47 Ideas For the Cheapest Ways to Travel the World
Want to learn how to travel cheap? You’re in the right place because I have a lot of advice for you today. Before we get into the cheapest ways to travel, though, there’s one thing I want to talk about.
Want to learn how to travel cheap? You’re in the right place because I have a lot of advice for you today. Before we get into the cheapest ways to travel, though, there’s one thing I want to talk about.
What Does It Mean To Travel Cheaply?
This is the biggest question I have to answer here, and it’s hard because people have so many different answers for it.
For some travelers, traveling cheaply means taking economy seats instead of first-class, and staying at hotels that are merely good instead of great. For other people, taking a flight at all is too expensive, and camping is the cheapest way to spend a night.
The problem here is that it’s difficult to write a guide for how to travel cheap unless we establish a common baseline for what being cheap means for your budget. Worse, prices change all the time, so even trying to write a budget here would only result in something that goes out of date almost instantly.
With all that in mind, I’m going to show you how to travel cheap, save money, and get the most bang for your buck wherever you go.
Part One: Destinations
Picking a destination is one of the biggest things that will affect your budget. Let’s look at how this plays out.
#1: Find Places With Affordable Visas
Many countries require visas if you want to visit them on vacation, regardless of how you enter. For example, the United States offers tourism visas (often known as B-2’s), which normally cost around US$160 and involve filling out paperwork, attending an interview, getting a passport, and so on.
Costs for visas vary widely, and may even differ depending on your country of origin. The US State Department has a guide for entering other countries; if you’re not in the United States, look for your country’s equivalent.
Some areas may allow you to stay visa-free, assuming you meet any other criteria. For example, Japan allows people to stay for up to 90 days without a visa but has requirements like having a valid passport and a valid onward or return ticket for travel back out of the country.
#2: Understand Exchange Rates
Exchange rates change moment to moment, although rarely more than a small amount at a time. It’s generally easier to travel to places that have a weaker currency than your home country, which means you’ll be able to buy more with the same amount of cash.
Areas like southeastern Asia (including India), eastern Europe, and Central America typically have good exchange rates, so these are a good place to start looking if you want to travel but don’t have a specific region in mind.
#3: Stay In One Region
In this context, a region is a few countries that are next to each other, and that you can travel between by land instead of air or sea. For example, you can often take trains between different countries in Europe.
Limiting each trip to one region of the world can cut down on travel costs and let you spend more of your budget on fun.
Alternatively, stay in one country for the whole trip. That’s hard to define as “traveling the world”, but it will allow you to spend far more time seeing your destinations and less time just passing through them.
#4: Budget For Activities
Many people who want to travel cheaply focus on the travel part of this equation, but less so on the prices for activities, food, and so on at the destination. That can wreck a tight budget, so it’s important to research the costs for each destination before you go there.
One way to help cut down on costs is focusing on tropical travel. Warm environments don’t require as much in the way of clothing and other basic survival supplies. This means you can pack fewer clothes and more of anything else you need, or even reduce the number of bags you need for the trip.
#5: City Tourism Cards
These aren’t available everywhere, but they are pretty common in most major destinations. Most city tourism cards give you either free or lower-cost entry to bigger attractions in the area, such as museums and galleries.
Some city tourism cards also include unlimited transportation by bus or subway systems. If you want to see a lot of attractions in a small area, these are often the most cost-effective way, especially if you can stay for at least a few days.
Rail passes are a national version of transportation cards and usually allow unlimited trips over a set period.
Part Two: Income
Traveling the world cheaply gets a lot easier if you can make money no matter where you are. This works best if you don’t need to worry about time, but you can make money while traveling even if you’re only going for a week or two.
#6: Go Au Pair
Au pairs are live-in caregivers who stay with a family for a moderately extended period, usually 6 months to 1 year. Most au pairs help raise children and do some housekeeping. Unlike traditional live-in caregivers, this is more of a part-time role and you’ll get significant amounts of time off.
Availability for this position depends on culture. Some societies simply don’t hire strangers very often, although it’s somewhat easier in Europe. This is also easier for women, as most families look for female caregivers to raise children, although experienced male caregivers can also make it work.
Bartending is a skill that can make you money almost anywhere in the world. Experience with a wide variety of drinks is key here, as well as familiarity with the local language and buying habits.
Some bars will also hire for other roles, such as washing dishes or cleaning tables. Unsurprisingly, this job tends to be most common in larger cities. This isn’t as good a strategy for income if you want to visit rural areas or see things at night.
#8: Cruise Ship Work
This is a much more structured role than other ways of earning income, but working on a cruise ship is an extremely good way to see the waters of the world and, in many cases, enjoy the sights of various destinations.
This pays better than most other options, but it also has longer hours, so don’t expect it to feel anything like a vacation. If nothing else, though, this is probably the best option for tight budgets because you’re getting paid to travel, rather than the other way around.
A similar role is being a yacht worker. This usually involves working close to a wealthy or famous person. It usually doesn’t pay as much as cruise ship work, but also tends to be less work while taking you to some truly gorgeous destinations.
#9: Write Articles
Writing articles is a great way to earn money as long as you have a computer and internet access. There’s always demand for writing on the internet, and topics range from marketing and transcription to translating and more.
Best of all, you can get paid over the internet and it’s easy to convert that into local currency each time you arrive in a new area. You can even start writing as a side-job and get used to it months before you start your trip, then keep working throughout. Just don’t forget to do your taxes properly.
Part Three: Planning The Trip
Planning a trip is the key to traveling cheaply. You can make spur-of-the-moment decisions, but expect that to cost you over time.
#10: Get A Travel Agent
While hiring someone to help with your trip may sound like the opposite of traveling cheaply, the truth is that travel agents can save you a lot of money on complicated trips.
The main reason for this is that travel agents can offer insider deals that you can’t get elsewhere. Most of them have a near-encyclopedic knowledge of possible destinations that can fit your budget, and they coordinate with groups like airlines and hotel companies to get better rates.
The result is that you’ll often pay much less for a trip if you book it through a travel agent instead of taking care of everything yourself. The only reason to avoid a travel agent is if you want to go for ultra-low-cost travel, which means camping and foraging.
#11: Research Prices
Local prices vary, but knowing what things should cost is key to avoid getting ripped off. Prices can change within a few streets of popular destinations, so just minutes of walking can cut many expenses in half.
For example, Broadway in New York City is essentially a luxury destination for wealthy residents and travelers who want to enjoy the fine arts. All of the restaurants in that area have prices to match. Move out of the luxury area, though, and you’ll find prices that are far more reasonable for the area.
#12: Obtain Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is a key part of safe, affordable travel. Like travel agents, this can seem counterintuitive at first. After all, the point is to spend less money, right?
The problem is that you can’t predict every expense. Issues like sudden illnesses overseas can cost tens of thousands of dollars for travel and treatment, and you can’t pick and choose when things like that happen. Travel insurance is reasonably affordable and can protect you from many high-cost scenarios.
One of the best ways to get travel insurance is by doing a side-job like one of those described above before you go traveling. If you can pay for the entire cost of your travel insurance ahead of time, you won’t have to worry about the rest while you’re on the trip.
#13: Plan By Neighborhoods
Criss-crossing a city to reach destinations burns a lot of time. Instead, try to figure out every destination you want to visit in a particular area, then use a tool like Google Maps to create a custom route. You can plan how long you want to stay in each area, or simply list them in order and go through them at your own pace.
A good plan for seeing the area can save you hours each day, so the more you plan ahead, the easier it will be.
#14: Know Your Priorities
What do you want to do on your trip? Some people enjoy visiting tourist attractions while others enjoy trying local foods or going camping out in the wilderness.
Knowing your priorities can help you save money by identifying areas where you can be frugal and areas where you’ll want to spend more. I recommend having one high-priority objective and one medium-priority thing to do.
As an example, a Food Tour of Europe is very different from a Trip Across Europe. Knowing you want to eat different foods can help you figure out which cities to go to, which restaurants to visit, and even how you want to travel between each area.
The reason to have a medium-priority goal is that it offers some variety on your trip. Just traveling, eating at a restaurant, going to a hotel, and repeating in a cycle could get pretty old, pretty fast. Detours help keep things fresh and exciting.
#15: Pick Your Travel Season
The best times to travel cheaply are known as the low season and the shoulder season. The shoulder season is between the low and high seasons when crowds are getting bigger but aren’t yet at the maximum capacity.
Traveling during the quieter times of the year can save you quite a lot on airfare and hotel costs, but it also means you’re limited in when you can go. That means you might not get to enjoy the bright summer sun or certain local festivals.
Part Four: Managing Your Money
Managing money once you arrive is another key part of traveling cheaply. This helps ensure you can get the most from your cash without risking the rest of your trip.
#16: Get A Credit Card With No
Foreign Transaction Fees
Seriously, you don’t want to pay a foreign transaction fee every single time you use a credit card. Those costs add up quickly.
However, you do want to use a credit card in the first place. Credit cards offer significant account protections while you’re traveling, including fraud prevention and reimbursement options that you may not have with debit cards or travelers’ checks. Just make sure to tell your card provider when you plan to start traveling.
If you plan to travel regularly, you might be able to get additional rewards for using your credit card. That’s not reducing your costs, exactly, but reimbursements and rewards can help lessen the overall cost of traveling.
#17: Withdraw Money From ATMs
This works best if you have an account that lets you avoid ATM fees worldwide, either by not having them at all or by getting reimbursed for them.
In most cases, ATMs let you withdraw in the local currency without having to pay the extra costs for exchanging cash. Exchange services always have a fee because that’s how they make their money, so the more you can avoid those fees, the better.
#18: Use A Money-Tracking App
Money-tracking apps let you know how much you’re spending each day and can help you stay within your budget for travel. It’s easy to have small extra costs and fees snowball into bigger expenses when you’re traveling, so using modern technology can help you keep all of these expenses over control.
#19: Claim Refunds
Did you know you can get refunds on some taxes you pay while traveling? It’s true! Many countries don’t require foreigners to pay certain fees and taxes, so you’re eligible for a reimbursement if you file a claim before leaving. This can end up saving you a lot of money.
Claim Compass has a great guide for claiming VAT refunds when you’re leaving the EU. The value-added tax can go as high as 20% in some areas, and it’s particularly applicable to larger purchases.
Similar rules may be in effect in other areas. The key point to keep in mind here is that if you’re leaving the tax area with something you bought, you’re technically exporting that product, and most products sold for export follow different tax rules.
Make sure to verify that you won’t get charged for bringing something in as part of your trip, though. That can be a nasty hiccup in some countries. Nations usually have guidelines for what you can bring in while traveling.
Alternatively, you can contact embassies in the nation you plan to visit. They can usually provide a lot of information on import-export issues and associated fees.
#20: Find Deal Sites
This is something most people already know, but I’m including it here for the sake of completion. Deal sites can help you find discounts on lodging, food, rentals, sightseeing, and more. In some cases, you can reduce these all the way down to free, which is great if you’re on a particularly tight budget.
One thing to keep an eye on is private camping opportunities. These can let you camp in areas where you’re not normally allowed to, such as inner-city areas, and often at a much lower price than you’d pay anywhere else.
Part Five: Flights
Flights are a key part of most international travel, or even within a country in some areas.
#21: Get A Good Travel Card
A travel credit card can earn you bonus points for using it on flights, hotel stays, and other international purchases. Combine this with no-fee exchanges and lower rates and you’ve got a reliable tool for making payments almost anywhere in the world.
Travel cards have a wide variety of policies for rewards, and there are too many for me to go into here. However, there are a few common things to look for.
The biggest bit is looking for ways to maximize the points you earn on regular purchases to save up points and get rewards before your trip. If you earn enough points, you might be able to get free flights to and from your destination. That can save hundreds of dollars, mostly through things you were buying anyway, and it’s a top way to cut expenses for travel.
#22: Book At The Best Times
Skyscanner is one of the best ways to find cheaper flights and, more importantly, they track information from over a thousand sources. They also have a recently-updated guide for finding the best times to book flights.
Certain months, including January, March, July, August, and September, are often lower than other times of the year. Even changing which day of the week you book on can save you money. They recommend booking several weeks in advance of your trip, rather than buying at the last minute.
#23: Use The Cheap Seats
It’s obvious that an economy-class seat for an early-morning flight will cost much less than a first-class seat on a comfortable afternoon flight. You can save a lot of money if you’re willing to set aside the luxuries while you travel.
Personally, I’m happy with economy seats on most flights up to six hours, although it can get a little rough if you’re doing a long international flight and staying on the plane for twelve hours or more.
Noise-canceling headphones are particularly useful here, and they’re even more so when you can plug them in and watch movies or television on one of the plane screens. Those may have small costs associated with them, but if you’re already saving a lot of money by getting a cheaper seat at a specific time, there’s room in the budget for fun here.
#24: Consider Getting Two One-Way Tickets
Sometimes, getting two one-way tickets is cheaper than getting a single round-trip ticket. Round-trip tickets may have restrictions on when you can use them, such as going back exactly one week after, whereas one-way tickets can let you change to a cheaper airline traveling from your destination.
Try to be flexible with your airport choices, too. Sometimes taking a bus from the airport to your destination is cheaper than flying to a closer airport that’s right at the place you want to be. Don’t hesitate to check your options. If you have the time to spend, you could end up saving dozens or hundreds of dollars this way.
#25: Get Bumped
Bumping occurs when airplanes sell more tickets than they have seats and too many people show up to the plane, or when there’s a special situation like needing to provide a seat for a Federal Air Marshal.
While you can’t predict exactly when this will happen, it’s much more common if you’re flying from a busy airport at a busier time. Airplane companies usually offer vouchers or other incentives that can be worth hundreds of dollars for each bump, and you can often catch the next available flight to your destination if you’re willing to wait.
If you want to take advantage of this process, talk to the agents at the desk when you check-in and let them know you’re willing to volunteer. You can often earn extra points if you have a card with that airline or even free flights instead of cash.
#26: Use Free Stopovers
A stopover is essentially an extended layover, and some airline companies are willing to let you take them with no change in your ticket price. Here’s how it works.
Layovers are waiting periods when you need to change planes to complete a trip. Layovers are usually less than four hours for domestic flights and less than 24 hours for international flights.
A stopover is when you’re waiting longer than this period between flights. For example, you might be able to stay two or three days in one city before taking the second part of your flight and continuing to your final destination. If you wait too long, companies will sell it as a separate flight instead, so there are limits to this.
However, stopovers are a pretty easy way to increase the number of destinations you can visit on a trip, especially if you don’t have to worry about deadlines or getting back at a specific time. You’ll still need to find food and lodging, but otherwise, it’s almost a free trip.
#27: Use Budget Airlines (Carefully)
Budget airlines are often a good way to save money but could be more uncomfortable than economy seats with different airlines. The important thing here is to read the fine print and know what you’ll be getting.
Keep an eye on baggage pricing. Most budget airlines do not include the cost of anything except a carry-on in their basic price, so if you need to bring more bags, you’ll be paying more out-of-pocket and won’t get the actual budget advantage here.
This is basically an extension of using cheap seats, and it follows the same philosophy. You can save a lot of money if you’re willing to put up with inconvenience during your travels.
Part Six: Lodging
Lodging is the second thing most people look at to save money, right after airfare. Here’s what to pay attention to when you’re trying to keep costs as low as possible.
#28: Know What You’re Getting
Hotels and other lodging areas are not created equally. Some offer meals and drinks, others don’t. Some provide kitchens where you can make your own meals, breakfasts, free internet access, airport transfers, and more.
The key here is to figure out what’s important to you in your lodging and what you can do without. In most cases, meals at the hotel are more expensive than buying local food and cooking for yourself.
Beyond pricing, though, you should also look at where your lodging is. It might be worth spending more on a hotel if it means you’re an hour closer to everything you want to do. Transportation costs can eat away at any savings you get for a cheaper hotel, so location matters almost as much as the cover price.
#29: Consider Alternative Lodging
Alternative lodging arrangements cover a wide variety of options, but here are some of the most common ones.
One of the best alternatives is staying the night with friends who live in other countries. This can drop your lodging costs to little or nothing and often comes with people willing to be tour guides and spend time with you during your trip. Making friends in other countries can be hard, but you can do it online.
Another option for alternative lodging is house swapping. This is when you borrow one person’s house and let them sleep in yours. Naturally, the better your lodging is, the easier this will be to do. However, you can manage this even with relatively basic housing if you have a good location.
House swapping does require some measure of trust, though. It’s best to limit your search to friends of friends. People are much less likely to cause problems if they have a personal stake in things.
Some nations have special housing options for travelers. For example, Japan created capsule hotels, which are essentially bed-sized rooms with minimal accommodations, but rock-bottom prices to match. These are showing up in other places around the world, too.
(As a bonus, capsule hotels are among the most structurally sound options in earthquake-prone Japan. They have so many internal reinforcements between pods that they can survive things other buildings couldn’t. Safety and affordability make for an attractive combination.)
Depending on where you go, you might find lodgings like yurts, hostels, cabins, and more. These offer very different experiences from traditional hotels, and they’re often cheaper as well.
#30: Go Camping
If you enjoy hiking and living outdoors, you can try camping at your destinations instead of getting traditional lodging. However, this often requires a lot of gear and equipment, so expect to see your flight costs go up. Camping gets more viable the longer you stay in a particular area.
Costs for camping can vary, though. You might be able to set up somewhere outside of a city, but you can also look for regulated camping grounds or even private camping opportunities.
#31: Travel In Groups
There’s nothing quite like traveling at your own pace, but everything is more affordable when you split it with companions. Larger groups may even be eligible for group discounts, which can further reduce the amount each of you pays.
I particularly like this for some luxury destinations that are too expensive to get alone. For example, there are many castles in Europe that you can rent for a little while. Arranging for a group rental could reduce the cost to you to 5% or less of the full booking price, which means you can visit places you could never afford otherwise.
#32: Long-Term Stay Options
If you want to stay in an area for a while, apartments are often cheaper and more comfortable than hotels for extended stays. Apartments won’t be as cheap as camping in the wilderness, but they will be considerably safer in most areas.
You can also look into co-living options, where you can stay with one or more other people for extended periods. These can be more affordable than renting apartments.
Volunteering is an interesting way to get accommodation. This is more work-oriented than other strategies, but it’s also quite effective for seeing places you might not visit otherwise.
Volunteering opportunities can range from helping at local schools to staying on a farm or a ship. In most cases, food and lodging are included, though you may have to provide your own accommodations.
Many volunteer opportunities are mission-focused. These can range from religious visits to providing humanitarian aid. If the need is particularly important, you might be able to get sponsors and cut your costs down to practically nothing.
While anyone can apply for this role, it’s better if you have useful or relevant skills. Teachers and healthcare workers are relatively valuable, but physical strength alone can be helpful if you’re providing disaster relief or similar help.
Part Seven: Food
Everyone needs to eat. Knowing how to eat well for cheap can make the difference between a costly trip and an affordable one.
#34: Eat Where The Locals Do
Nobody knows where to find better deals than the locals. In most cases, these places won’t be in travel guides or get highlighted online. Some may not even have websites.
However, looking for local food stores often means you can find far more options than restaurants offer, and at a fraction of the price. This gets even easier if you’re staying somewhere with a kitchen that you can use.
Local food stores also have the benefit of letting you experience more of local cultures. This works best if you have experience making your own food, but you can get by with prepackaged food sold in local stores.
It can be hard to tell what you’re buying in some areas, though. Some smartphones have apps that can translate text for you and give you a much better sense of what you’re looking at. Don’t hesitate to download and use those as needed.
#35: Try Street Food
Street food is usually affordable for its area because it’s fast and casual, unlike the expensive sit-down restaurants. Street food also tends to have stronger flavoring, which is great if you enjoy that.
However, the real reason I recommend this aside from the low cost is the way it can help you save time on your trip. There’s too much else to do on most trips around the world unless you’re specifically focusing on eating, so the less time you need to spend waiting around, the better.
#36: Avoid Alcohol
Sipping a nice wine while you’re relaxing on the beach on a pleasantly warm evening sounds like a great time, but it’s better to totally avoid alcohol on most trips. (Unless you’re bartending, anyway, but that’s different.)
Alcohol can lead you into trouble when you’re far away from home, and worse, the price can add up quickly if you’re drinking all the time. If you can’t totally go without, try having just a small amount of alcohol before bed to prevent withdrawals and focus on enjoying your days sober.
#37: Limit Your Orders
This one is harder than it looks. It’s easy to fall prey to the fear of missing out when you’re only in a country for a few days and don’t know if you’ll ever return. With that kind of pressure, it can literally be now or never for some foods.
However, ordering too much food increases costs and might not even let you finish everything. That doesn’t help your situation because you’re still missing out, so there’s no sense in trying to order everything on the menu.
If you truly want to experience different foods, try looking for restaurants that have sample platters. These can be a more rational and affordable way of trying many different local specialties.
Alternatively, if you’re traveling with a group, order your meals buffet style so everyone can get a little of many different dishes. This can keep everyone fed for a reasonable price while still letting you enjoy the full variety of cuisine available in that nation.
#38: Bring Snacks
Specifically, bring healthy, filling snacks that won’t go bad easily and don’t take up too much space. Protein bars are a good choice for this. Having a light snack when you’re hungry is better than visiting a restaurant or cooking at your lodgings for every meal and can save you quite a lot of money over the course of your trip.
Try to avoid perishable foods like fruits unless you plan to consume them immediately. These foods can be harder to take across national borders, but inspectors will rarely look twice if you’re carrying well-packaged foods that aren’t a risk for introducing new species.
(If that sounds like a weird thing to worry about, remember that people often bring invasive species to new areas by accident. Something as simple as a seed can end up causing a lot of ecological damage, so nations can be quite strict about this.)
Part Eight: Transportation
You can’t travel the world if you can’t travel at all. Understanding your transportation options beyond the airplane is another important part of a frugal journey.
#39: Give Yourself Lots Of Extra Time
It’s easy to try and schedule things so you can see as much as possible, but in practice, it’s hard to follow schedules like that. Worse, it’s hard to enjoy yourself if you’re constantly looking at the clock and counting down the time until you have to leave.
Rushing can be expensive, too. It’s easy to fall into the temptation of ordering an expensive taxi “just this once”, but that can snowball because of an increasing fear of missing out.
It’s better to stop this problem before it starts, and the best way to do that is by giving yourself enough time between activities so that you can enjoy them and visit each new thing with a comfortable margin of error.
#40: Know Your Transportation Options
Options for getting around vary throughout the world. You may be able to use planes, rental cars, ferries, or more to get around. Japan famously has both above-ground and underground rail options that can get you almost anywhere in their cities in short order. Larger nations like the United States, on the other hand, could require days of travel.
Overnight trains are a good way to save money on lodging. These usually include a sleeping area as part of the package, but without an excessive cost associated with it. Saving money and reducing the time needed to reach and use lodging is always great in my book.
Alternatively, in some areas, you can rent a camper van. These are similar to motorhomes but usually smaller in size, capable of housing several people in reasonable comfort on longer journeys. You’ll spend a fair bit on gas, but since you won’t need to buy lodging elsewhere, they’re not as expensive as they can seem at first glance.
Try using apps or websites to look up transportation options in each area well before you get there. It’s much easier to plan your trip when you know what your options are.
#41: Try To Use Public Transportation
Public transportation is usually quite affordable compared to other options, though this is at the expense of having essentially no control over the exact destination. However, the low price isn’t the only reason I recommend this.
To put it simply, driving in other countries is hard. Aside from possibly using vehicles you’re totally unfamiliar with, other nations can have completely different regulations for their roads. Trying to follow the laws you know can result in breaking local laws, leading to fines or even jail time for something particularly egregious.
Public transportation neatly avoids these problems. The drivers know what to expect from local traffic, and the transportation itself is more-or-less predictable. Schedules may slip a little here and there, but frankly, that’s a small thing to worry about if you’re giving yourself the extra time I suggested earlier.
Part Nine: Entertainment And Activities
What’s the point of traveling if you can’t enjoy yourself? Knowing how to get the most from all of your activities is crucial to each trip.
#42: Learn How To Haggle
Haggling is a time-honored art in some parts of the world, but not in others. In the United States, for example, most prices are fixed and you’ll just get weird looks if you try to bargain. In other areas, nobody actually expects you to pay the sticker price and might laugh behind your back if you do.
The guide linked to above goes into more detail on this, but there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to start haggling.
First, determine if you can haggle at all. The best way to do this is by researching the local culture and seeing if it’s common, but if not, you can ask a few leading questions and hint that the price is too high. If a shopkeeper makes any sort of lower offer, haggling is acceptable.
Any place with unpriced items probably allows haggling and may have different prices. Try to find out the real price that locals pay and use that as a starting point. Don’t feel bad about paying a bit more than locals do, though. Merchants are more likely to price high if you look rich, so dressing casually can help you save money.
Don’t forget to try and figure out the real value of the item, either. Most pricing is basically arbitrary to begin with, so people may price things artificially high to make you feel like you’ve gotten a good deal.
Finally, remember that haggling is a negotiation on price, not a fight. Merchants are people trying to make a living, so don’t try to push them towards anything ridiculous or you may find all of the locals shutting you out. Remember, if either of you accepts the other’s offer, the haggling is over and that’s what you should pay.
#43: Know The Activities In The Area
More importantly, know how much each of those activities costs. Many places have free activities that you can go through at your own pace, such as walking tours of city districts.
Many activities aren’t easy to find online, though, so take a look around coffee shops or anywhere else with a community board. These can help you find activities to do in your area. Remember that guides at hotels and other places are mainly for paid tourism, so you won’t get many good deals there.
The main problem with this strategy is that it only works if you can read the local language. If you only speak English and you’re visiting India, for example, it might be harder to find activities locally.
#44: Look At Official Tourism Sites
Many cities and countries have official tourism websites that contain a lot of information on the area. This includes notable attractions, restaurants, festivals, and more. Better yet, these are run by the government, and they can also have information on free programs and initiatives.
Tourism websites are a good place to go even if you don’t plan to use them for scheduling activities. This is because they tend to have information on public transportation options and helpful purchases you can make, such as all-access passes.
#45: Inquire With Local Embassies
Embassies are particularly good sources of information on activities and entertainment. They often have ties to local governments and might be able to offer special passes or discounts on certain things.
Even better, embassies often have a lot of experience in knowing what visitors consider fun, where you can go to save money, and what sorts of things you might not find on the internet. Embassies can also help warn you about any specific dangers in the area.
Consulates are essentially the same thing as embassies, but smaller in size. They’re equivalent to the branch offices of a company, whereas a proper embassy is a headquarters.
Some countries don’t have embassies in certain destinations. In these cases, you may be able to find an embassy from an allied nation that can help you instead. Most embassies are willing to provide basic information and support to anyone who asks, so don’t hesitate to write an email or call ahead if you want to get help.
Part Ten: Supplies
How many supplies you can take depends on what you’re willing to spend, but chances are you’ll want at least one backpack of stuff.
#46: Get Travel Cleaners
Laundry charges can get expensive over longer trips. Travel cleaners, including some types of soap, are more than good enough to wash most of your clothes and you can get them at a fraction of the price. The downside is that you’ll need to spend time cleaning them, but if you can let things dry when you’re out for the day, even that’s not a big deal.
#47: Take Advantage Of Sales On Travel Gear
Most companies have sales throughout the year, and this is a great way to save money while planning ahead for trips. Try to buy at least mid-range brands whenever possible. One backpack that lasts a long time is better than three backpacks that break quickly.
As you can see, there are countless ways to save money while traveling the world. They range from the time-consuming and energy-intensive (like working on cruise lines) to casual savings on small tasks, but they add up quickly.
Realistically, you can save hundreds to thousands of dollars on many trips if you’re willing to put in some time and effort. Not every trick is suitable for every trip, but the more you know about your options, the easier it is to find other ways to save.
Finally, try to make a habit of implementing these strategies before your trip. If you can do many of them in your daily life, you can save up money for your trip that much faster.