Rent The Stuff You Need
When you are on the move it’s hard (and often very limiting) to carry everything you need on your back. However, this can present a bit of a dilemma, you don’t want to waste money buying items you only need for a few days, but equally risking missing these experiences altogether isn’t ideal either. Well happily there now is a middle ground available, with peer-to-peer rental platforms like Fat Lama allowing you to borrow kit cheaply from people in the local area.
This can be great for travelling, if you want to explore a city by bike, for example, you can just pick one up when you arrive (rather than face booking yours onto a succession of trains and buses). Or, if you are looking to go a little further afield, you can rent a tent or even a campervan to explore the country at your own pace without breaking the bank. It’s a cheap solution to travelling light but not compromising on experiences.
You may think that booking things is an inevitable expense of travelling, and to some extent you are right, but there are a few important tricks that can keep these costs as low as possible.
Use an incognito window for booking. You may not know this, but if you browse the same journey on certain travel sites more than once the company will artificially raise the prices to prompt you to book quickly. To avoid this, simply use an incognito window and clear your cookies and you should get the ‘real prices’.
Advance bookings and offpeak. Tickets outside of peak travel periods are usually far cheaper, this doesn’t just apply to rush hour but to the time of year as well. Remember to check the annual schedule of your host country to make sure you are not booking the same days as a national holiday for example.
Tuesday travel. Again if you can arrange the time off, Tuesday is statistically the cheapest day to travel.
Keep an eye out for sales. On days like Black Friday and Boxing Day don’t mess around on the high street, head straight to travel websites and get your next adventure booked.
Studies have shown that the pace of modern life is faster than that of even ten years ago. So if you’re travelling for an extended period of time then make the most of it and embrace the long road. Sometimes it’s better (and cheaper) to ditch the modern pace of life and travel by foot, bike or bus. Not only will you save enormous quantities of money but you will see more of the country, the way of life of the people and the small details that make up the character of the place – all things that can be lost on a high-speed train or flight.
Getting cheap dorm rooms and meeting new people is reason enough to stay in a hostel, but once you arrive you will find the benefits keep coming as they are set up to help budget travellers. Many will offer cheap or even free food, drinks and breakfasts as well as guided tours or local discounts – check on TripAdvisor or other travel blogs to find the best of these.
On top of this, you will be surrounded by fellow travellers many of which will have been in the area for a while, so make sure you find time to pick their brains for all the best value experiences, restaurants, and bars around.
One of the greatest frustrations of travelling on a budget is making it all the way to an iconic location and then being unable to afford the entry. One quickly tires of looking at monuments from the outside, so it’s worth doing a little research/ finding recommendations for the best free museums, markets, parks and galleries about town. You will often find inspiration and interest in some surprising places off the beaten track. Having said that, if there are some places you are set on seeing then make a list at the start of your trip of a few you are willing to pay for and then try not to deviate too much.
You know you have made it to the zenith of your travelling capabilities if you can find the places where locals eat, drink and hang out. Though I am hesitant to use the term ‘authentic’ when discussing travel experiences (it can be dangerously cliche), it is hard to deny that you will experience more of the culture, the best value and the iconic local delicacies if you shamelessly follow the locals to their favourite haunts. Just make sure you have brushed up on local etiquette before go!