If you’re travelling the world, there’s a good chance you'll be trying to keep the trip going as long as humanly (and financially) possible. Or it might be that you're not due home for another month, but with the way you’re spending your money will only last you another week. Maybe you haven’t even left yet but saving for the trip hasn’t quite gone as well as you planned.
If you find yourself in one of the above situations, you’re going to want to cut down on your travel spending in a big way.
Fortunately, it’s super easy to save money when you’re on the road. The majority of your money is likely being spent on accommodation and getting around, so if you’re willing to cut down on a few luxuries you could potentially stay abroad for months on end.
1. Forget hotels
If you’re serious about saving coin, then you can forget about hotels right now. There are so many cheaper options out there designed for travellers on a budget.
With a good crew you can find some absolute gems on Airbnb just about anywhere in the world. The further from the city centre you stay, the cheaper it will be. Consider staying on the outskirts of town and splitting an Uber or cab into the city when you want to explore.
If you’re flying solo, bunk up in the biggest dorm room the cheapest hostel in town has to offer and get ready to meet some characters. For the more adventurous, you could even consider camping or Couchsurfing.
2. Fly cheap
If you don’t mind compromising on comfort, there are some seriously cheap airfares around. Just be careful they don’t catch you with sneaky extras like paid check-in baggage and booking fees.
Sure, you might have an 8-hour layover, 3 connections to make and your legroom may be virtually non-existent, but what’s one day of being uncomfortable in exchange for an extra $200 that could potentially fund an entire extra week on the road?
3. Research all of your transport options
Transport in each country is different, so do some googling before you arrive. Is Uber the cheapest way around, or by train? Should you get a continent-wide rail pass, or fly between destinations? If you’re staying somewhere for a while, maybe you should buy a second-hand bike or even hire a car. Some countries have their own ride-sharing platforms too, such as BlaBlaCar in Europe.
4. Consider getting a van
Don’t just hire one. Buy one. Live in it. And when you leave, sell it. Now instead of paying for accommodation, train tickets, flights, Ubers, and buses, you’re paying for one thing: fuel.
5. Get to know a place
You don’t need to jump from city to city every three days—not only is it tiring, but it costs a mint getting around. Chill out a bit. Spend more time in each place you visit, see some of the lesser-known sights and cut down on your travel costs in doing so.
6. Cook your own food
Of course, you should try the local cuisines—it’s an essential part of travel and an essential part of experiencing new cultures. But do you really need to eat like the locals for all three meals a day? You’d be shocked how much money you can save if you start cooking your own stuff in the hostel kitchenette.
7. Do everything in groups
Alone time is great, but so is saving money. Share your Ubers, share your accommodation, cook together, buy group entry passes. Skip the guided tours, find some like-minded people, hire a car for the day and split the costs.
8. Work while you travel.
Sure, your visa might not let you work for money, but who said you had to be paid for your work? Hostels regularly employ travellers to help out for a few hours a day in exchange for a bed and if you’re lucky, maybe even some food. There are also other options like WWOOFing that will set you up with accommodation and food in exchange for volunteer farm work.
If you’re keen to get a visa, there’s a heap of gap year programs out there that’ll set you up with a job and accommodation so you can earn some dosh while you’re travelling. The kind of work depends on where in the world you wanna go, but you could try teaching English, pub work, or living and working on a ski resort.