52 Ways to Save Money on Travel

How to save money on travel is one of the most common questions we get asked.

It’s a great question. Luckily for us, and you, we have some suggestions.

Like us, most people we know include travel high on their priority list each year, as they want to get away from life’s routines and create precious memories. But most people don’t have money trees growing in their back yards – if you do, what’s your address??

The other common question that comes up a lot is how do we get out of debt so we can travel more?

Unfortunately, we’ve been there too, and it’s not a nice place to be. Thanks to our friend Jeremy Branham that challenge was discussed here with some great insights.

Whilst increased competition between airlines and the ever growing accommodation options has helped lower travel costs, more and more people are finding themselves with less disposable income to play with each year.

Where’s the fun in that?

Go ice skating at Bryant Park - things to do in New York at Christmas
Ice skating Bryant Park, NYC

We have a motto – Travel more. Create better memories – it’s something we are very passionate about and have been following that travel motto for the past 15 years, first solo, then as a couple, and now as a traveling family.

Some people honestly think we are millionaires being able to travel as much as we do, if only.

But it’s mostly been about making smart choices, having different priorities, and using certain strategies to save money as we go.

As they say, a dollar saved is a dollar earned and it’s better off in your pocket than theirs. Why pay more when you don’t have to!

These 52 ideas to save money on travel will be obvious to some of you, but if you’re new to travel and new to our site, I’m sure you will appreciate the heads up on a few strategies to help you save money on the road.

1. Use the Free Days

Such a simple tip I know but simple is always good. Visit museums or tourist sites on FREE days or when they are discounted.

Before you go anywhere, make sure you look on their website to find out if they offer free visiting hours or discounts.

2. Talk to the Locals

This is how we travel. We love getting insider tips from locals. It can go a long way to good advice, a friendship and even a discount. A good ice-breaker is to ask for directions or simple advice (“where’s a good restaurant?”).

3. Spend More Time in Fewer Places

We LOVE slow travel. Instead of racing from one end of a country to another, or tearing through 6 countries in 6 weeks, get to know a region well.

Undertaking too many flights, bus trips, train journeys and driving long distances can really eat into your budget. So slow down, take more in, and discover all the cool free stuff. (It’s also one of our travel manifesto must.)

4. Be Flexible with Your Flight Dates

If possible, give yourself the best chance to capture any of the cheap flights when the prices fluctuate by searching a couple of days, or even weeks, either side of your preferred departure date.

Flying to Hawaii from Australia with Hawaiian Airlines
Flying to Hawaii with Hawaiian Airlines

A few flight search engines we like using include:

  • Skyscanner – provides instant comparison on flight prices for over 600,000 routes.
  • Kayak – another meta search site that compares hundreds of sites at once.
  • Vayama – specialises in cheap international flights.

Read More: How to save money and time on flights using Skyscanner

5. Adjust Your Times for Flying

Flying at unpopular hours, such as the red-eye or early in the AM increases your chance of getting discounted flights.

6. Fly on a Midweek Day

Tuesdays and Wednesdays are usually the cheapest times, and try and avoid holiday periods.

Check more tips on finding cheap flights.

7. Go Directly to the Airline Website

Once you have looked at all the flight search websites and found the cheapest price, as a LAST resort go direct to that airlines own website.

Many of the airlines have lower fares that you can only get when you book online at their site, or buy an e-ticket.

8. Join a Frequent Flyer Program

Earn points towards cheaper fares, upgrades, and free companion tickets. It may take a while to accumulate points, but they CAN pay off big time.

I once used my points to fly round trip from the United States to South Africa.

9. Use Your Age

Ask about student discounts at STA Travel. (if only to be young again!)

10. Stay More Than 1 Night

Many hotels, hostels and certainly apartments provide their best deals when you stay over more than one night. A few sites we like to search on include:

  • Booking.com – is our first choice for accommodation. They have over 800,000 properties world wide including hotels, apartments and hostels. You get free cancellation on most rooms and a best price guarantee.

11. Call the Hotel Directly

A last minute phone call directly to a hotel, or hostel, asking about cheap rooms can prove fruitful. They don’t like having empty rooms so will discount.

Read More: 18 Killer Tips for finding Cheap Accommodation

12. Stay over Sunday

Many hotels receive Friday-Saturday night bookings from leisure travelers and Monday-Friday bookings from business travelers, so there can be a void on Sunday nights and again they may discount.

13. Sign Up for e-Mail Notifications

The best airfare and hotel sales can go largely unannounced.

Sign up for your favourite travel brands e-Newsletters. Special promotion codes can save you money and you can also be notified of last minute deals in this way.

14. Follow on Social Media

Go and “like” your favorite travel sites on facebook and “follow” them on twitter. It’s getting more common for travel companies to release hot deals directly through their social media channels.

15. e-Newsletter Deals

We are subscribed to a few e-newsletter’s that produce a list of current deals available on the net for any given time period.

  • Travel Zoo– Subscribe to their weekly FREE newsletter of their Top 20 deals – editions for different countries.
  • Deal Base – Sign up for there free deal alerts. They have deals of unadvertised sales and offers you won’t find anywhere else.

16. Rent an Apartment

Apartments are the BOMB for families or those looking for extra living space and a kitchen so you can save on food.

AirBnB is a good way to get low-cost vacation rentals and sublets from locals in 180 countries. Why Airbnb is a great vacation rental option for families.

Booking.com also has a large selection of apartments.

17. Use Hotel Reward Programs

INNSIDE New York Nomad Hotel
INNSIDE New York Nomad – our favorite NYC hotel

Many brands have them and you can get perks like free nights or room upgrades. The Hotels.com welcome rewards program gives you one free night for every 10 booked through them.

18. Check for Family Deals

Always ask about discounted rates, free meals for children, and an upgrade at check in – they can only say no.

19. Use Coupons

Do your research to find travel discounts and coupons for the areas you are visiting. Check out the brochure shelf in the lobby of your hotel.

Visit the local tourist information offices for free maps and ideas.

Use the following:

  • Tourist booklets and brochures.
  • Back of supermarket receipts.
  • Websites (local tourist boards and businesses and coupon sites).

20. Use Credit Card Reward Points

Check the program and benefits for your particular credit card, you might be able to use your points for accommodation costs and frequent flyer points.

We currently have an AMEX card that gives us three Qantas points for every dollar spent.

To become a pro and get a deep understanding of how to accumulate and use points for flights, go and learn from these guys – The Points Guy

21. Stay in Hostels and Guesthouses

A great option for budget accommodation but they are not for everyone, and we have written a post about our tips for staying in hostels. Hostels are usually well located allowing you to walk and save on transport.

  • In Australia consider a YHA Membership and get 10% discounts.
  • Search hostels worldwide at Hostel Zoo – a free hostel comparison site.

22. Couch Surf

A great way to meet locals for a drink, a tour, and accommodation is by Couchsurfing. It connects travelers with local people in various cities that offer members a place to sleep.


WWOOF or WWOOFING stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It is a world wide network of organisations and they link volunteers with organic farmers. In return for volunteer help, WWOOF hosts offer food, accommodation and opportunities to learn about organic lifestyles. Learn more here.

24. House Sitting

Make yourself at home with a spot of house-sitting.

House sitters provide their pet and house sitting services for free in exchange for the privilege of accommodation in the owner’s home. What a great way to save money on travel! Read more tips on housesitting here. 

25. Do a Home Exchange

The home exchange strategy is possibly best for families or retired people who are looking to base themselves in another country or state for an agreed period of time. Just like the name suggests, you stay in their house whilst they stay in yours.

26. VRBO – Vacation Rentals By Owner

Vacation Rentals By Owner was founded by owners who self-manage their second homes.

Vacation rentals can sometimes offer more value, space and privacy to hotels. VRBO provide an online space for homeowners to advertise their vacation properties – 130,000+ rentals in over 100 countries worldwide.

Check out these amazing vacation rental near Disney World in Orlando we stayed in

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel

27. Go Camping

Gilbert Ray campground Tucson Mountains
Camping in Tucson, Arizona

Camp in a National Park, or an RV park, or on the beach.

You’ve got to be prepared for roughing it a little, but hey camping is probably your cheapest option.

Read More: Here are our tips for tent camping + fun stories from around the world

28. Sleep While Traveling

When travelling by plane, train, or bus, try and time it so you are traveling at night. That way, you don’t have to pay for a night’s accommodation.

29. Attend Time Share Presentations

Not our favourite strategy – these can be aggressive sale pitches of 90 minutes or more, but just say no at the end and thank you for the free accommodation for your troubles.

Over the years we have had free accommodation in Turkey, Daytona Beach, Orlando, and Key West.

30. Walk as Much as You Can Walk.

Walking across the pedestrian bridge in Nashville
Walking across the pedestrian bridge in Nashville

Get active and see things at a slower pace – walking is FREE. You can experience more just by wandering around a city and getting lost, talking with locals, and people watching.

Explore local markets, wander and take photos, or even hike to the top of a hill for an awesome view.

31. Rent a Bike

Cheap price, more comfy than a bus, slightly faster pace than walking..

32. Travel Like the Locals

Use public transport where possible. You get great knowledge and insight by hanging with the locals, it costs you less, and is a more authentic travelling experience. We have done this extensively in Africa and Asia.

Listen to our crazy stories traveling this way in Uganda, Africa.

33. Share Transport Costs

When you do travel by other means, try and share a car with another traveller. Also, sharing an Uber, mini-van, and tours etc are all more cost-effective when there’s a group of travelers to split the costs.

34. Eat out for Breakfast, Lunch or Brunch

Try and avoid dinner as restaurants raise prices. OR, have brunch instead of 3 meals a day.

Many restaurants offer lunch specials where items on the dinner menu are offered for a fraction of the cost you’d pay in the evening.

35. Eat Away from the Tourist Streets

Just go one street or one block over and it will usually be much cheaper and more authentic!

36. Have Picnics and BBQ’s

Purchase food in a local grocery store or a market and arrange a picnic in one of the city’s parks with great views. We’ve had picnics in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, New York’s Central Park, and BBQ’s world wide.

37. Self-Cater Where You Can

We make self-contained accommodation with kitchen facilities a priority. Purchasing your own supplies and cooking-in can save you big bucks – unless you are in Asia where eating out is incredibly cheap.

And take your own food on flights, buses and trains where practical.

38. Have Breakfast Included

When booking a hotel or hostel look for one with breakfast included.

39. Eat Street Food

The real reason you should eat street food is because it’s cheap, you help the locals, and it’s safe  – you can see what is actually being cooked and is cooked fresh right in front of you. Pay attention to where the locals eat and what is popular.

Eat Street Food - 52 Ways on How to save money on Travel
Cheap street food in Thailand

Here’s why you should eat street food AND our favorite street food places in Bangkok.

40. Drink in Before Going Out

Just like eating, purchase your alcohol from a store. Then, take advantage of any happy hours and don’t drink expensive import stuff – give the local stuff a go.

41. Leave your ATM Card at Home

When out partying or out for dinner, only take a certain amount of cash, once it’s gone it’s gone. Your pocket, and your head, will thank you in the morning.

42. Bargain – it’s expected in many countries

But don’t over bargain. 50 cents is nothing to you, but may mean a days worth of meals to the person you are haggling with.

43. Pre-Paid Travel Money Cards

Using pre-paid travel money cards can save you on transaction fees and currency conversion rates (you can lock in a conversion rate) and is a safe and convenient way to carry your money.

44. Shopping

Shop for souvenirs, clothes and food where the locals shop. Look for weekend markets and outlet stores.

45. Laundry

Wash as much of your laundry as you can by yourself by hand, instead of pumping money through laundromats or using expensive hotel laundry services. Better still, stay in apartments that have washing machines included.

46. Free Phone Calls

Vonage Moblie has an app that allows for free talk, text, and photo sharing worldwide, available on iPhone and Android.

If you have access to the internet here are two great options:

  • Skype is an internet based phone service that lets you call other Skype users around the world for FREE. Just get a web cam.
  • Whatsapp also is a way to make free phone calls.

47. Internet Access

When booking accommodation one of the first things we look for is free WiFi. In cities and towns seek out free wifi spots at cafes, libraries and hot spots.

48. How Strong is Your Currency?

Think about traveling to countries where your currency is stronger and you will get more bang-for-your-buck.

For us as Australian’s, Asia, the Pacific Islands, New Zealand, and South Africa. The USA is always changing for value.

49. Compare Rental Car Prices

We use sites that search all the major car hire companies around the world checking which supplier is offering the best prices for the date you need it. We use RentalCars.com. 

Check out our tips for saving money on rental cars.

50. Improve the Efficiency of Your Car

Outback Queensland road trip Tambo

When taking road trips make sure your car is operating efficiently and is fully serviced. Some tips:

  • Check the pressure of your car tires.
  • Drive slower.
  • Use the right oil to increase mile usage.
  • Watch your luggage – the heavier the car the more fuel you’ll use.
  • Pack inside your car not on top.

Handy driving tips for Australia

51. Stay Local

Travelling doesn’t have to involve long flights and extensive road trips.

A great way to bring more travel into your life is by exploring new areas in your local region. Climb a new mountain, visit a new cafe or market, go kayaking in a nearby river, take a day trip to a new town.

52. Do the FREE Stuff

The best way of saving money on the road are the many free things to do.

  • See a street fair, concert, or cultural event.
  • Catch a magnificent sunset or sunrise
  • Take a walk or bike ride.
  • Play in the park.
  • Free movie screenings in local cafes and hostels
  • Swim at the beach or lake.
  • Climb a mountain.
  • Visit a market.

Hit the street with your feet and get lost in a city or town. It’s amazing what you’ll discover around every corner.

53. Shop Around for Travel Insurance

You can save a lot of money in shopping around for travel insurance. You can read how we did in this post on the best travel insurance for Australians travelling overseas.

Also check out our post on 15 tips for buying the best travel insurance policy. 

Other posts on saving money on travel

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155 thoughts on “52 Ways to Save Money on Travel”

  1. My top tip is BE SELFISH. Don’t buy stuff for other people and you will be fine. Once you know your own budget it’s a lot easier to travel and save money. I run a Money Saving Tips section every week on my blog with a lot of these on it.

  2. Hey Jonny,

    Having a budget is always a good starting point.

    But I like to buy “stuff” (not junk) for my family. It’s a good way to share a new place and experience 🙂

  3. Great tips! With teenagers that now pay adult prices for attractions, etc. we’ve learned to cut some costs by purchasing annual family memberships and saving money on attractions through deal sites like Groupon, etc.

    I’ve also used online booking agents like Hotwire & Priceline to save on rental cars (45% off our last one- Score!) and hotels.

    In the past, I worked a very part-time job at a local hotel so I could receive the impressive employee discount.

    While my family normally finds something we want to buy when we travel, we always keep in mind that the less we spend, the more we can see elsewhere so we keep souvenir purchases to a minimum, opting to take lots of pictures, picking up free brochures for a trip journal or scrapbook and pressing a few inexpensive pennies.

    As a homeschooling family, we also have the flexibility to travel during “off seasons” as well, saving a few dollars here and there.

    1. Hey Tonya,

      Great to hear. And good tips about Hotwire and Priceline for car rental.

      That’s a pretty good situation to be in regarding your kids schooling. Off-peak definitely helps!!

      1. reservationresources

        Great 52 ideas on saving money traveling. We at http://www.reservationresources.com/ fit in under idea no. 15 for renting apartments on similar basis to AirBnB except we specialize in room rentals in people’s apartments and houses when the owner is staying at the home or apartment and simply making extra room(s) available at big savings.

  4. Some real nice tips, thanks! We used to travel overnight, but in Peru it turned out not to be all that safe – we kept it to a minimum there…
    Whenever we travel in Europe (that’s where we live) we take our camper van: accommodation is free if you camp along the road. And the good part is our bikes & longboards fit in so we use those for short distances.

  5. Wow guys, what a awesome and meaty post 🙂

    Eating street food, CouchSurfing, Airbnb & Hotwire, all excellent tips!

    My tip would be to keep your eyes open for an all you can eat buffet for breakfast/lunch, and then make yourself a few sneaky sandwhiches that you can wrap up and put in your bag for later. I did this in Vietnam and it worked a treat for keeping food costs down.

    Great post guys!

  6. They are all great tips. I would include hitch-hiking – especially in main land Europe. The best place to hitch hike from is at petrol/gas stations where you can meet people going long distances such as truck drivers and business people.

  7. Great tips. Glad to see you included FB and twitter. I am finding so many hotels have special offers through those media….you have to know to look, but they can be very worth while!
    I always ask about WiFi at restaurants now. Great chance to get caught up while waiting for my meal to arrive. Good to see more and more of them coming on board, although I think we have a ways to go yet, especially in North America. I found Europe brilliant for WiFi – a glass of wine was all I needed to access the net. Let’s face it, I was going to have that glass anyway!

      1. Me too! It is a delicate balance. Always easier when traveling alone. I usually won’t sit on my computer when with others – but on my own…all bets are off! Hehhee

  8. We visit the local grocery store and buy some basics for our hotel room, like bread, jam, etc. By eating jam sandwiches for breakfast, we can skip lunch and then only have to shell out more for supper. And it’s always an interesting experience to see the different food selection which the locals eat.

    1. Hi Kate,

      Yeah, visiting the local supermarket is still a way to experience the different food culture of a place. Agree it’s always interesting to see what’s on offer!

  9. Wow, what an awesome year’s worth of tips, one for each week! Love it. Am going to pass the couchsurfing link on to my wayward daughter to try out, and i’ll be dipping back here for the cheap flight and hotel finder links. Thanks Craig. (ps found this post via the Problogger challenge).

  10. Really great tips. Some we have used and thanks to your tips, some we will be using in the future. Our best money saving tip is traveling during off season. The cost is far less than traveling peak season and of course there will be smaller crowds. Thanks for sharing these great tips on ways we can save our travel dollars!

  11. Great post, great tips! The planning a trip is just as fun as the going…and what is more fun than planning on getting some discounts along the way!

  12. Great list there, and lots of useful suggestions. My extra tip is to – if possible – chat with someone local before you go for the best recommendations. I’m coeliac, and I had loads of useful tips on where/what to eat from the Belgian/French group on FB before a recent trip. Saved me lots of angst, cash, and most importantly, from being ill while I was away.

  13. One tipp if you like tea: Take your own tea bags with you and as just for hot water. It is often free while a cup of tea costs money. For example in the German trains the tea costs 2,60 Euro, the hot water is for free.

  14. Slow travel for the win! It is definitely a huge saver, not only on transport and accommodation, but you get to know the places so much better, therefore finding out the ‘local’ hangouts (and therefore prices).

  15. I have tried AirBnB in both ways: staying at someone house and having guest at ours, and it worked well! I spend the money I get from hosting in staying at someone.

  16. I think the best tips given here are the ones having to do with food. Eating out at restaurants, that are most likely geared towards tourists, can be extremely expensive over the course of a trip. Being able to find alternatives like making your own food, finding local places and of course street food can save a ton of money that could be better used somewhere else. For me, I love street food and like you said you tend to learn more about the culture and meet locals while getting it.

  17. I try to write down everything I spent at the end of the day to see where I am wasting money and have an idea of what I can save.

    For me, food and drink are the hard parts. I love food and trying to drink in or eat street food is a great way for me to save money.

  18. I actually had a friend once who had this smart idea of renting out his apartment for a month (700 euro), buy a ticket to India (300 euro) and then stay there for thirty days. And as the living costs in India are nothing compared to Sweden’s he came to the conclusion “I can actually earn money of going there”.

  19. Great tips! I have been doing most the tips listed above and they indeed help me save money and make my travel more fun and interesting.

  20. Awesome tips, I’m glad I stumbled upon this info. I am a food person myself, to me it’s a part of the traveling experience. So skimping on the food and “eating IN” isn’t for me, but I use restaurants.com to get a good deal on the local cuisine in different areas. I also use Coke Rewards to get gift certificates towards my restaurants.com purchases, then my food winds up being free or really inexpensive, for very high quality food. It isn’t chains either, it is the quaint privately owned restaurants that most people enjoy experiencing.

    Another site I enjoy for destinations within the states, is CityPass. There are about 12 US cities where you can get a great discount on the Museums and local attractions. When you have kids, this is a great way to go. We are going to Houston soon and will be attending 5 attractions for only $46 per adult and $36 per child. Not too shabby! We have also done Atlanta, and plan to do all the cities before it’s over with.

    1. Also check out groupon.com and livingsocial.com for all kinds of different deals for activities and restaurants all over the US.

  21. Oh Oh! One more tip for saving at Restaurants… I just saw a post above that a guy said he takes his own tea bag…You can also order a glass of cold water and I keep Mio or Crystal Light Liquid in my purse. That way I don’t have to drink water, and I’m saving upwards of $2.00 to $3.00 per drink. For a family of four that could be an $8.00 to $12.00 savings PER meal. And they have all kinds of flavors.

  22. Kiera @EasyTravelMom

    Great tips! We also like to have the breakfast included when booking a hotel. We find that many of the cheaper hotels have a nice selection of breakfast, whereas the bigger hotels either charge or aren’t as good. It’s also easier on the kids! Internet is usually free too at the lower-cost hotels. Win-win.

  23. Great article!! Definitely bookmarking 🙂

    I would also say researching airpass/airrail tickets before you travel. We just got an incredible deal on the Japan rail pass via an outside promotion, but had to purchase it before entering the country. For how much we were bullet-training it around, we saved a boatload.

    Also, traveling to places that have yet to be totally “discovered.” One of my favorite trips was the Philippines, not because of the prices, but the people and the natural wonders there. It was mellow on the tourism with inexpensive hotels, flights and food.

    Thank, Y Travel!

  24. Matt - Operation421

    I’ll vouch for couchsurfing as a huge method of savings and a great way to meet people around the world. It’s a fantastic way to learn about a place from the locals perspective as well

    1. Couchsurfing is also a great way to travel while you are at home. We have hosted many travellers and our lives are enriched, we enjoy food from all over the world and don;t even have to live home.

      1. Love that perspective Michele! I can really see how that would bring more travel into your life in your own backyard. Thank you for sharing

  25. Lots of great tips! I’ll need to check out Hostel Zoo – I hadn’t heard of that one before! We’re heading to Europe for the summer after being in Asia for 8 months so that will be a HUGE price shock — so we’ll definitely be trying to do as much couchsurfing as possible. Another idea I didn’t see here is ride shares – we heard this was popular in Europe and even in the US you can sometimes find people on Craigslist going in your direction and just offering to pitch in for gas/etc.

  26. Harriet Palmer

    I am not sure if anyone has mentioned this, but we found when traveling through Asia that buying a lot of our travel stuff (travel speakers, umbrellas, jackets, clothes, torches etc etc) there saved us heaps. Not all is of the best quality but that means we can pass it on afterwards to save space or if it breaks there’s no drama.

  27. Great tips, just goes to show that the best articles are those written from experience. Thanks so much for sharing, you have really inspired us with these ideas — many that I have not seen anywhere else. One way we have saved money is to ask a local. More often than not, the locals don’t like spending a lot, either. Last time we did this, we ended up at this amazing pancake house in Henniker, N.H., that was extremely affordable. If not for that local’s suggestion, we could have very well spent twice the amount on some overpriced Sunday buffet.

  28. I think a great way to keep in touch with friends overseas is with services like PureMinutes. You can use it with your cell phone and it has super cheap international rates so you don’t HAVE to be home or whatever to make that call. You can do it while you’re jogging or driving to school.

    I signed up and got $3 free with my first order and called my BEST friend Tina in Australia with it for maybe.. I want to say.. 3 cents a minute? I think? Whatever I forget but we talked for super long and it was great hearing her voice. Her accent is SOO adorable you wouldn’t believe.

    If anyone wants to try it out, they give away $3 in credit for first time users so that’s pretty awesome.

      1. Well with Skype you still get charged for calling Mobile to Mobile, Skype is only free if you use your computer at home to make calls to other Skype users.

        Basically this service lets you make mobile phone calls that route through a local number (like phone cards would) allowing you to call anyone overseas on landlines or on their mobile.

  29. Useful tips, Craig. As well as phoning for last minute deals, it’s worth phoning for any booking rather than using a third-party booking site because the hotel will have to pay a commission to the booking site and they might give you a discount if you book direct. And that will save you a booking fee too.

  30. When it comes to traveling for us, I think it’s important to be flexible on your dates and not be afraid of taking bad flight times.

  31. Good tips!
    My tip would be: self-organise your excursions. It saved us a lot of money on our travels… Use local transportation, read lonely planet/ booklets for interesting information and take a look around yourself. Most of the time much much cheaper!

  32. Great tips!

    I already knew a lot of them but not the house sitting one. Going to check it out 🙂


  33. Davide about making money for traveling

    We do have quite a different travel style, but Slow travel is a general tip that is working in every case!

  34. Great tips – some I have not tried, but will! I love staying in a condo rather than hotel. You can eat many meals in and do laundry so you can travel lighter too!

  35. Honestly guys, this is the most unimaginative money saving list I’ve seen in a long time. Suggesting things like ‘using skype’, ‘use free days’ or ‘bargain’? These aren’t tips, they’re just common sense. I like your writing style, but please be creative with your posts.

    1. Thanks for your input Mike. Could you give us a few of your hot tips then? It sounds like you might have some great ones to share. We’d love to hear them and I’m sure it will contribute positively to the community which is what we always love from those who are part of it.

  36. Waow a number of money saving ideas. I loved it. Whenever we plan for a holiday trip, budget is the biggest matter to think on. If we follow the tips you have mentioned here then I think we can save a lot of money. thank you for putting all together.

  37. One thing I found if you like to buy souvenirs and mail them back home. Hang on to all the souvenirs and send them all at once in one box. Then have the person you sent them to pass them out. I found it to be much less hassle for us and it’s normally a bit cheaper to just send one box. We even wrote post cards and just put them in the box to send home. Just be sure your friend at home is willing to help.

    1. Great idea. We often sent things home when we lived in another country, but I think this would work really well. I love how you get someone at home to pass them out–pure gold! Thanks for sharing

  38. Using deals on living social and groupon recently saved my family of seven 50% off on tours and a snorkel cruise in Hawaii. Also, we save half our dinner meal and reheat for late snacks or lunch. Pay once- eat twice. We don’t carry soaps/shampoos – we use what the hotel has to offer. As well as utilizing the tea and coffee service.
    Research as much ahead of time, make reservations and prepay for what you can.
    I usuly spend a year planning our summer trip and end up doing so much more for less money because of extensive research, planning and prepaying.

    1. Yes completely agree. I wrote almost the exact paragraph in our upcoming book just today. Good research and clever planning will help reduce a lot of costs.

  39. Love the cash only tip for a night out. Good idea not just for travel.

    One of my favourite tips for those traveling to Australia is dealfetch.com.au. If you’re like me and addicted to sites like Groupon then this is for you. One email from all the top daily deal sites in Australia. Doesn’t fill up your inbox and includes several local deals from site you probably don’t know about if you’re not from Australia.

  40. I have never travelled anywhere by using my cell phone , even though I have an IPhone and it should be really convenient. I have a need to use it pretty often, you know. But looks like I am going to try this summer, since you say that I can say some money. Last time I went beyond my cash limit and had to search for a monetary service to apply for fast money in Ottawa and I must say that borrowing cash while you travel is not a good thing…at least for me. This time I will take advantage of using your advices to save money. You’ve got really awesome advices here

  41. Christoffer Moen

    Awesome tips! Someone mentioned groupon or group buying sites. I definitely agree, if you check out the local sites’ offerings sometimes they offer as much as 50% off on hotel stays and great deal of savings off on attractions and services.

  42. Thank you for this blog, the topic is just so useful. I enjoyed reading all your blogs since it inspires me and gives out tips. I wouldn’t miss to share this topic to my circle of friends. With all the tips mentioned above, that will certainly be a BIIIIGGG SAVE win travelling. Two thumbs up for this blog and Thanks again for sharing it with us :).

  43. A tip to potentially save money while traveling is to take out travel medical insurance before setting out on your next adventure! Even though it’s not something many people want to anticipate while on vacation, there is a possibility that one or more of your fellow travelers may get sick or hurt. It’s always best to be prepared.

  44. http://www.hostelworld.com is a must! It’s free to join and all of the ratings and feedback is based off of actual customers. It also includes all of the facilities and is not just limited to hostels, it also included hotels, hotels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, and apartments. Super user friendly!

  45. Hey guys! Great tips.
    I was just wondering: is there a reason why you don’t mention Wotif.com? I’ve had some great deals through that website, especially in Australia and NZ but lately also in Europe. Or is there something dodgy about that website that I don’t know of? 🙂

  46. The best choise are apartments, you will find it nearly on all places in the world and its much cheaper than hotel. I use it myself all the time and was never disapointed.

  47. Yes all is true! Also the best way is to find an apartment without agencies- just direct from the owners, + make new friends before you go in some places, locals always knows what to visit and when 😉

  48. Hey Craig!

    You definitely have some great tips and resources on how to save money while traveling. Do you and your family have a favorite country that you’ve visited? We thought this was a great post so we shared it with our Facebook fans at http://goo.gl/K1gSSV. Keep up the great blog content!

    – Daniel at HCC Medical Insurance Services

  49. Yep. Excellent tips. There is a saying “when in Rome do as the Romans do”. I guess trying to learn and do as the locals do…is the best tip and the best way to taste the real flavor of any foreign destination.

  50. Wow! Saving money and travel. What a bargain!!! Loved the tips… I really do try to travel with someone preferably a group since the package deals are so much cheaper than pairs and more so for a lone individual. Also going with a group is so much more fun than going alone. Got to love the memories and stories that come along with it.

  51. Yes House Sitting is a great way to save on the biggest travel cost – accommodation. Plus it is a great way to feel part of the community. We had a member involved in white washing walls in preparation for a fesiival in Greece. Many retirees find housesitting opens the door to travel opportunities they could not otherwise afford. Ian White founder of housecarers.com housesitting directory.

  52. I’m a young student who would love to travel to the other part of the world one day and I find this post very helpful. As they always said “Be a traveler and not a tourist”. Out of 52 tips you have given, my favorite one is number 30 – Walk as much as you can. Couldn’t agree more on that. I believe by getting lost in some unfamiliar places, you could experience the place more.

    P/s: Thank you for all the links you provided 🙂

  53. If you are choosing a villa to rent, then finding another family that are travelling at the same time and want to share, means that you can get more luxurious accommodation for less cost. Also, choosing a smaller local agent can save you money as they know the availability of each villa in their collection and which owners might be willing to offer a good deal.

  54. Great list, may I just add, I think everyone should have discipline first when handling money. No matter what age we all need to know that we can face a financial problem at any time. We have to set our mind into saving a percentage of our check no matter what, and to achieve this we need to have discipline other wise we’ll just form part of the big percentage of people who don’t know how manage their money and blows it up the first pay day.

  55. I read your full post all point are very helpful to save money on vacations my brother going to vacation with family i recommend your post to him. I hoping he will be very happy after reading this post.

  56. These are great tips. I use quite a few of these. The one I am not sure about is going to the timeshare presentations. I think that would be pretty unpleasant! lol.

  57. Great list. Spending more time in one place is not only a great way to save money, it’s also an outstanding way to have better experiences and learn about a place more.

  58. This is a great list. Reflects you sophistication 🙂
    I actually do some of these things… I was surprised to find rental apartments last year in Spain for lower prices than hotel rooms!
    You can also save a lot when visiting places where there are very few museums (where it’s rather the nature or various free things constitute attractions).

  59. Thanks for the tips! I’ve been using Airbnb quite a lot over the past year and have found it excellent. Picking well rated places in good locations has saved me a fortune on not only accommodation, but also food and transport. I have noticed though, that the value of the accommodation varies between countries. For example in the UK the places are nice, but not overly cheap (ie-the same price as a hotel), however in Budapest my boyfriend and I rented an entire apartment on the riverside for less than two hostel dorm beds!

  60. I use lots of these tips. Have also done a campervan swap between nz and Canada. Found them on the Internet, talked on Skype, agreed to a brief contract and then thoroughly enjoyed travelling at different times in each others campers.

    More recently I’ve discovered can ost a lot lss than you might think.
    Get a cheap inside room you only sleep in it anyway. Breakfast on the boat take an apple, yoghurt etc ashore for lunch, dinner on the boat. Travel to each new place while you sleep. You do need to o on a large boat, the small luxury ones can be ridiculously dear. And another thing I’d you’ve got health issues its reassuring to know you’ve got your own western doctor and clinic on board.

  61. I would recommend making sure you check hotels on both foreign and domestic websites, sometimes you can get discounts on local sites – also, if you are more than 2 persons traveling, sometimes reservations websites screw up the amenities and include free breakfast for everyone, so you can book it with one of those sites and then make sure you get all the amenities at the hotel!!

  62. A perfectly planned tour is always best thing because you don’t have to face any problem . Making a budget according to tour plan and destination is best tip. The above tips are nicely described above .

  63. When I am trying to save money I trust in this list- kavinės because here I can find restaurants that are not expensive, but food is worth of sin 🙂 Believe me, you should also follow it in case you want to travel, eat and just relax 🙂

  64. I love the tip about walking one street over — so true. Another way to look at it — if you’re in a beach area, every block you walk away from the water will save you money and give you a more authentic dining experience.

  65. I agree with you. Eating street food is one of the best ways to save our money. Additionally, I am Thai, so I can suggest you more. Apart from street food, you eat cheap food in the food court of some discount stores (e.g. Big C, Tesco Lotus). You may have to pay more 5 baht per menu of street food but it is cheap for you.

  66. Another tip would be to work in the places you want to travel to. Not only do you then get paid to travel but you also get an extended stay to truly experience the environment and get your opportunity to not only hang with the locals but become one!! Best way to travel, hands down 🙂

    Find job opportunities here: http://www.livingseasonal.com

  67. I also suggest that to save money on travel, booking on long term rental websites are good since you can get as much as 60% discounted room on a weekly basis compared to paying hotels, resorts on a daily basis.

  68. This is one of those list that you can return to forever and get new advice, and new inspiration.

    Many of these tips will, allthough saving you money, also help you explore more and get more out of your travels!

  69. Also don’t forget to plan your trip’s transportation costs. Those rides or car rentals tend to really add up if you’re unprepared. If you’re going to one of the 310+ cities that Uber is currently in, See the attached link to get accurate/specific fare estimates. With their app it was hard/impossible to get an estimate for a city you aren’t currently in – but with this you can do it for any pickup location/destination.

    Price surges are shown but keep in mind they fluctuate all the time, so if planning for a trip/airport transpo., be aware of popular hours/days (holidays, busy weekend nights) and the fact that prices may be surged at that time….if you’re not lucky!

    But great article; I sure don’t travel much but have a solo trip coming up so there’s a lotttt of things I need to catch up on, needless to say.

  70. My favourite trick is to hire a car at 10 am and drop it off at 9:45 am a few weeks later… It means you have pay for one less day even though you had the car for 23 hours and 45 minutes.

  71. Great read. I agree with most of the stuff you are talking. I like to stay longer in a city so I know it better. I especially like the cities where I can walk around or take public transport. This is the great way to get familiarize.

    I don’t recommend red-eye flights – rather I like to reach my destination usually very early in the morning such as 0700 – 1000. This gives you some time to relax and take rest while you can get start on exploring the city later in the evening.

    I had my share of very long flights such as Abu Dhabi to San Francisco. It was brutal non-stop 16-hour flight in Boeing 777 (nothing compares to Jumbo – love that 747 bird). For such a long flight I prefer flights with one stop at least

  72. This is a fantastic post! And, thank you so much for the shout out. It is amazing how many ways there are to save.No iPhones or other fancy phones for us. We use Skype, too, and Google Voice which saves us a lot. I love your idea of the many “free things” to do around the world, too.Actually, you have given me a great idea of another post in our series —- why RTW travel isn’t for everyone and alternatives to RTW travel. Would you be interested in being a part of the Travelers Talk Back series for that post? I am genuinely interested and amazed by people who are choosing to travel in unconventional ways.

  73. This is a great post and I agree with many of the comments on this stream which suggest being selfish is one of the easiest ways to save money. It sounds harsh but it doesn’t mean you can’t share the experience with loved ones, after all.

    I think offer sites like Groupon and travel comparison sites like triporia.com and Booking.com are a great way to save money on local attractions, places to eat and accommodation. Sites like these have changed the way we travel and the way we find entertainment in everyday life which I definitely think is for the better.

  74. Awesome post Ed – I could really use some tips to save money from your article. And I will also like to add a few of mine.

    A – Contact hotels which are replying frequently on Tripadvisor as you can get a discount in return for a nice 5 star review, plus if one is traveling in a group like 4-5 then one can even get like 50-60% off.

    And thanks for sharing the app (Vonage Mobile has an app) looks handy, will try it out.

  75. Please help me. When i was about to book a room at florence through booking.com, they are asking my credit card details(like credit card no and expiration date) for a guarantee. Please tell me, is it a safe practice?

  76. Traveling is something to make a fun, so it was not about save money but I Thinks it has to be about How To Fit Your Traveling Budget.. I have opinion , it is better to make a holiday once in a tear with no need confused about money rather than holiday 4 times in a year but you have confused about spent money on your traveling
    this is just my opinion..

  77. I’ve loved the other tips but it’s great if I will experience it together with my family or friends. because I’ve always thought to travel someday. I wish to win a lottery so my dream will come true.

  78. stifffen Johnson

    This article is really the ultimate bundle of tips for saving on travel. I liked the tips and I am following these tips. One more tip I read is, booking four to eight months in advance for peak travel periods like summer.
    However, the key point to remember is that this booking period is exactly that—a period, and not an exact date. During these months, search for flights regularly and keep an eye on the prices.

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