10 Tricks to Save Money When You Travel

No matter where you are in the world, there’s always a way to budget your money. Here’s 10 tips to save you some cash because why pay more than you need to?

Cheap / free accommodation

I think the best advice anyone could give whilst traveling is to ditch the hotels. The industry for free and cheap accommodation is blooming and it’s a terrific way to meet people and save money. If you’re not backpacking through hostels, I highly recommend renting an apartment through Airbnb or couchsurf, which is basically free accommodation. You can also choose to house-sit through programs like Mind My House. If you want to know more about these & other free travel options, I did a post about it over here!

Stick to public transport

The majority of cities have fantastic public transport systems set up. When I was traveling, we hardly caught any cabs because it’s really just money wasted. Get yourself a day or week pass, depending on how long you’re staying and take advantage of the trains, trams and/or buses! It’s also a great way to experience living more like a local. However if you need to catch a cab, always catch them from the taxi ranks. They usually have set fares.

Pre-pack snacks

It’s not necessary to eat out at every single meal, because it can get really pricey. Head to the supermarkets and stock up on some snacks. The amount of money you’ll save is ridiculous and it can be so much nicer than sitting at a restaurant. If it’s sunny, take the opportunity to grab some food, a bottle of wine (€3 a bottle in Paris!) and set yourself up at a park for the afternoon.

Invest in a tourist card

If you are going to be sight-seeing at museums and art galleries, buying a ticket for each individual one can get really expensive. Most places offer a 1 or 2 day tourist pass that usually works out to be a better value for money, so make sure you look out for them first.

Keep away from tourist hot spots

You’ll find that around main tourist spots and attractions that the food is so much more expensive, because most people don’t know any better. Walk a bit further away from those spots, into lane ways and little side streets. You’ll find the food and drinks to be much cheaper, more authentic and you’ll be surrounded by locals.

Take free tours

Most places offer free walking tours that show you the city’s highlights and teach you about the culture. I think they’re a fantastic way to learn about the city and meet some genuine, like-minded people.

Book tickets in advance

When you’re traveling between cities by train or ferry, I strongly advise to book tickets online in advance – by at least a few weeks. They’ll work out to be at least 50% cheaper in Europe, plus save you time for lining up on the day!

Travel off-season

This may not be for everyone, but there’s no denying that traveling during Winter or even Spring can cut costs significantly. Even traveling a few weeks before peak season can save you hundreds in accommodation.

Street food

This is big all over Europe and something I absolutely LOVE! Street food is the perfect way to eat the local food and all under a budget. I still dream about some of the meals I’ve had from street vendors through Europe. I won’t lie, I basically lived off fries covered in cheese sauce in Amsterdam. I have no regrets.

Download a currency converter app

I used the app called xe currency, which allows you to pre-load all your currencies so it works offline. I didn’t have wifi or data most of the time, so having this with me made things really convenient. Before downloading the app I wasted so much money on cab fares and shopping since I was only estimating the conversation rate. Turns out I was being ripped off big time.

Do you have any tips & tricks for saving money while traveling?