Today at AdventureFit Travel we are out to inform you guys of some handy tips on how to travel without breaking the bank. Maybe you want to extend that short trip abroad into an all-encompassing gap year trip of a lifetime experience? Or maybe you are somebody that forever procrastinates about not having enough money to travel? Either way follow our handy tips and you’ll be sure to see a whole bunch more of this planet than you would have otherwise. So here goes!
1. Dorm it up.
Sleeping in dorm rooms is far and away the best way to save money while travelling abroad. Using one of my favourite hostels abroad as an example; Sunset Backpackers in Florianopolis, Brazil have dorm rooms for $12 USD when compared to $32 USD for private rooms (per person). This is nearly one third of the price. So the cashola $$$ benefits right there are obvious. Not only that but you will meet a lot more people in dorms and in my experience will have a greater time because of this. All you need to do is be willing to put up with the occasional bit of hanky panky.
2. Make a new friend.
Carrying on from my last point, the next way travelling thrifty is to buddy up with somebody. Start a conversation, buy someone a beer or simply ask the question ‘so where are you headed next’ and you will no doubt end up with a friend willing to share the trek with you. Solo travelling is great for taking you out of your comfort zone, forcing you to meet people and establishing a sense of who you are but if it’s purely money you are wanting to stretch then travelling in 2’s and 3’s is going to save you lots of cash in the long run. Taxi’s, took took's, scooter’s, hell, even elephant’s accommodate room for more than one bum on the seat. Pair that with food costs, room costs (if only privates are available) and beer costs and you will save a bundle in the long run.
3. Ride the bus.
International flights are necessary, sure, but when on offer the option of the local bus is more often than not going to save you hundreds of dollars in comparison. Some countries have cheap intercontinental fares and by all means, snap those up. But in areas like Central and South America the cost of flying from one part of the country/continent to the other can cost a small fortune. Take an overnight bus, spend a day in a new town and another overnight bus and you could have saved yourself hundreds of dollars for a little extra comfort. Remember how much further that extra few hundred dollars can get you if you follow these 10 commandments.
4. Settle in.
What is the point of rushing through 10 countries in 10 days if you're only going to be taking a few photographs along the way? You never really get the feel for a place. Sure some people like to move faster than others when they travel and although that’s not how I like to do it I suppose it is fine but that way of travelling is gonna add up and burn through the loot. Take the time to get to know a place. Rushing through Mexico would be a shame. You would probably never learn the lingo and certain things like the fact that ‘huevos’ in Spanish means ‘eggs’ but can also be used in the same context as ‘bollocks/bugger/darn it/bueno/yes/yippee’ among many other phrases. Same way that rushing through Scotland would rob you of the chance to try out traditional Scottish food such as porridge, kippers, black pudding, haggis, stovies and cootie dumplings. Travel slowly and you’ll take more in and save some moolaa in the meantime.
5. Couch it up.
You have friends right? They live overseas right? They own a couch right? Well ask and more often than not you shall receive. Only rule with the couch crashing is that you must be willing to reciprocate should the opportunity arise. Aside from using your actual friends you can use sites like Couchsurfing (www.couchsurfing.org) which offer an established way to apply for room on couches all over the world for free.
6. Support the locals.
Buying tours in the country of your travel is a great way to save while travelling abroad. Sure you wanna book in some things like certain concerts and popular festivals but most other things can be bought and paid for in the country itself. This way you will kill two birds with one stone by supporting the local businesses and also cutting out the money grabbing middleman. Speak to people who have been there before and get an idea of what needs to be locked in well in advance and what does’t and go from there.
7. Get out of the city.
The farther off the beaten track you trek the less your day to day expenses will be. This is simple. Cities are expensive. Smaller towns are not. The benefits don’t end there though. There is a lot to be said about coming home with a whole stack of photos from your secret location that nobody knows about. Sure you want that photo from in front of the Eiffel Tower but there is plenty more to France than Paris. All you need to do is venture out a bit to see it.
8. Spend, spend, spend…..wisely.
There is nothing worse than having to hold back on everything while you away on your trip. Nothing. So be happy to spend your money but make sure you are spending it on the things you should be spending it on. Maybe hold off on that extra night of partying or that lavish night out if it’s going to get you that extra 2 weeks at the end of the trip. Or that trip to Machu Pichu. Or that ticket up to the top of the Burj Khalifa. If these little excesses that we indulge ourselves on whilst overseas can be held at bay somewhat it may be the difference between seeing the things you really set out to see and not.
Want some extra adventure on your trip. Well throw away the bus pass, toss your Oyster card in the fire and stick your thumb out. Getting from A to B is super expensive sometimes, why not trust in your fellow man to help out another in need. Obviously though there are places to hitchhike and places to ride the bus. If you are a solo female traveller I’d probably restrain from hitchhiking through the streets of Caracras, Venezuela for example. Men too for that matter. In fact don’t even hitchhike in a group in Venezuela. Don’t hitchhike full stop over there. You get my drift anyway. Lonely Planet normally have information on the safety of hitchhiking in their guides and if that fails there is always good information online as to whether or not this can be a smart idea. If it seems like it’s safe enough, give it a go.
10. Never say no.
Travellers often get the chance to run into free stuff here and there along their travels so never knock it back and try to always make the most of it. Free walking tour of the city, yeah why not? Free breakfast at the hotel, don’t mind if i do! Free guidebook from a fellow traveller, hell yes. Free shared bed with the creepy hostel owner in his dirty underground lair, hmmm? Anyway take advantage of most if not all of the opportunities you get while travelling. People will be happy to leave food, clothes, surfboards and all kinds of stuff behind in my experience. If you need to save all your pennies then get on board!
So that’s basically it. A rough guide to travelling with extreme thrift. The 10 commandments. You have been given the right tools to go out and experience the world now all you have to do is go out and do it.
Bill, otherwise known as ‘Doc’ is the founding father of AdventureFit Travel. An avid traveller/backpacker Doc spends more time with a backpack on his back than your average primary school student. Across his travels Doc encountered many adventures. From swimming with sharks, patting lions, riding elephants and running with bulls. He has visited 5 continents on his quest for adventure and plans to visit more with his AdventureFit family.
Not only is Doc passionate about lust for adventure but he is also an avid fitness enthusiast. Working in the CrossFit industry has shown him... Read more.