14 Budget Travel Hacks For Anyone Who Is Poor AF
Want to get away for less? We've got the 14 best tips for anyone who is poor af...
We like to think that Julie Andrews seriously considered crowbarring ‘travelling business class’ into that Sound of Music warble about her favourite things.
But alas, we can't all be living in the foothills of the Alps, twirling and singing to our heart's content. School, work and family always get in the way - but it's HARD CASH that really stumps our travelling dreams. With that in mind, we're happy to bring you these handy travel hacks for those of us broke af...
Set up Google alerts to track flight prices
Those clever folk over at Google have designed a tracking tool to help you get the cheapest possible flights to your desired destination. Just search for the flights you want, then click ‘ON’ under the ‘Track Prices’ function.
Airline prices fluctuate ALL the time, but this way you won’t miss out: you’ll get an email when the cost drops - or rises - significantly, so you can get in there and nab the cheapo deal. Works best if you can be a bit flexible on dates.
Use private browsing to search for flights
Whether you’re visiting airline sites directly or using price comparison companies like Skyscanner, always open a ‘private browsing’ window.
Why? Because the internet REMEMBERS, and various reports suggest that prices for flights you’ve already looked at online are hiked up, because they know you want ‘em. Others disagree with this theory but, hey, can’t hurt to be careful, can it?
Check out ‘hidden-city’ plane tickets
Designed by a 22-year-old genius, Skiplagged.com is a website designed to find cheap ‘hidden-city’ plane tickets, which basically means that you book a flight where the layover is your destination, and save a bunch of dolla dolla bill in the process.
For example, a flight from New York to San Fran might be $300, but a similar flight from New York to Seattle with a layover in San Francisco might be $200. You just don’t get on the connecting flight, and VOILA, you’ve saved $100.
A word of warning though - only works with hand luggage or in cases where hold luggage must be rechecked at your layover point, otherwise your bags are still going to end up in Seattle.
Oh, and airlines HATE it: United tried to sue the company and failed - a fact Skiplagged are now using to entice users (lols).
Keep accomodation cheap cheap cheap with hostels
Say the word ‘hostel’ to your parents, and they’ll probably look mildly horrified - but the truth is that hostels these days are an awesome option for saving money, and often much nicer than budget hotels.
Dorm rooms can cost you literally less than a tenner a night, and most places will have social common areas or organised events perfect for making new friends.
Pick one with a kitchen and you can save LOADS by making your own meals too, rather than eating out all the time. It’s a win win win.
A great way to save money on spenny hotels *and* get fab advice on what to see, eat and do is to opt for a homestay. Check out sites like Airbnb and Homestay.com to find locals who are renting out rooms in their houses to travellers.
Airbnb also features whole apartments for rent if there’s a bigger group of you, or you don’t fancy small talk with a stranger over a bowl of cereal in the morning.
Swap clothes with your pals
If you’re travelling for a long time with only a small bag, it can be reeeeeal tempting to splash out on some new clothes. RESIST and swap clothes with your backpackin’ pals instead - you’ll be surprising how refreshing a new outfit can feel, even if you have seen them wear it about 30 times already. Sigh.
Do some research before you exchange money
If you head to the nearest place you see to swap the last currency you needed for a new one, you’re probably going to get ripped off with a horrendous exchange rate. Google beforehand to find out where the best rates are / which exchanges are recommended, and you could save a lot. Worth that extra half an hour or so, no?
Save money on accommodation by travelling overnight
Got a really long bus/train/plane ride to your next destination? Try and book an overnight ticket - not only will you avoid 13 hours with the sun blasting into your sweaty, sweaty face, but you’ll also save money on a night’s accommodation. Yaaaaaas.
Eat where the locals do
Restaurants designed with tourists in mind are more likely to have a tourist price tag too. Keep ya bank balance happy by tracking down the local spots ft. delicious local food. Hostel staff are usually pretty knowledgeable, or you can just follow a local until they get hungry. JOKE. THAT LAST ONE WAS A JOKE.
Sounds obvious, but make sure that the place you’re travelling to has the same off-seasons as your homeland, or you could be paying more than you need to. That’s all we’re saying.
Might feel like you’re saving money by not getting it, but if something WERE to happen to you, getting lumped with an astronomical hospital bill is a whole lot worse. Gahd we sound like your mum don’t we? But mother speaks the truth.
Take your student ID
Only applies if you’re a student, obvs. However, those of you who haven’t had to enter the real world yet (STAY AWAY FOR AS LONG AS YOU CAN IT’S AWFUL), might be surprised by how much you can save on attractions, accommodation and other such things with a student card. Yep, even halfway across the world.
Use a budgeting app
When you’re working in different currencies it can be difficult to keep track of how much you’re spending and how much you have left. Avoid that ‘OH &*^%£’ moment at the ATM and keep an eye on that pesky bank balance.
Waste not want not
Always ask restaurants if they can box up meals you don’t finish, and take them with you. Yes, in hindsight that ‘Carbonara for two’ was probably a bit heavy for lunch - but you can have the rest for dinner and save a few pennies. Bellisimo.
Written by Lizzie Cox