Other Ways to Save Money While Traveling

Cancel services

Cut down on all or as many of your monthly paid service plans (phone, expanded online storage etc)

A sim card with a phone number from your home country is a practical thing to have when filling out personal details for flights, accommodation, visa etc. Just change it to the cheapest available option since calling overseas is expensive and there are cheaper options. (More on that below.)

I’m personally paying $1.25 a month for my sim card. I never use it but need to have it for practical reasons.

Everything else back home you can get rid of. For long term traveling there is no need for any of it. However if you still have a house or apartment cut down all expenses not needed until you are at the bare minimum. Cable tv, internet, perhaps some insurance policies can be canceled, put on hold or changed to a cheaper option. Look at all your bills and see if anything is actually needed on the other side of the world.

Calling home

Calling with a sim card from your home country can be very expensive. Instead buy an international sim card or even better a local sim card. Local sim cards can often be very cheap, both calling and mobile data. However it still adds up quickly if you talk a lot. If you plan on calling home (or to other countries) a lot, then use Skype or WhatsApp or similar. If the wifi is stable and fast enough you can call for free that way. Otherwise use a local sim card and buy a data package. It’s usually reliable and the cheapest option if you can’t find reliable wifi.

Travel with a friend/partner

Traveling with a friend or partner is another way to save money. Sharing the cost on private rooms can be as much as a 50% saving. Likewise with taxis.

Don’t have a travel companion? Don’t want to travel alone? Find a travel buddy.
Trav Buddy

Travel slow

The faster you travel the more money you need to spend, because moving costs money, unless you walk, bike or hitchhike. But the more frequent you fly, take a bus, train or taxi the more you naturally have to pay.

Traveling slow is really a huge factor in saving money. Take it easy and have fun.

One way to reduce cost of moving is to travel at night to save the money on accommodation. For instance choosing a flight in the evening or night (which is also usually cheaper) saves you a nights worth of accommodation, making somewhat up for the cost of transportation. The same can be done with trains and busses where you can sleep on the way. However if you ruin the entire next day because you are too tired it might not be worth the saving.

Travel in low season

Traveling out of season can help you save a lot. This can save you 50% or more depending on the place.

Book in advance

This is something I never do because I never know what I’m doing one week from know, so I can’t take advantage of this. But some people like to plan and can then book one of the nice cheap places before everyone else.

Avoid visa

Avoid going to countries where you have to pay for a visa. Usually this can add up as well, but some countries are simply just worth it.

Go to cheap countries

Check out how much average living costs are in different countries before choosing where to go.
Cost of Living

Travel with carry on only

Checked in baggage is getting increasingly more expensive. Especially with low budget airlines. So, that nice, cheap, juicy flight ticket you thought you could get for $25 suddenly cost you $55.

Traveling with a carry on only is easier, safer and faster. (Not that being fast matters, but whatever, it sounds better.)

Carry on only has a lot going for it. Too much to cover here.

Laundry

Doesn’t cost anything except for a bit of soap. Using laundry service daily can quickly at up and it doesn’t really take that long to do it by hand anyway. All you need is a bar of soap, they are available everywhere and cost next to nothing, and you can use it for shower too. Most of the time you only have to wash underwear and a t-shirt. Once or twice a week you can wash your shorts too depending on how sweaty and dirty you are. If you are using cotton clothes this is less of a problem but if you have any technical or synthetic clothes then it’s likely to be ruined much faster.

Another thing to remember is that the laundry service is at your own risk (even if you pay a “professional” to do it) and if they ruin it it’s just too bad. I’ve had that happen. 2 of my favorite t-shirts (a bungy t-shirt from South Africa and a “Stop Working Start Traveling” t-shirt from a hostel in Israel) totally discolored and although I didn’t have to pay for the “service” I didn’t get a refund. Replacing them hadn’t been possible anyway.

This hadn’t happened if I had done it by hand. It was only because they had a no laundry rule (something I will not accept in the future) I used the service. You get used to do it by hand and after a while it’s not a problem at all. Yes, it will be just as clean if you do it properly. I’ve used the same shorts, socks, underwear and t-shirts every day or every other day for more than a year, only washed by hand and they smell perfectly fine. Laundry service = waste of money.

 

Keep in mind that the links provided are not exhaustive. It is just a place for you to start, and if one site doesn’t provide the information you need keep looking for similar sites or use your creativity to find alternatives. You can also simply ask either here or at a travel forum. I merely showing you a small glimpse of what’s possible.

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