Travel isn’t just good for the mind – it’s also beneficial for the heart and soul too. However, when you’re looking to take a trip away (particularly a longer-term trip), the costs can soon start to add up.
Nonetheless, there are several tried and tested travel hacks you can use to reduce the cost of your trips away. Try these money-saving tips to maximize the bang for your buck on your next travel odyssey.
Use national and international bus networks
The costs of traveling by plane can add up quickly, and even train networks tend to charge high prices. Instead, look at using national and international bus networks where possible.
Modern buses feature all the mod cons you’d hope for from luxury travel – yet at a fraction of the cost of flying or taking the train. Most new buses are equipped with handy power chargers and wifi to keep your devices charged and connected as you journey.
Also, another great tip is to take overnight buses when you travel, reducing your accommodation costs and maximizing how far your money goes. Traveling by bus is the best way to see and experience a country fully – plus, it’s good for the environment too.
Try to avoid hotels and other pricey accommodation
Hostels are a great way to save money on accommodation – so long as you’re not too bothered about personal privacy. Even if you do prefer to sleep alone, most hostels have the option to book private rooms (mostly with shared facilities). Staying in a hostel, you’re also far more likely to meet fellow, like-minded travelers than in the private accommodation of a hotel.
Alternatively (and depending on the climate), camping can also save significant money. Most campsites these days offer permanent tented accommodation – negating the need for you to carry camping equipment with you.
Also, if you’re looking to stay somewhere for more than a few days, consider booking privately-owned apartments online. Renting directly from private owners is always much cheaper than hotel-type accommodation – plus has the benefit of featuring all the comforts of home. Staying in a privately-rented apartment also means you can cook in your accommodation too – another huge money-saver while traveling.
Use carpooling apps – or hitchhike
If you’re looking for the cheapest possible transport, hitchhiking is your best bet for getting from a to b. However, if you’re put off by the idea of traveling with total strangers, try one of the multiple carsharing apps now available.
Registering with services like blahblahcar allows you to search for vetted drivers headed in your direction so that you can share the costs of travel. Sign up to a service, input your start and end locations, and the apps will hook you up with other travelers. Best of all, these services limit the costs charged by drivers based on accurate per-mile calculations – ensuring you don’t get ripped off.
Organize a group tour
Traveling as a group is always considerably less expensive than traveling alone. For example, most single rooms cost around the same as a double – and larger capacity rooms get even cheaper.
However, there’s another little-known secret you can use to your advantage if you can find a larger group. Most travel companies offer significant discounts for booking as a group – often offering free places if you can find sufficient numbers. Assigning yourself as ‘group leader’ can often result in traveling for free.