We love travelling, and if that means making a few smart decisions in order to stretch our money, then that’s exactly what we’ll do! These are some of our Budget Saving Travel Tips which we hope will help your money go a little further and allow you to travel more. Feel free to let us know if you have any more good tips to add...
Wrap Your Own Bags
Security is important and having your luggage wrapped in plastic is not only a good security measure, but it also protects your bag from possible damage. Did you know that it is really easy to do this kind of plastic wrap yourself? We have self-wrapped our luggage many times very successfully. All you need is a roll of ordinary plastic wrap (which you can find in any supermarket) and preferably four hands (one person to handle the wrap and one to hold the luggage)! Having scissors and some tape does come in handy but is not necessary. Just pick a place to start, pull the plastic wrap tight and keep going all around the luggage until you feel that you have enough layers in place. You can either your way work around a handle or cut through the wrap to expose a handle after the fact. Usually, this costs about 10% of what the airport wrapping stations charge. Here are some examples of our self wrapped luggage!
Travel With Carry-on Luggage Only
For some people, this will be easier than for others. But no matter what your travel style is, we strongly recommend that you try to travel with carry-on luggage only! It is not only cost-saving, but it also makes travelling so much quicker and easier. Travelling with carry-on luggage only can be a huge cost-saving factor, particularly when making use of low-cost airlines that charge separately for checked luggage. We love our backpacks which are just perfect for carry-on. Lisa has the Kelty Women's Redwing 40 Backpack and Andre has the Kelty Redwing 44 Backpack.
Wear Your Heavy Items When Checking In At Airports
If you are travelling with carry-on luggage only and are pushing the limits with regards to your carry-on weight allowance - make sure that you have big pockets and a few waist packs to be able to “wear” some heavy items when you go to check in to avoid your carry-on luggage from being overweight and incurring additional costs.
Pack Your Own Meal For Flights, Trains And Buses
If you have the time and are able to, stop past a supermarket and pack your own meals and snacks for long journeys. It’s usually much cheaper and healthier than purchasing food on board.
Book Flight Meals In Advance
If you know that you are going to want a meal on a low-cost airline, make sure that you book this in advance when purchasing your ticket as it can be significantly cheaper than buying it once on the plane. This way you are also guaranteed to get what you want.
Check Multiple Platforms For Accommodation Prices
You may think that a certain booking platform will always have the best deals, but this is simply not the case. We find that some booking platforms are more user-friendly for searching and refining a search, but then we always check a few other platforms to find the best deal. Our favourite booking platforms are:
Book Accommodation With Breakfast Included
And / Or Free Refreshments
Whenever you can, try to find accommodation with breakfast included as can save you both money as well as the time and hassle of having to find breakfast elsewhere. If you are lucky and it’s a buffet-style breakfast, you can even eat enough to skip lunch! We also enjoy staying at places that offer free refreshments (tea, coffee, water, juice) throughout the day. This small luxury can be a handy cost saver.
Travel With A Reusable Water Bottle
No matter where you travel, there are bound to be plenty of places where you can refill a water bottle, either for free or at a fraction of the cost of buying water in a bottle. This will not only save you money, but it is also much better for the environment. Invest in a good reusable water bottle and it will pay for itself time and time again.
Travel With A Portable Water Filter
This probably only makes sense for more long term travellers. We travel with a compact portable water filter, which allows us to filter any water to safe drinking standards. This not only saves us a lot of money by not having to buy bottled water, but it is also great for in case of an emergency and helps reduce plastic waste.
Don’t Drink Alcohol
Easier said than done perhaps! Cutting alcohol from your travel budget can make a significant effect on your expenses. If you do want to enjoy the occasional drink, try to opt for a simple local drink instead of a fancy (and pricey) cocktail!
Being flexible with not only your travel dates but also your travel destination can make a big saving on your travel budget. We always joke that we don’t choose a destination, a destination chooses us! We look for cheap flights to off-season destinations and in that way have more of our travel budget left for enjoying the trip.
Travel Like A Local
Make use of public transportation, especially to and from airports where private taxis will always ask a steep surcharge. Do your homework beforehand and know what you should be paying so that you don’t get overcharged. When you do make use of a taxi, always make sure that the meter is actually going to be used.
Walking is good exercise, a great way to explore a new area and it will also save you money if you walk places instead of pricey other alternatives. You can even search for free walking tours in your area if you don’t feel like just exploring on your own.
Know Your Bank Cards
It is very important to know what your bank charges for international spending for both swiping a card as well as withdrawing money at an ATM. If your bank has a fixed fee for ATM withdrawals, keep in mind that drawing larger amounts of cash at a time will reduce the overall cost of that cash. To avoid unnecessary conversion charges, make sure that you are being charged in the local currency when swiping a card.
Open A TransferWise BORDERLESS Account For Travellers
If you travel regularly or earn money in other currencies, there’s a feature of TransferWise that’s particularly useful: the “borderless” account. This multi-currency account is free and easy to set up once you’ve created your TransferWise account. You can read all about this in our TransferWise BORDERLESS Account For Travellers Post.
Send A Postcard
Instead of spending lots of money on silly souvenirs which most people really don’t need, send them a postcard! It is more thoughtful and will cost much less.
Check Your Travel Insurance
Make sure that you check your travel insurance BEFORE you leave. Most travel insurances need to be in place before you start your journey and often have a travel time limit. Travel insurance is a cost you hope not to have to need, but not having it could have devastating financial effects and rob you of your hard-earned money. Read this to better understand your Travel and Health Insurance needs.