’s accommodation at the cost of comfort of course.

Bonus Tip: Try to book your accommodations outside of major tourist areas as they tend to be on the pricier side.

 

4. Transport

 

subway
Image via pexels

 

Public transport, ‘nuff said.

There’s nothing like the experience of commuting like a local when you’re travelling. More importantly, it’s also one of the cheapest ways to get around. After all, the locals use public transportation for a good reason.

 

train
Image via thesavvybackpacker.com

 

Buses, trams, vans, and subways are some options for you to get around depending on your destination.

 

uber
Image via pexels

 

If you’re not keen on sharing your personal space with others, then there are private vehicles you can rent. You can usually get a private charter with a tour guide if you opt for a holiday tour. Otherwise, e-hailing services are also a great budget option. There are tons of these services in the market nowadays. Grab, Uber, and Lyft comes to mind.

 

taxi
Image via pexels

 

But whatever your choice is, please avoid taxis at all cost. Especially if your goal is to travel on a tight budget. Taxis are almost always universally expensive regardless of the destination. Likewise, we do not recommend using “gimmicky” transports (like tuk tuks) as they tend to be on the pricier side.

 

travel pass
Image via mystsnet.com

 

Bonus Tip: Buy a daily or even a weekly travel pass if you can as these passes are normally more value for money.

 

5. Avoid Tourist Traps

 

nyc
Image via purewow.com

 

This is an obvious one, but we realize that it’s highly unavoidable.

Here’s the thing, once you’ve arrived at your destination, you’ll have a target on your back. You’ll be labelled as a tourist and chances are, the locals will try to approach you to sell their wares (or services).

This is especially true when you visit tourist hotspots. The locals will attempt to overcharge and oversell things to you. Though you have the right to say no. Annoyance aside, we feel that it’s your duty to stay informed and we’d suggest doing a lot of research before buying anything of value.

 

bangkok market
Image via mostlyamelie.com

 

If you see something you like, always try to haggle with the merchant. And above all else, trust your instincts. If you feel that the price is too high, just walk away. Chances are they’ll succumb to your price anyway once they see that you’ve lost interest.

 

6. Eat with The Locals

 

local restaurant
Image via vietnam-guide.com

 

In a similar vein, avoid costly restaurants in highly touristy areas. These restaurants normally overcharge for meals and are not a great representation of the destination’s local cuisine.

 

local food vendor
Image via asiatrips.travel

 

Instead, pay attention to your surroundings. Take note of which places are frequented mostly by the locals. That’ll likely be the more budget-friendly local restaurant you can eat at. Also, take your time to survey the local food scene and research about the average prices of food in the country you’re visiting.

 

street food
Images via st-christophers.co.uk, theculturetrip.com, cntraveler.com, livingnomads.com

 

Better yet, look for street food when you’re out and about. Choose food vendors that have more local patrons surrounding them. You’ll most likely find the best local street food in town this way. Moreover, most street food stands specialize in a particular dish, thus ensuring that you’ll get a taste of the best local food at a fraction of the cost.

 

7. Set Your Budget (& Stick to It!)

 

budget travel
Image via thetravelspeak.com

 

First things first, be realistic. Keep a realistic goal when you plan for your next trip. If you’re planning to go on a shopping spree, keep a set amount of money aside and don’t use it for anything else other than shopping. And if you’re planning on buying something particular from your trip, plan ahead and add that to your budget.

 

credit card travel
Image via iamaileen.com

 

Impulsive buys are to be expected, so definitely leave some wiggle room in your budget plans. Also, remember that bringing a large amount of cash is sometimes detrimental. You could instead opt to use credit cards or ATM cards, but be warned that it’s a huge risk in itself.

 

8. Currency

 

currency travel money
Image via thetimes.co.uk

 

Research is key here. Some currency vendors (typically at airports) offer bad rates so it’s in your best interest to find out about the best places to change your currency if you need to. Also, we’d recommend changing some local currency before you go on your trip. Reason being, you’re less likely to get short-changed if you exchange currency with your own vendor at home.

Also, if you’re planning in advance, keep an eye on the exchange rates so that you can book accommodations and services at the right time.

Lastly, if all else fails, you can use your debit card in overseas ATMs. We’d suggest not making too many withdrawals though, as the transaction fees could be exorbitant.

 

usd
Image via destinationmarketingglobal.com

 

Bonus Tip: If you’re worried that your own currency doesn’t hold much value in the country you’re visiting, you may opt to bring the more “well-receivedcurrencies (e.g. USD) instead.

 

9. Age Matters

 

senior citizen travel
Image via insurancedealonline.org

 

Whether you’re a retiree/senior citizen or a student, you can reap a ton of benefits while travelling. Most places of interest have ticket discounts for tourists over a certain age, and some may even be FOC. And the same goes for children and students.

If you’re a travelling student, make sure to always carry your student ID with you. You’ll be able to get discounts or even free entry depending on the place you’re visiting.

If you’re not a student, you can still attempt to play off as one so long as your student ID doesn’t have an expiry date. Oh, and also if you don’t look at all that different from your ID picture.

Hey, what harm is a little white lie when you can save a few bucks, right?

 

10. Technology is Awesome

 

travel technology
Image via alphacityguides.com

 

We live in a day and age where anything you could ever want can now fit into a smartphone. Smartphones are the future, and it’s also the future of budget travelling.

 

travel apps
Image via blog.trafalgar.com

 

We’re of course talking about the myriad of apps you can download on your smartphone to help with your budget travels. From budget organizers to review apps, you’ve got everything you need right in the palm of your hands.

From the top of our head, you’ve got Agoda, Airbnb, Hotel.com, and Couchsurfing for accommodation. Then there’s Uber, Grab, and Lyft for transport. And finally planning your itinerary is much simpler with TripAdvisor and TripIt.

We definitely recommend leveraging these apps to make the most out of your next trip, budget wise.

 

Conclusion

 

So we’ve now come to the end of our list. Hopefully, you’re now a more seasoned budget traveller than when you began reading our article. Of course, our list doesn’t cover every single thing you can do to save while travelling.

Just keep in mind that the little things count. Every penny saved is a penny earned after all. Now get out there and set forth on your very own adventure (on a budget).