I love traveling, haven’t ya noticed? The more adventures we take, the more wanderlust I become. I urge to see all different parts of the world, discovered and undiscovered. I’m incredibly lucky to have moved around and traveled my whole life. It’s given me a taste of the life, and I crave it daily. When is the best time to travel? I say now, now is the best time.When is the best time to travel? I say now, now is the best time.Click To Tweet
The hardest part of course, when it all comes down to it, is money. It’s a common issue anywhere and for most decisions. Can we afford this? Is it worth it? Let’s just stay home and save money, we’ll go in a couple years.
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But if not now, when?
Seriously people, say they’ll wait a year which turns into five, which turns into never.
The myth is that it costs a butt load of money to travel. A common excuse I hear for not traveling is not having money, etc etc. Truth be told you don’t have to spend a lot of money traveling. It’s all about proper planning and traveling smart. I believe if it’s something you truly want to do, you will and can make it happen.
As a young adult, and college student, the question I get asked most is how we can afford to travel and live abroad. It takes discipline and knowing how to save your money, also knowing how to travel smarter to spend less during travels.
Brought to you in this post are tips and tricks to save money WHILE traveling. You already know what you need to do to plan your trip and what you need to save, let me show you how you can save while you travel!
Related Post: Money Saving Tips for College Students
Here are ways to save money when traveling:
- Search for cheaper flights
- Be flexible with your travel dates
- Book hotels through Agoda
- Get your phone unlocked for international use
- Travel during the off seasons
- Bring your own snacks on the plane
- Withdrawal money, don’t exchange it
- Travel with a carry on
SEARCH FOR CHEAPER FLIGHTS
If you really want to save money, try to be as flexible with your dates as possible. Book your flights when they are cheapest. But how do you do that? Well there’s this really amazing app and site called Skyscanner,that Kyle and I started using when we moved to Thailand. It saved us a lot of money on our flight to Krabi for our honeymoon. We even ended up with premium seats, for a very low cost, and didn’t even realize it! We’ve never sat so far up in a plane before, so we were happy.
The way Skyscanner, works is it searches for flights through airlines and allows you to cipher through dates and days of the months and gives you the best prices. Think of Skyscanner as a search engine for flights. They are essentially a comparison website, which makes booking easier and allows you to book the best priced tickets.
For example we are wanting to take a trip to Bangkok. We really don’t have any super important events, so we can go at anytime really. I’ve set up notifications on my phone to let me know when prices go up or down during a certain time frame for a flight from Chiang Mai to Bangkok.
BOOK HOTELS AND STAYS THROUGH THIRD PARTY SITES
Although it may seem really pleasing to book through the a hotel or resorts site, they talk up their packages and deals but you can find way better deals through sites like Agoda. Agoda is hands down the best site to book stays. Just like Skyscanner it’s a search engine, except you can book straight from their site.
They make it super simple and easy to book through them. What I love most is the amount of detail the provide in the reviews, what the hotels have to offer, and the different pricing options. For instance you can compare prices dependent upon if the hotel offers breakfast or other important amenities.
By creating a account we saved even more money, and received around $17 in a gift card back. It’s pretty neat because now we can use that towards our next trip. As for the reviews part, I always keep an open mind. In fact sometimes I don’t like reviews on sites like Agoda because if one bad apple had a bad day and decided to write a bad review, I shouldn’t base my decision on that.
When we booked our stay at Aonang Cliff Beach Resort in Krabi I read people gave them bad ratings because of the Wifi connection. We weren’t going with the intention to use Wifi, but others may. Or that there breakfast options weren’t great because they had too many. I thought they’re breakfast was amazing because they had so many options!
So when comparing hotels and stays I recommend deciding on the amenities you are looking for, and definitely look at photos from other people that they post. If you are looking to save money, don’t book directly through a resort, book through Agoda. There’s no need to spend extra money, when you can save that and still stay where you want!
By compromise I mean, take a look at where you’re traveling what are the things you can compromise on? For example, granted it was our honeymoon, Kyle and I decided to spend a little more money taking a long tail boat out on the Andaman Sea and go Island Hopping. You really couldn’t put a price on the experience. Honestly it cost us around $50 so not bad. We compromised that day, by having a cheaper dinner instead of a nice one.
You just have to decide what is more worth it to you, depending on the situation.
Here are some examples:
- Stay at a private resort (Higher Cost), Stay at a bungalow (Lower Cost)
- Rent a Car vs. Spending a little more money to stay in town and rent bikes
- Eat a later breakfast (dependent on how late a hotel/hostel/resort has breakfast until) load up on carbs so you don’t need to eat as much for lunch or dinner
- Take a stroll to view architecture of a city vs. spending money on a museum
- Eat local street food from vendors vs. restaurants (usually the best food, anywhere, is local street food)
I think you probably get my point now. Always do your research on the area, you don’t necessarily have to plan but always find alternatives that could save you some money.
Get Your Phone Unlocked
We recently just figured out that Sprint unlocked our phones when we canceled our services, hallelujah! All we do now is purchase SIM card for less than $10, and purchase data. It’s so much cheaper than having to use international services through a carrier in America. It’s a good idea to use this option otherwise you may not have access to useful apps that are good for traveling.
The most used apps for travel, while we are traveling, are Uber, Maps and Translate. Uber because we find that it’s the best transportation service versus taking a taxi as prices are set. Maps when we decide to walk places, and don’t know where the hell we are at or need to find an ATM. (Which isn’t too hard to find in Thailand as there are over 7,000 in all of Chiang Mai), and lastly translate is always nice to have in another country if you need simple phrases to get around.
Related Post: All About Chiang Mai
Travel During the Low Season
Depending on which country you go to they may have ‘low seasons’ or ‘off seasons’. This pretty much means that it’s the least likely time for tourists to travel to that destination. During the high seasons is when more tourists visit.
There are a couple reasons you would want to travel during low season: lower rates on stays, cheaper airfare, and a more authentic experience with less tourism. Kyle and I took our honeymoon to Krabi right before high season. The price of the resort was less because of that, and it wasn’t as busy as it would have been during high season. I’m not much for touristy attractions and enjoy more of an authentic experience when traveling.Travel during the low season to save money while traveling. It's less touristy and makes for a cheaper visit. Click To Tweet
Travel during the low season to save money while traveling. It’s less touristy and makes for a cheaper visit.
Pack Your Own Snacks
When flying I seriously recommend bringing your own snacks. A lot of people aren’t aware that you can! It will save you so much money because food in airports is always overpriced. Bring a refillable water bottle, and try packing snacks that aren’t going to make you feel bloated.
To find out more on what you can and cannot bring for food items on the plane please visit: TSA’s Website
Withdrawal Money Don’t Exchange It
You’ll actually find that ATM fee’s are a better option. Exchanging your money can result in actually loosing more dependent on the exchange rate. You can also ask your bank if they refund you ATM fee’s because I am aware that some will reimburse you.
Another word of advice is to try to take out a lump sum. Meaning take out more, rather than less. The more you withdrawal, the more ATM fees. We always try to take out a larger amount and keep it tucked away and grab it when we need it.
When traveling it’s also smart to divide up your money, don’t keep it all in one spot. Spread it out between you and another person if you can. Just smarter that way in case anything does happen.
Pack a Carry On
If you can try to pack just a carry on versus checking baggage. Always check the airline to see the weight and size requirements of a carry on bag. Most of the time you can bring one carry on bag plus a smaller bag such as a backpack or purse. Typically I’ll pack a duffel bag and bring a crossbody purse.
Seriously you don’t need to overpack for trips shorter than two weeks! This is another part where compromise takes place. You may have to compromise certain clothing items, and plan smart. For instance bringing 5 tops, 1 dress, and 2 pairs of pants would be ideal for a 1 week trip.
Packing light and only bringing a carry on will save on those baggage fees, not to mention it’s one less thing to carry and worry about. For more packing tips check out Helene’s post on how she packs, she’s definitely a pro on packing a carry on bag. 6 Travel Tips for Making Packing a Breeze
Related Post: What to Wear on Overnight Flights