Everyone likes to be able to do as much as they can for as little as possible and finding new and creative ways to save money on the road can be a full time job in itself. When you’re on a tight budget, everything counts and you make use of every bit of savings you can, from free online calling to subsisting on those week old bagels your hostel leaves out. It’s expected that you keep in touch with your loved ones back home, but they don’t need to know what your diet consists of!
There are a few major areas that can really eat away at your savings if you aren’t careful, even as rare expenditures. People often think just because they haven’t went out boozing in a while that means they can go nuts and spend 100 euro in one night. Or they haven’t talked to their grandparents in a few months so they will just eat the cost of a long distance phone call home. Wrong! These things will hurt your bottom line and can easily be remedied if you just know how.
Here are a few tips for squeezing as much as you can out of your travel budget.
1. Buy Passes When they Make Sense
Sometimes you don’t need a pass to enjoy a place; sometimes the pass isn’t of good value; but sometimes the pass is exactly what you need to see and do what you were going to see and do anyways. If you plan on going to certain historic sites or attractions and they are included on some sort of pass, figure out the savings and buy it. There are passes that easily pay for themselves after the third attraction and then everything else is just a bonus!
Try if you can to get a hostel with a kitchen so you can make your own food and avoid eating out as much as possible. If you cannot (some countries, like Italy, just don’t have a lot of kitchens in their hostels – so maybe consider getting a guest house or apartment for long term!), then try to have at least 1 meal a day of something you just grab from a market or grocery store.
Additionally, try not to drink. Crazy talk for some, I know, but it is one of the biggest money pits that can easily be eliminated. Or if you are always going out to a bar, consider just staying in and drinking – it can be a lot more social and cheaper than going to a bar.
3. Telecommunicate Smartly
…yes. You want to stay in contact with people but it can be outrageous if you don’t have some sort of way for making affordable international calls or avoiding roaming charges. These days it isn’t so much the air time with talking that will get you but the data from roaming in a foreign country, making you want to just never turn on your mobile device from home. Thankfully, there are companies out there that specialize in this kind of communication and they can save you a lot of money if you know where to look!