Travelling over a long period of time differs from taking a brief vacation or weekend break.
You pack in the sights, sleep later, try all the foods and beverages, and maybe even stay in a special-occasion type of accommodation for a brief vacation.
As you strive to stay to a realistic budget when travelling for prolonged periods of time, the thrill of excess wears off.
Our favourite strategies to save money when travelling for a long period revolve around three themes: do your homework, make sensible long-term investments, and forgo the unnecessary aspects of travel while still having fun and making memories.
- Make more meals at home and dine out less.
We’ve said it before: don’t eat at restaurants (at all!).
If you’re going on a trip longer than three or four days, you’ll realize how fast dining out adds up. There’s tax, tip (at most places), a good-looking drink from the ‘Drinks’ area, an appetizer or side (or three), and a smidgeon of dessert.
Unless you’re in Sri Lanka, where a meal for two costs (all prices are in USD) (including tea and smoothies), dining out in much of the globe is more costly than making your own meals.
In fact, when you arrive in a new place, one of the first things you should do is locate the nearest grocery and ‘star’ it in Google Maps.
If you’re going to be travelling full-time or for an extended length of time, learning to make some simple foods is a good idea because dining out may become old fast.
- Travelling during the off-season is a great way to save money (AKA never around Christmas).
During Christmas and New Year’s, summer (relative to the hemisphere!), and spring break, certain destinations become more expensive (depending on local university schedules).
If you avoid certain times of the year, you’ll discover hotels that want to fill their rooms, excursions that may offer discounts to attract tourists in the off-season, and cheaper flights.
Do your research to find out when high season is an attempt to avoid it, depending on where you’re going.
- Reduce the amount of time you spend at bars buying beverages.
When traveling for an extended period of time, the cost of meals isn’t enough; you must also consider the cost of alcohol.
When you consider that beer costs $0.25 in some locations (Vietnam) but $10 in others (San Francisco, CA), there are obviously significant differences in the expenses of consuming alcohol throughout the world.
Alcohol is not something that your body needs, no matter where you go. Although some individuals travel for beer, cocktails, or wine or use alcohol as a means to experience a new location, drinking alcohol on a regular basis might rapidly add up to a substantial portion of your daily travel costs.
- Hostels are the best way to save that extra money.
To begin, it’s important to note that hostels aren’t always inexpensive.
In fact, we decided to stay in Airbnbs in the Netherlands and Ireland because private hostel rooms cost upwards of $100 a night.
Hostels are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. People have mostly been to various regions of the world and stayed in fantastic hostels that were both inexpensive and memorable.
- Examine the cost of travel and the current trends.
Finding out the typical cost of travel in different places across the world might help us decide what we want to do in order to travel longer and better.
It may be as simple as agreeing to prepare all of our meals or refraining from drinking in bars in order to offset expenditures like rental vehicles, taxis, or the costs of seeing a destination’s must-see attractions.
- When booking, use a cash-back website.
Booking aggregator commissions are essential to understand for another reason: they might lead to significant point-of-sale or cash-back discounts on your reservations.
Cash-back websites and browser plugins that work with booking sites and aggregators are the keys. These solutions take a percentage of the booking commission and give the remainder to consumers in the form of cashback or immediate refunds. It’s not unrealistic to anticipate a return of 5% to 7% from these instruments.
- When booking, use a rewards credit card.
Apply for a travel rewards credit card and use it when you book if your credit score is good enough. General-purpose travel rewards cards consistently return 2% or more on spending, but branded travel rewards cards, such as American Express’s Gold Delta SkyMiles, substantially speed up loyalty club members’ journey toward valued freebies like free flights and stays.
Many travel rewards and cash-back credit cards have their own cash-back portals, where direct purchases earn points at a faster rate than regular spending.
- Take advantage of the complimentary continental breakfast.
What person doesn’t appreciate a complimentary breakfast?
Rather than relying on your negotiation abilities, focus your search on hotels that provide complimentary continental breakfasts. Most basic hotel and motel companies provide adequate breakfast selections, so you don’t have to go upscale to get them. The pastries at my most recent U.S. motel, an America’s Best Value Inn in a small Midwestern town, are amazing.
It’s worth noting that some other cultures scorn America’s comparably simple continental breakfast habit.
- Make Use of Borrowed Baggage
If you don’t travel much, ask friends or relatives to keep an eye out for a suitcase or two for you. This method extends the life of the luggage you already own by years by reducing wear.
On short excursions, you can easily get away with a single bag if you pack light (see below). Even if you’re going on a long trip that necessitates extra luggage, you can usually combine bags from many individuals.
- While travelling, you can volunteer or work.
Look for travel vendors who combine volunteer or labour hours with comfy hotels and free or reduced food if you don’t mind getting your hands filthy or working up a sweat.
There are several legitimate volunteer-travel platforms available. Workaway, which connects students studying abroad and young people on gap years with organic farms; HelpX, which matches outdoorsy volunteers with organic farmers; and WWOOF, a similar vendor that mostly operates in poor countries, are three examples.