Whether you like to see historical sights, relax at sandy beaches, or simply immerse yourself in a new location, traveling can be an incredible experience. But for many, it can also be an expensive experience. Fortunately, there are many life hacks you can use for cheaper travel.
You can easily reduce everything from your flights to your accommodation to your daily costs with a little know-how. These tips will save you plenty of cash on every trip, which you can then use toward your next holiday. Here are 10 of the best life hacks for cheaper travel.
- Leave The Checked Luggage Behind
One of the best ways to make all of your trips cheaper is to learn how to pack light. Many airlines make you pay extra for checked luggage or even for a heavy carry-on bag. As such, learning how to pack everything in a small space will save you a huge chunk of money.
Even if you like to take plenty of clothes and toiletries, you can still get by with just a small carry-on bag. High-quality travel backpacks such as the Aer Travel Pack 2, eBags Mother Lode, or Tortuga Setout are designed to fit all you need and more. Stuff your clothes into packing cubes and you’ll be shocked at how much you can take without having to use a suitcase.
- Try Uber and Ridesharing
Taking trains, buses, and taxis while you’re traveling can add up quickly. Fortunately, there are plenty of alternative transport options. Many people use Uber and Lyft to get cheaper fares on short rides. For longer distances, you might want to try ridesharing.
Ridesharing apps like BlaBlaCar and Poparide allow you to buy a seat on a journey someone is already taking. This is especially useful if you’re traveling between cities or taking a trip to a popular tourist, especially as it’s generally much cheaper than a train or taxi.
In popular cities like London, pre booking your airport transfer is often the best way to save money and for airports like Heathrow Airport a comparison service like Airport Transfers UK would be a sensible option for value transfer options.
- Find Cheap Local Food Spots
When you’re looking for something to eat while you’re traveling, you’ll want to avoid overpriced restaurants in touristy areas. If you want to save some money, you can find plenty of cheap yet delicious local food spots.
Try exploring local neighborhoods outside of the main tourist areas to find the best affordable cafes, restaurants, and takeaways. Alternatively, ask locals for their best recommendations on where to eat without spending too much.
- Use Airbnb
Airbnb is one of the best options for those traveling on a budget. Not only will you usually find much cheaper nightly costs than you would with a hotel, but you can also benefit from helpful hosts and extra amenities such as free laundry facilities.
Private rooms usually give you great value for your money, but you can also find entire apartments for cheap on Airbnb. You can also get huge discounts if you book for a long-term stay, especially if you plan to stay for a month or more.
- Check Different Dates
If you want the best travel deals, you need to be flexible with your travel dates. Make sure that, whenever you’re booking accommodation, try shifting the dates around by a few days to find the cheapest option. Platforms like Airbnb make this easy with flexible search options.
You can also find cheaper flights by checking different dates. For instance, you might find that a flight is £50.00 cheaper if you fly one day before or after. Figure out how to get the best savings on your accommodation and flights before you decide on a specific date.
- Check Different Airports
Another handy life hack for cutting costs on a trip is to check closeby airports for both your origin and destination. This is highly dependent on where you’re traveling from or traveling to, but in some cases, you could end up cutting your flight costs significantly.
For example, let’s say you’re traveling from New York to London. You might find that a flight from JFK to Gatwick is 20% cheaper than Newark to Heathrow, for example. And since these airports are close, the difference in getting to and from the airports is minimal. You can apply this same principle to many cities and countries around the world.
- Travel in the Low Season
Sometimes finding the cheapest trips is all about when you travel. That means you should do a little research into when your chosen destination is the least busy and plan your travels accordingly.
For instance, those who want to take a summer trip to Spain might want to wait until September or October. The weather will still be warm, but the tourist hotspots will be less busy and, as such, flights and hotels will be cheaper and easier to find.
- Use an International Card
One of the expenses that often catches people off guard when they’re traveling is the cost of exchanging currency. You’ll either have to exchange your money at a currency exchange or withdraw money at an international ATM, both of which come with extra charges. However, there is another option.
Many credit and debit cards now allow you to withdraw money internationally. These are excellent options for those who travel regularly and don’t want to deal with the cost of currency exchange. You can also order a Transferwise card which allows you to instantly convert your money and use it all over the world.
- Ditch Overpriced Tourist Activities
Every tourist hotspot has a few well-known sights and activities that are known to entice visitors. Take, for example, the London Eye, the World Trade Center in New York, or the CN Tower in Toronto. Although these are good experiences, they’re generally overpriced.
You can often save money on tourist activities by buying the designated tourist card in your chosen destination. Alternatively, you could skip the overhyped tourist activities and find affordable local activities instead. You can save the money you’d spend on one of these attractions and use it for a food tour or a day trip instead.
- Cut Unnecessary Costs
It’s easy to get carried away when you’re on holiday. But if you want to save more money and travel more often, you need to learn to cut unnecessary costs. That means spending less on fancy restaurants, souvenirs, and anything else that ramps up your expenses.
Which costs you should cut out is completely up to you. You might even want to keep a trip budget and decide how to allocate your money appropriately. That way, you can save money and still get the most out of your trip.
Next time you’re planning a trip, remember to make use of these life hacks. You’ll still have an amazing holiday without your wallet taking such a big hit. You’ll also save more money to travel in the future, leading to even more amazing vacations.