193 Branthaven St, Ottawa, ON K4A0H7
193 Branthaven St, Ottawa, ON K4A0H7
I know. Frugal and travel in the same sentence sound wrong. I thought that when we started traveling too. Travel is for rich, spoiled people, right? It’s not for us ordinary mortals. Yet, once we looked into things Darren and I reached a startling conclusion.
Travel doesn’t have to be expensive.
In fact, you can earn money while you travel and Darren has written about that recently AND you can save money while you travel.
The frugal traveler is a real thing and Darren, I and our kids are frugal travelers. You can be too. So here are my top tips for saving money while you travel:
The big travel sites all say that they don’t change their pricing strategy based on repeat visits. Yet, I and many others feel that they do. That’s because we can see distinct price differences when we log on to our account as compared to when we log in on a “fresh” browser.
The easiest way to ensure you get the best “new customer” pricing is to wipe your cookies from your internet browser when you shop. This doesn’t just apply to travel products either – it can be true for any kind of online shopping. Give it a try. It’s free and easy to do.
Accommodation alongside flights is the most expensive part of travel. There are ways to save money on flights but you won’t find it easy to save a fortune or get free flights. However, there are ways to get free accommodation.
A workaway is a vacation where you agree to supply some of your time and effort and in exchange, they provide you with free food and lodging. This site, workaway.info, has loads of useful information to get you started.
You’re not limited to your credit card provider’s cashback scheme – there are tons of really good cashback sites on the internet now. You can get money back on almost any type of shopping from a new swimming costume to sun cream for the beach.
You can’t spend no money at all but you can certainly keep your spending down by getting cash back on your purchases. Here’s my favorite cash back shopping site to help you get started.
A couple of years ago Darren and I took the children to Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt. We got an amazing deal which we found through a travel agent on a private villa at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. It came with all food and drinks and a private swimming pool as well as being a minute’s walk from the beach.
We paid less than $25 a night too! We told some of our friends about this. They ummed and ahhed and thought some more… then when they went to sign up, the deal was gone. The hotel was full and they’d missed out.
A good deal won’t hang around forever.
This might sound crazy after all don’t tour guides get paid? Well, yes, they do when they work for a company but as Darren and I discovered in Saigon, Vietnam – sometimes there are university tourism programs running free tours.
There are often local people who want to practice their English skills who would be happy to give free tours too. We found that in Paris, France it was easy to get a three-hour tour of the city for nothing.
So, don’t miss out on “free” but please, remember to tip at the end of your free tour.
The less you take with you, the less money you need to pay for baggage handling. Plus, if you can travel without hold luggage then you can avoid waiting around at the airport by a luggage carousel for hours.
It is better to buy high-quality items and take fewer things than cheap stuff. A $5 t-shirt isn’t going to last very long, so buy something good quality and wear it more often. It’s travel, not a fashion show.
Also, make sure to take the right stuff – it’s no good arriving in Canada in Winter in shorts and t-shirts or in Saudi Arabia in Summer in a Winter coat and boots. Research really helps with this.
I know, you’ve been told that eating in developing nations will make you sick and that you should always stick to what you recognize. Let me share a secret with you – that’s hooey.
Street food is often the best food there is and it’s always authentic. Kids love it because mostly it comes on sticks or in small pieces so there’s no messing around with knives and forks. Adults love it because it tastes great.
Best of all, it doesn’t cost much. To make sure you get the best out of street food always eat from places that are popular with locals. Then you won’t get so much as a hint of food poisoning.
I mean walk everywhere that you can walk. Most of the world isn’t America. Cars don’t play as big a part in most people’s lives and walking is good for you.
If you have a family, you can save a small fortune by basing yourself near the places you want to see and walking to them. It’s a great way to exercise together and have fun together. I love walking overseas, so will you.
Wow! Doesn’t time fly? I am already thinking about where Darren and I will go next and I’ve run out of time to offer up all my tips on frugal travel this week. So, I’ll be back soon with some more. Until then, do you have any awesome travel tips that you can leave in the comments below? It would be awesome to read them.
Check out my money saving tips to prepare for your travel here.