I don’t think I should ever get rich because I wouldn’t be any good at it anyway. I can’t bring myself to live extravagantly. So here are my tips on how to travel cheaply.
Tips for Traveling Cheap
1. Walk…not only does it save you bus fares but it means that the money you save by not buying bus tickets can be used to buy more treats (such as ice cream!)
2. Pictures make good souvenirs. They’re free to take, you can personalize them, and they fit well into your luggage. And really, they’re worth more than the cheap keychain you’d buy at the tourist shop anyway.
3. Speaking of tourist shops, avoid those. You really don’t need any of that stuff. If you really want a souvenir, find a local artist and support them. You’ll get something more unique anyway.
4. Couchsurfing is cool! You meet locals, who can usually show you around and give you pointers about the area that you won’t find in a guidebook, and it’s free, although it is nice to do something or give something to your host.
5. Buy food at grocery stores rather than eating out every meal. Typically this is cheaper, especially if you can split it with some buddies. I usually try to do grocery store food for two meals and eating at a restaurant (although I don’t spend much at these either) for the other meal.
6. Free museums mean a free toilet. There’s nothing more costly than having to pay to pee. I know it helps keep the thrones clean but I don’t like to pay for this. So when you see a free toilet take advantage of it. Now this does not mean to just run into museums to solely use their toilet; at least take a look around while you’re there. Restaurants also are a good place, but they usually would like you to buy something.
7. Street performers are like a free concert. Who needs to pay exorbitant amounts to go to a concert in West End London when you can find some wonderful performers on the street? Yeah, it’s not the same experience but if you’re on a tight budget this might be somewhere you can save a bit, unless there’s just something you really really want to see. It might be nice to leave a tip if you’re gonna sit and enjoy their music for a while. Also, on this strand, look for free or discounted concerts and theater productions in order to get your performance time while traveling.
8. Plan ahead. Typically train and bus tickets are cheaper if you buy these in advance. I know it cramps the free and independent style but it also saves a few dollars or pounds or Euros or whatever you’re using.
9. Pack your own silverware. This seems small but it means you can buy cheap cans of food to snack on when you’re not eating out (see tip 5). It is also better for the environment rather than using plastic all the time.
10. Take-away food is generally cheaper. I love pastries and baked goods, but I’ve found that to get the treat for take-away is almost always cheaper. I don’t mind finding a park to eat my treat if that means I save a bit. Plus those places are usually tiny anyway and I much prefer the open outdoors.
11. Refill your water bottle, as long as the water is safe to drink. This better for the environment and it saves you from buying a bunch of water bottles, which are always overpriced. Water is good for you while traveling!