What if there was a way that we could see the world without having to break the bank? Many of us don’t travel enough because of how expensive it is. Let’s face it, after plane tickets, hotel rooms, food and souvenirs we may be paying off that vacation for years to come. What if there was a way we could see the world, experience the beauty and wonders that this world and its people have to offer without digging a hole in our wallets? There are many ways that we can do this from the time of year we decide to travel and where we decide to stay, even where we decide to eat or buy those souvenirs. So stop making excuses and start seeing the majestic planet we call home.
From A to B: Transportation options
We all know flying is expensive, most flights to Europe will be in the thousand dollar range any day of the week. There are multiple ways to make flying just a little cheaper. The first is to use non- US airlines. Examples of these airlines are Ryanair, Lufthansa, Air France, Easy Jet and many more. Many of them cut hundreds of dollars off the flight. Another tip is if you don’t live near a major city, it may be cheaper to fly to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and then fly internationally. Many flights from airports that aren’t as well known may jack up the price.
Here’s another tip for getting cheaper prices on flying. Make sure to check different days of the week/month you want to travel. Tuesday could be a thousand dollars cheaper than Wednesday and weekends are usually a lot more pricey. If you aren’t using a travel agent make sure to take the time to do your research and be flexible. It would be better to change your vacation times then to spend a extra thousand dollars that you really didn’t need to spend.
If you are traveling locally through Europe or from city to city, renting a car or taking the train can be a lot cheaper than flying. Trains can be an amazing way of travel and can even take the place of a hotel if you are traveling at night. Many trains have beds you can purchase with your ticket. That way you are lodging and traveling to your next destination all in one.
Renting a car is recommended if you are traveling in a group. You will generally save much more money all traveling in one vehicle than you will for the train passes that you will each have to buy. Just remember to pick up your vehicle after the first major city and drop it off before your last stop. If you do this the price will be cheaper as you can use the public transportation of the first and last city to get around.
Goodnight and sleep well
Hotel prices can be ridiculous, we all know that. All those well known hotel branches can dig a deep hole in our wallet, but we go to them because we know them and feel secure knowing we will get a good night sleep. There are so many places around that you can stay at for cheap, and possibly get a amazing experience you wouldn’t have had in the same old hotel.
Hostels have always got a bad rap, but they really are quite amazing. Hostels are cheap and often in different and unique places. In fact the first hostel ever established is located in a castle in Germany overlooking the majestic Rhine river. Many hostels are dorm style that are either co-ed or single gender, depending on your preferences. They all offer personal lockers or even safes that you can keep your valuables in if that is one of your fears of a dorm style sleeping area. You can find any hostel in whatever city you are planning to go to at hostelworld.com.
Next is the AirBnB. The AirBnB is where a local rents out their home to travellers. It can be a great way for travelers to save money and for locals to make a little extra cash.
Last is the charming bed and breakfast, or maybe a local inn that isn’t as large as the commercial hotels. They can be a great way to really experience the culture. You are also supporting the locals while staying on a relatively cheap budget.
Yummy yummy: Eating out
When you travel, you want to see and experience the culture. Eating local cuisine can be a amazing way to experience the world and its different cultures first hand. Sadly it can get pretty pricey eating out all the time. So why not go to a local grocery store or have a picnic? Imagine having a picnic down by the Venice canals while watching the locals go about their day to day business in a quiet, non-touristy area. That’s when you see the real culture and beauty of the city. Or you could go off road to a restaurant not in the tourist heart of town. Stop by a cafe as you walk by or try out a small place that doesn’t look as busy. Not only will things be cheaper but you will experience the world as it truly is and not as it is painting itself to be for the tourists.
Buddy, friend, pal: travel in a group!
Traveling in a group may seem more expensive because there is another person who shares all the cost, but in reality it comes out to be much cheaper. There are many group packages, tours and cruises that pile a ton of different sights into one great package. These can be a great way to see a lot with a tour guide that is experienced. Intrepidtravel.com, orbitz.com, expedia.com and travelocity.com all have great packages of many different tours for whichever country you want to travel to.
Want to plan everything yourself and have a little freedom? Still go in a group! Bring your boyfriend, your sister, your friend who’s always wanted to go to London but never has. Splitting costs of hotels and cars can save you a lot of money. It’s also just more fun to share amazing experiences with people you love.
Last minute tips/ tricks
Alright you got where you’re gonna stay, where you’re gonna eat and how to get there. What about everything else?
Some final thoughts-
Always buy a book or guide for wherever you are going. It will save you so much time and can save you a lot of money. Many places have guided tours for a price. The guidebook will have those very tours right there for you to read instead of pay for later. And all those tours will add up, so spend less on a book!
Second travel in the off season. It will be less crowded and popular, therefore flights and travel options will be cheaper. Going in the off- season will make no difference except for what you pack. You can still experience everything you want to in winter and for less.
Lastly- use cash. Get a cash belt and even though it feels silly, use it. You will save so much money by not having to stop at a ATM. Those things can suck up your funds fast. There are a lot of off the road stops that may be cash only anyways and if you want to haggle at a flea market you need cash.