Travel is a wonderful, eye-opening experience. However, the cost of travel can be off-putting. Fortunately, there’s many different ways you can save money on travel:
1. The trick with accommodation is to do your research
Firstly, figure out where is going to be a convenient location to base yourself at. For me, I always look at how I’m going to get to my destination and then base myself near public transport hubs, so that my costs at the location are reduced.
Secondly, research accommodation prices and options on numerous websites and cross-compare. Once you know where you want to base yourself, you can then refine your searches to that location and then figure out what the cheapest options are.
Thirdly, Once you’ve got a few options shortlisted, check for reviews and genuine photos of those hotels on sites such as Trip Advisor. As a rule of thumb, I never pick options that have a guest review score of less than 7 out of 10. This ensures me a pleasant stay at even 2 star hotels that cost a fraction of the price of fancy hotels or apartments.
2. Cash and Travel Cards
Accessing money whilst traveling domestically isn’t really a concern, however it is a major part of trip planning when traveling to other Countries.
From my experience, getting foreign cash at the airport from your origin airport is never good value. Alternatively, sometimes you can find decent exchange rates at the airport at your arriving destination, but this is rare.
Depending on the overseas transaction and currency conversion fees charged by your bank, it can actually be fairly decent value to just use your bank card to withdraw money from ATM’s at your destination or just use your card to purchase things.
However, this can be risky depending on where you’re traveling to. So, if you’re traveling to a Country that isn’t as safe as where you’re from, it’s worth thinking twice about this option.
For our upcoming trip, we have chosen Travelex as our cash and card provider. I did a comparison of 10 different cash and card options and Travelex came out on top for cash due to its good exchange rate and nil commission, if purchased online.
Additionally, the Travelex Travel Money Card came out on top for exchange rate and fees. On top of that, we were also able to find a promo code to give a discount on the cash and the card, making the exchange rates even better.
If you’re traveling domestically, free wifi is something to keep your eye out for so that you don’t go over your usual mobile phone data limits. However, if you’re traveling internationally, finding free or cheap wifi can mean the difference between coming home to a large data roaming bill or not.
The Travelex Money Card includes free global wifi via a company called Boingo. After receiving the Travel Money Card, all you have to do is go onto Travelex’s website and enter your Travel Money Card numbers to sign up.
Whilst traveling domestically, it’s easy to take cereal and long life milk for breakfasts. When traveling internationally, my recommendation is to find a supermarket as soon as you get to your destination and pick up some items for breakfast or lunch.
You can easily find cereal and long life milk for quick and easy breakfasts. Alternatively, grab some crackers and a spread, such as vegemite, and you’ve got yourself an easy light breakfast or lunch.
5. Airfares, Car Hire and Public Transport
When booking your flights, there’s a number of things to keep in mind to help you save money:
- The day of the week you travel – Tuesdays and Wednesdays are often the cheapest days of the week to travel, with Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays notoriously more expensive.
- Plan your trip for the off-season or shoulder season – you can save over 50% on your flights by flying in the less popular seasons.
- Keep your eye out for sales – most airlines have annual or bi-annual sales which offer massive discounts on flights. Sign-up to airline newsletters to be advised when sales occur.
- Research promo codes – As outlined in my promo code post, most airlines offer promo codes for discounts on flights.
If you’re looking to hire a car, comparison websites such as vroomvroomvroom, webjet and skyscanner can be great for finding good deals or just getting an idea of what hire car companies are available in your destination.
Additionally, it’s always worth checking to see if your health insurance, road side assistance, or frequent flyer companies have any good deals or offer any promo codes for car hire.
If you’re planning on using public transport, have a look into the options available. Train travel is comfortable and usually has short travel times, but can be quite expensive. Alternatively, buses tend to take longer, but are usually the cheapest option for local travel.
Keep your eye out for travel card discounts for buses and trains, such as the GoCard in Brisbane, Opal card in Sydney or Oyster card in London. These cards offer benefits such as discounts on paper tickets of up to 30%, free or half price travel after so many trips, and discounts on local attractions and restaurants.
Additionally, shop around for bus or train ticket provider options. I recently scored a 50% discount on our bus travel between Edinburgh and Glasgow by booking through MegaBus instead of directly through the travel provider.
There’s plenty of ways to save money on travel. All you need is the will to save and some time to do some research!