I will try to make a guide for all the people who thinks that can not travel as much as they want to. A quick resume on how to travel more for less money, but please, feel free to comment on this post with your personal tips on this subject and try to help each other discover the wonders of the world.
But before I start this post, I have to tell you that, in my opinion, the first 2 tips ate the most important of them all. Those are: Plan your trip and do not be really strict with destinations and I will explain that better bellow.
How to travel more for less demands planning
If there is one thing that really helps me is to always follow blogs and websites that post the best deals on the internet. If you are in Germany, there is Urlaubs Piraten, Holiday Check and Urlaubs Guru. Those 3 are my favorites of all time, but I’m a girl living in Germany. If you are not, check out the UK version of the first website, Holiday Pirates, sign up for the newsletters of your low cost airline company of choice, and whatever you can find that will fit your needs. I would definitely recommend you to download some travel tips apps because, sometimes, that really good promotion is only available for a short period of time and you do not want to miss it. I like to use Holiday Pirates because I can choose the continent or the region I have more desire to go to and a pop up will appear every time there is a deal. Those sites and app really can be decisive on your goal to find out the best way travel more for less money.
Be flexible on your destination
I’m telling you that because sometimes you and to go to this specific city and you end up not finding any cheap deals and missing out on the millions of other cool destinations for an affordable price that were popping up on your screen.
One example of that was a little over 3 weeks ago, my and some friends decided that we need to plan a trip to Turkey for this summer. After a few days looking for deals on all those sites, I found and amazing deal for a 5star hotel + flights + all inclusive + transfer for less than 200€/person. We took so much time trying to convince on of the girls that Turkey is more than just Istanbul and anywhere in Turkey would be great as long as we were together having fun, that we lost the deal and the price is now a full price of 800€/person. My advice for you is: keep an open mind. If you want to go to Malaysia but there is an amazing one time deal for the Caribbean, go for it! What makes it amazing is to get to know a different place, a culture that you don’t know, you can go to Malaysia next time.
Priorities and money
The fact is, I can give you all the tips and advices in the world and it will not change the fact that you will spend money traveling. And because of that, if you have a limited budget, you need to make choices in life: Go for 200 bucks dinners or to Bali? The whole idea of travel more for less is about giving up pre-existent or carve-in-stone plans sometimes.
I have a goal in life that is to know at least 100 countries before I die and because of this goal, I’m trying to not spend money like I used to do.
It doesn’t mean that you can not leave you house for 3 months, it only means that if you cut back here and there, by the end of the year you will have enough money to go to an amazing place, that country you always dream of going. And once you’re there, it’s indescribable the feeling.
Check the hidden costs
This is that friendly reminder that sometimes what you see on the internet is not actually the real price. Sometimes you have to pay extra for luggage, the cheap hotel is not really cheap because there is no public transportation near by, etc..
Plan ahead not to have surprises in the end.
Open your mind when it comes to accommodation
This is one of those things that once you’ve done it the first time, you’ll ask yourself why did you spend that much money on a bed before.
A bed is a bed and you will spend most of your time going to places and not in your room, right? Nothing beats getting a place on Airbnb or choosing a good hostel for me. Even the private room in a hostel is cheaper than a hotel most of the times. And I say most of the times because there is low cost hotels and they are amazing, I’ve used EasyHotel so many times that I can not not mention them here.
Another thing is to check the public transportation map, see if it’s easy to reach from your hotel and if it’s a 24/7 service on your destination. Sometimes choosing the 2nd or 3rd one on the list is cheaper if it means that you will not spend money with taxis.
I will not deny that a 5 star hotel is way more appealing than a hostel, but is it worth it? I only have 1 rule when I’m traveling, and this rule is “I do not share my bedroom with other”. I know that this may sound a little meh but you have to remember that I am a photographer and only in equipment, I carry over U$15.000. I do not feel safe even if I have a lock on the hostel.
The only way I will get a shared room is if I’m with friends, but this I will talk on the next topic.
Travel with a group or your friends
The math is simple: more people traveling = more people to share the expenses. And it doesn’t matter if you are talking about getting a shared room in a hostel or renting a car, it will be cheaper without a doubt. Find people with whom you have an affinity and go for it!
Consider traveling on low seasons
The prices can drop over 50% depending the location. But before buying the tickets and booking the hotel, check if it’s cheaper because it will rain everyday or something that maybe be in your way of knowing the place and enjoying your trip.
Earn money traveling
Do a quick research and see what your destination has to offer. If you’re going to Japan, you can see if anybody could be interesting in a rare miniature of whatever character or some weird and cool tech stuff. If you’re going to Brazil, check with your friends if anybody would like to have a Brazilian cachaça or anything like this.
There is always somebody looking for something and if you save a small space on your bag, maybe your trip will cost way less than you imagine.
Check the weather but do not trust it with your life
This last advice is something that my mother always told me, but it took me years to finally accept the fact that she was right and I was wrong.
It does not matter if you are going to the beach or the alps. Take those basic pieces of clothes and prevent yourself from spending unnecessary money with a jacket because at night it was too cold for a tank top or on a t-shirt because you forgot that inside the hostel the temperature is really warm.