The Top 5 Ways We Save Money While Travelling
We’ve been on the road for almost 6 months now and thought we’d share with you the top 5 ways we save money while travelling. Saving money is something that all travellers on a budget worry about. Whether it’s trying to resist the caramel latte calling you from the fancy coffee shop over the road, spending hours online finding the cheapest accommodation or just waiting a few more days before you make the trip to the launderette.. We’ve all been there!
This is by no means a definitive guide and there’s tons of information out there on how to save money. This is just a guide to the most effective, stress-free ways that we manage our budget without spoiling our adventure.
1. Signing up to HelpX
HelpX is basically an exchange of work for food and board. Hosts post listings describing where they live, what work they need, the board, food and hours you’ll be expected to work and who they are. Helpers can then apply based on these listings and what they’d like to do or where they’d like to go. We’ve been doing HelpX since we arrived in Australia and we’ve really enjoyed it!
It’s a great way to meet new people. All of our hosts have been very friendly, welcoming and generous. It also takes you to places you might have missed. As I write this we are helping out at a Yoga retreat in Kenthurst, north of Sydney. This is something we would never have done on our normal travels! You get the chance to learn new skills, try new food and experience different ways of life, all of which are at the top of our reasons for travel.
You can signup to HelpX here. The site is very basic but don’t let that put you off, membership costs 20 euros for 2 years and it’s probably the best money-saving outlay we’ve made the whole time we’ve been travelling!
2. Walking instead of taxis or even public transport
We try to walk everywhere! Savings from this can really add up if you’re travelling long-term. Obviously on long journey’s you may have to get a bus or train but anything within a few miles we’ll usually walk. We enjoy walking and find it’s a great way to get your bearings in a new place. You can also stop whenever you like to take photos and explore. If you can save a few £’s each day on transport it will soon add up.
There are a few things to remember if you are planning on walking a lot:
1) Bring drinking water and snacks – You’ll always need something to drink especially if you’re in a hot country! Water can be expensive to buy too so we always try to bring a bottle each with us when we leave the house. You can also find water fountains to top up in some cities so keep an eye out for these. We usually bring something to eat too, it saves money on buying lunch out and also means you don’t have to search for somewhere to eat.
2) Know where you are going – I’m usually the one in charge of directions and luckily haven’t taken us too far off into the wilderness yet. I try to have a good idea of where we are going in my head before we set out. Google maps is obviously helpful but a physical map is a great backup in case your phone dies while you’re out and about.
3) Wear comfortable shoes – If you’re going to be walking all day the last thing you need is sore feet and blisters.
3. Free Attractions
We always search out free attractions wherever we go. Nearly all big cities will have loads of free things to see and do that won’t cost you a penny! Lisa has written about our favourite free things to do in Melbourne already and we’ll be doing lots more posts like this for the places we visit in future.
It’s always a good idea to check local events websites for any free events that might be going on. One of my favourites was the halloween open-air cinema event in Singapore called Under the Banyan Tree. This was totally free and a great way to spend our final night in Singapore.
I should say that we don’t avoid paying for any attractions. If there’s something we really want to do then we’re quite happy to pay for it. It’s always worth checking out the free things first though, you might not need to pay at all!
When we’re not HelpXing we love to use airbnb for accommodation. They’re often cheaper, cleaner and better equipped than hostels. You can usually buy your own food from a supermarket and use the hosts kitchen to cook dinner which saves you even more. Most hosts we’ve had have been really helpful, with everything from offering information about the area to going out of their way to pick us up when we were stranded (thanks Susie!)
The website and app are both well made and really easy to use. We’d recommend checking out reviews carefully before picking somewhere to stay though. They will give you a better idea of things like transport, local amenities and let you know if there are any problems with the house or the area.
You can sign up to airbnb here to get £16 off your first booking!
Disclaimer: We get £16 off too if you sign up and book with the link below. This makes no difference to our opinions on airbnb though, we love it!
5. Supermarket shopping
This is more Australia specific than the others but it’s saved us a lot of money! We’ve only eaten out twice since arriving in Australia. While in Asia you can get good food for very cheap prices it’s rare to find a decent meal for less than 10AUD each here. To save on food costs we’ve been buying food at local supermarkets and cooking for ourselves at our accommodation. You can quite easily cook some tasty meals with basic ingredients and we’ve found that all of the Airbnbs we’ve used have had the facilities for us to cook for ourselves.
The most important thing about saving and trying to stay on a tight budget is to not get overwhelmed by it and stop enjoying yourself. We are travelling first and foremost to experience new things, meet new people and make memories that will last a lifetime, there’s no point missing out on that because we spent all our time worrying about money. Try to strike a balance between splashing out on the things you really want to do and saving money in areas that aren’t so important. It’s different for everyone!
Do you have any money saving tips of your own? Have you got any stories to share? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!