17 Tips to Help Your Travel Money Take you Further

17 Tips to Help Your Travel Money Take you Further

Making a life from travel is a) not a wise financial move, b) totally absurd and c) something we are really good at. For the past 3 years we have been living a life of world travel, steering our already off-the-wall lives into a singular focus- to travel… continuously.

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To all long-term travellers, money is the bane of their existence. It’s the one irritant that we all share and deal with in wholly unique ways. Often on our travels, when a group of bumbling-about backpackers get together it’s a union, a circle of flowing ideas, tips and advice, a melting pot of ’secret ingredients’ that keeps us on the road for longer.

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We are not the cheapest travellers, we are not here to help you scrimp or tell you that if you only eat rice and never buy a bottle of wine you will be able to travel indefinitely. But we can help your budget go further by sharing several ideas that have kept us on the road adventuring and exploring for over 6 years.

 


We travel to do things, we travel to see things and above all, we travel to have a good experience. So if you have a similar outlook, these 17 tips will help your travel money take you further.


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.1. Don’t be afraid to eat local

Eating local in Central America, Asia and many other places around the World will halve your food bill… at least! Often only a few roads away from built up tourist areas, eateries will have substantially lower prices alongside great quality local food. If you fear getting sick, simply follow the locals and head to places which are busy and go with the flow. Keep a look out where bus drivers and cab drivers eat- they are usually spot on!

 

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.2. Take people up on their offer

How often do you meet people abroad and they say “when you’re in my area get in touch, you can crash at ours for a few nights.” Take them up on their offer.

 

.3. House sit

We’ve recently been house sitting our way around the UK on an ‘Ultimate British Road Trip’. We are spending less that £100 per person per week for groceries, fuel, a car and accommodation and it’s all thanks to house sitting. We compare house sitting websites and prices in our blog post ‘Our 11 favourite travel tools of 2017

 

.4. Learn a little of the language

Speaking and understanding even the most basic of phrases will encourage you to travel and eat locally. Fearing communication with a local will merely steer you towards the more western/expensive eateries or transport modes.

 

.5. Get to grips with bartering

It might give you the shivers to squabble over a few pennies but bartering is mandatory throughout the globe. It will not only promote respect from the locals but also deliver cheaper deals and a bit of a laugh.

 

.6. Take a picnic

If eating local means expensive meals like in some parts of Europe and Australia, then a few baguettes with cheese and tomato will help keep costs down and perhaps increase the romance of your trip, Ha!

 

.7. Read Travel Blogs

Travel bloggers are there for a reason, make use of them. We bloggers have the most up-to-date information regarding transport costs, local scams and pitfalls, budget accommodations and do-it-yourself travel information.

 

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.8. Find a crew

A website focused on partnering ships with crew mates regardless of your ability. You can contribute towards costs or score a trip for free if you become a competent crew member. Cooks, deckhands and lookouts are all needed. Not only is your transport cheap but you will visit some seriously unique places, learn new skills and have one serious adventure. Becks crewed 2 sail boats for 5 months reaching Papua New Guinea, Palau, Micronesia and Philippines from Cairns, Australia. The first vessel she sailed for free in return for manual labour prior to leaving and the second was a contribution of $20 a day to cover food and fuel, an experience she will tell you was second to none.

 

.9. Don’t be afraid to go without

Becks and I will never deny an adventure if our heart is set on it, no matter what the cost. However a couple of nights away from alcohol can equate to a few nights accommodation (unless you’re into the local brew… it’s usually cheaper than water!)

 

.10. Look around for accommodation

Hostelworld, Hostelbookers and Lastminute.com may not always be the cheapest option but Agoda and booking.com have some awesome deals closer to the date of arrival.

 

.11. Flexibility

This is a big one. The more flexible you are the better the deals you can get on fights. Not only be flexible on dates, but destinations too. Skyscanner has a search tool that allows you to select From: ‘Anywhere’ and To: ‘Anywhere’ or From: ‘Europe’ (any airport) To: ‘Anywhere’. In 2014 alone we picked up £50 flights (one way) to Iceland from the UK, £20 flights to Portugal from the UK, £200 flights to Turkey from Indonesia and £250 flights to Mexico from the UK.

 

Skyscanner also allows you to check prices for the ‘whole month’ – if you’re flexible you can hold off a few days/weeks for a much cheaper airfare. Our flight to Cancun, Mexico from the UK was 1 of 2 flights that cost £250 during the month of February with the rest of the flights costing £600.

 

17 Tips to Help Your Travel Money Take you Further, Straight On Detour

 

.12. Try Hitchhiking

It’s not something we do all the time but if we feel safe and are not in rush to get somewhere, we don’t hesitate to jumping in the back of a ute or the front seat of a truck. We saved $300 on transport by hitching in western China and created some of the best travel memories and stories to date.

 

.13. Use your skills

We have met many travellers that use their skills to save money, ourselves included. If you’re good at art maybe you can score a few nights of accommodation in a hostel in return for painting a mural. Maybe you can use your dive certification to guide a group of divers in return for a free dive trip, or play your guitar at a hostel for free food/accommodation. If you have the knack for photography it’s possible to get some discounts on tours in return for some promotional pictures of the tour? You don’t know if you don’t ask.

 

.14. Don’t shrug off the locals touting you at the bus station

Those men shoving signs in your face and beckoning you to book tours with them are highly annoying after a 12hour bus journey. BUT, often they are promoting cheap accommodation, transport or tours which isn’t yet advertised or that’s overshadowed by the guidebook recommendations. If you can’t face them at the time ask for a business card and contact them later on.

 

.15. Slow down your travels

Slowing down your travel can only mean you travel smarter. With less travel days you will only be feeling more refreshed, enthusiastic and calm and thus less tired and less likely to crave western comforts that come as a higher price. You will have more patience to haggle over prices or to choose a local bus over a tourist bus.

 

.16. Get to grips with the public transport

Do a little research, read some travel blogs and find out about how the locals travel. Braving local buses will not only get you closer to the locals but will also be much cheaper than taking a tourist bus.

 

.17. Keep your money in a high interest account until you need it

Whilst you have money, keep your savings in a high interest account until you need it. Even if you only receive $40 a month interest, it’s still essentially free money.

 

17 Tips to Help Your Travel Money Take you Further, Straight On Detour

 

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Tips From Other Travellers

.18. Couch Surfing

“It doesn’t cost a thing and you meet so many wonderful local people who share the same interests in travel” – Gabrielle, The Gobe Wanderers

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.19. Camping

Although it can be pain to carry a tent, Katie from Feathery Travels saved so much money in South America camping and would recommend it to any adventure goer who is looking to get off the beaten track and have a little more freedom.

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As long-term travellers we see the importance of how far our money goes. We understand that without money, we cannot travel.  These 17 tips will surely make your pennies last longer but not only that, they are also likely to enrich your experience within a country and with its people and let’s be honest, what makes greater travel memories than that.

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If you have any more advice, we would love to hear from you. Write them in the comments section below and we will be sure to add a link to you from our world travel blog.

 

 

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Written by

Prue Sinclair is a twenty-eight year old Aussie who for the past seven years has been exploring the furthermost reaches of the World. Living anywhere but her homeland, she now resides somewhere in the UK where she writes about the adventures of her Ultimate British Road Trip. Her message is simple: You can get anywhere on any budget, you just need to think outside the box. You can trust she’s finding her way to somewhere lesser-known and writing a ‘How To’ guide.

14 Comments
  • Really, really great advice. I would have said more or less the same things myself with the addition of camping. Although it’s a pain to carry a tent, we saved so much money in South America and it gave us the freedom to be away from towns too. 🙂

  • Great list! if I ever decide to travel for longer, I will come back to your tips for sure, haha! I do wonder how on Earth did you manage to get a flight to Mexico for £250??? I am on a look out for one for us in February next year, but I think we will need to be perhaps more flexible with our dates, since the prices now are very, very, very high! Well, going to keep looking until I find one 🙂

    • Hey Monika, thanks for reading! hahaha we did well on those flights 🙂 You may have already tried this but on sky scanner selection United Kingdom (everywhere) to Mexico (anywhere) … Our 250 pound flights were from manchester to Cancun.. Also something we do is have a look at flights 3 days from now, 7 days from now, 2 weeks from now, 1 months from now…. often you can find a pattern and predict when the cheapest flights will come on sale (however don’t get caught out like we have done – make sure you know when the school holidays are on!). Hope that helps – and pretty excited you are going to Mexico! It’s pretty damn cool!

      Kind regards,

      Prue

  • […] just by using some basic guidelines while you are travelling on the road. We incorporated Prue’s 17 Tips to Help Your Travel Money Take You Further and by doing so were less likely to have our money swallowed up doing nothing but were more able to […]

  • Love all of this! I definitely want to look into the whole “finding a crew”. I’ve heard it’s great experience, and eventually I’d love to work on a yacht or something.

    • Hey David, find a crew is really worth looking into and you can gain skills for free. Work your way up and eventually get paid to crew! It’s just a matter of finding a good captain 😛

  • Brilliant post – very good read. Love the hitchhiking tip. I hitchhiked to Africa a few years back and it was definitely one of the most exciting, rewarding and memorable things I’ve ever done. I know you’ve mentioned house sitting but I’d also hugely recommend couchsurfing. It doesn’t cost a thing and you meet so many wonderful local people who share the same interests in travel. 🙂 great blog – look forward to reading more.

    • Gabrielle, great tip! We have only used couch surfing a handful of times but would certainly consider doing more to save some pennies. I added your tip in with a link to your homepage. Hope that’s ok 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

      Kind regards, Prue

  • blazeyouradventure says:

    Amazing tips. I especially relate to the “Slow down your travels” bit. Makes complete sense that driving your body to fatigue correlates to overspending. I’m guilty of opting for comfort and paying dearly for it later!

    • Us too! On the bus when I wrote this blog I was really racking my brains, looking for things we do subconsciously that equate to spending more money. This one was a surprise, but it true hey! Thanks for reading!

  • Where’s the section about packing your bag using packing cells?! There’s another useful topic 😉

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Hi we're Prue and Becks, travel writers and photographers who have been travelling the world together since 2012. Without taking ourselves too seriously, we divulge the lesser known, out of the way places and give you the tools to replicate it. Want to know more? Click on our pic.