When jet-setting around the globe, money is always going to be a factor—whether we want it to or not. If you can’t afford food, a place to stay or a couple of adventurous activities, there’s little motivation to go anywhere at all.
Because money is such a pivotal part of travel, it’s important to learn to make the most of it. Whether it’s using public transportation or a cashback app, these seven tips will help you save as you go.
Create a Budget
Before you set out on any trip, the most important step for saving is to create a budget. Determining a set amount to spend will eliminate overspending or racking up credit card bills unnecessarily. There are a few different ways to go about this, but the easiest is probably to research prices of things like hotels, transportation, food, and fun. Once you see what everything costs, you can decide how much you’d prefer to spend on each. Then, include a little leftover cash in your budget for unexpected activities—and for emergencies.
Leave Mid Week
There are a lot of ways to save money on flights. Flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays tend to be cheaper than those closer to or on the weekends. Even if you’re taking a full week trip, you’ll cut out a lot of cost by selecting mid-week flights. This can also be beneficial for hotels, which typically also have cheaper stays on weeknights as well.
Use a Cashback App
Another great way to maximize your money on your travels is with the use of a cashback app like Dosh. This new app is easy to use; it connects directly to your debit and credit cards. Once you’ve successfully connected it, all you have to do is spend like you regularly would. The app will locate special deals, offers and coupons that apply to whatever you purchase—travel bookings included. Then it will deposit the difference in savings into your account on the app. From there, you have a few options. You can, of course, transfer it to your bank account. But you can also transfer it to a PayPal account or even donate it to a charity!
Visit Local Grocery Stores
You can cut down your spending on food quite easily by visiting local grocery stores. It’s tempting to eat each meal out, especially in a foreign country. Of course, it’s part of the cultural experience. But, if you truly want to make the most of your money, get a different experience while still enjoying local foods. Grab fresh-baked pastries for breakfast instead of full meals. Or, for lunch, visit a local store or even a farmer’s market for fresh fruit and vegetables, cheeses and charcuteries. Having a picnic in a local park can be just as thrilling as eating at an authentic restaurant. Street foods are another alternative for cheap, authentic meals.
Pay Close Attention to the Cards You Take
Carefully choosing your cards can help you save some money while traveling. Just like with a cashback app, you can get money back just for spending with certain cards. Research which credit cards offer cashback rewards—especially if you’ll get bonuses for spending a certain amount in the first few months. Though you won’t get money back like with a cashback app, other cards can save you money by offering lower currency exchange fees.
Take Public Transportation—Or Walk
One thing you certainly won’t want to waste money on is transportation. Get around town in the cheapest ways possible. Rental cars are expensive and require you to learn the rules of the road if you’re in a new country. However, public transportation is a great alternative. Buses and trains are often low cost—and walking is free. These are all great ways to gain new, authentic experiences as well as to travel like a local. Plus, you’re bound to see things or places you may not have encountered otherwise.
Don’t Be Afraid of Hostels
Luxury hotels provide a definitely comfort and the popularity of Airbnb has made it easy to live like a local. But if you’re really looking to make the most of your money, consider staying at a hostel. They are incredibly cheap compared to most hotels, especially if you choose a dormitory-style room versus a private one. This can be a hidden blessing as well, offering chances to meet people, make new friends and partake in activities. Hostels are a different kind of travel experience, but they're well worth the money you’ll save—and the great times you’ll have!