Let’s face it: no one likes to overspend. In this guide, we will tell you some of the cheapest and easy ways to travel for less. Use these tips to save money, time as well as hassles involved in international travel.
1. Use user generated review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor
These are up-to-date and can help you get the latest insights about hotel, local places to see/dine in or avoid and also local information of any place you are visiting. You could also talk to friends and colleagues who have traveled to these places. Use social media and connect with friends on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social sites in any part of the world who can offer reliable and customized advice. Some of these could also put you in touch with a wider travel community so you can network and find best lodging/travel deals. This is easily one of cheapest ways to travel.
2. Use guidebooks
Guidebooks can be an excellent resource for your travel. Make sure that the guidebook you select is updated recently and focuses on the aspects of your destination that interest you the most. You need not buy the guidebook; spend some time at your local library to take a quick look through the LonelyPlanet guides.
3. Do price shopping for lodging-boarding
Expert travelers recommend using sites like Kayak or Expedia to shop for prices. You need not make the reservation immediately- these sites are only to give you a rough estimate as to what the price range is for low end, middle end and high end hotels/lodges is.
4. Use preferred Guest Programs of hotels
Because you can literally stay as free guest in hotels like Starwood, Sheraton, Le Meridien etc using these programs. Look for redemption programs that require low amount of points. Many hotels cater to business travelers and are actually known to need lower points for weekends. So you can even get low points redemption for weekends if you shop around.
5. Some more money saving tips for lodging
Many travelers check into hostels and dorms where breakfast and Wi-Fi is included in the price. This is one of the easy ways to travel the world for cheap. Hostels.com is a good site to find cheap hostels and you can even read reviews before booking. Alternatively, book two bedroom suites instead of 2 separate rooms as these are often cheaper. For corporate travel, ask for corporate discounts. Also, if you are planning to stay for several nights, try and negotiate a deal with the hotel directly.
6. Traveler exchange programs and sites
You could also network with travelers from around the world for a travel exchange program. Sites like Couchsurfing.com and HospitalityExchange (for older travelers) allow you to register free of charge so you can view listings of people from all around the world willing to host travelers for free in exchange for housing in your home. Yes-it is one of the easy ways to travel the world cheap and it is safe as well.
7. Fly red-eye flights
Most fliers are unable to catch some zzzzs anyway; so flying red-eye flights turns out to be extremely economical and also allows a more natural sleep cycle.
8. Cheap ways to travel Europe
Traveling to Europe and wish to save some money? The trick is to fly into one of the intermediate cities like Dublin or Amsterdam and then flying into your destination in Europe. You can find airlines that are on the brink of bankruptcy so that you can get the cheapest flight instead of paying tons of money to fly directly to the city you want to go. Airlines like Aer Lingus are known for their poor service as well as cheaper rates and can help you easily travel to Europe cheap. Fares are also calculated based on local taxes-so taxes at Heathrow Airport are more than as are several airports in the United States. So make sure you determine the taxes before you book your flights. Other sites for budget airline tickets in Europe are Ryan Air, EasyJet and AttitudeTravel. When booking budget airlines, always use your credit card-so, in case the company disappears, you can at least get your money back.
9. Use common sense
This is one of the most important pieces of advice when you are looking for easy ways to travel the world cheap. If something appears too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. Often in your zeal for saving money on your dream vacation, common sense goes out of the window. You will be amazed to know the amount of money and hassles you can save just by using common sense.
10. To use or not to use travel agents?
This is one question that plagues the minds of people looking for cheapest ways to travel anywhere. The three rules to remember when deciding whether to use travel agents or not are: 1) you need professional arrangements 2) when your itinerary is complex, 3) when you are traveling for special occasions like an anniversary cruise, destination wedding, honeymoon etc. Make sure you shop around for rates before enlisting their services.
11. Get your papers in order
Papers include visas, passports and in some cases, even vaccination records. Hotels also need identification papers. Also find out the driving license requirements. Do read up on documents required for specific countries. Some South American countries, for example, need you to pay entry, exit or reciprocity fees. Sometimes, these fees are in dollars, other times, they may be in local currencies. So make sure you have these in hand.
12. Stay healthy and safe
Watch out for information pertaining to the place of your travel. Danger can lurk on any corner, so make sure you are prepared and safe. Be especially aware of pickpockets and robberies. Best that you avoid taking your pricey items. Carry a credit card and traveler’s checks. Stay safe in areas having animals like stray dogs, monkeys etc. If you are going to places having mob demonstrations, stay away from large crowds. Always be on your guard and stay away from scammers. Carry your prescription medicine and take all routine medications on time. If needed, get a complete health check up done before you travel. This is one of the important and easy ways to travel the world cheap.
13. Cheap easy fast meals
Cooking your own food can be one of the easy ways to save money when you travel. Look for homesteads and travel lodges that allow you to cook your meals. You can literally save hundreds of dollars per day by cooking your own meals. Alternatively, look for places where locals eat. Street food, where hygienic, is also one of the easy ways to save on meals.
14. Get refundable bookings where possible
Everything from travel to lodging can be done on a refundable basis. This is especially recommended for people who have high probability of canceling their bookings due to uncertainty in personal situation. Flights, tours, restaurant bookings are all refundable. Of course; the refund reduces as you get closer to the dates. Your credit card company may also give reimbursement for cancellations. If your credit card has high rewards, perks etc, then it might even offer you travel insurance.
15. Tips to save on local transport
Car rentals are not always the best ways to travel cheap. Car rental companies often push you into buying insurance, or offer you GPS, full-tank etc. These are not necessary and it is best you refuse these perks. Instead use local transport. In Europe, many countries offer a single tram/bus ticket for three days of unlimited travel. This is one of the easy ways to travel in Europe for less.
16. Saving on communication
If you want to communicate with family back home, you could use a local SIM card, or get roaming plans on your phone. You can also buy pre-paid SIM card or go in for Internet Communication via Whatsapp, Skype etc.
Use these 16 tips and cut your expenses when traveling by nearly one fourth. When the financial worries are put to rest, you can enjoy your vacation and not worry about coming home to an empty bank account.