Saving Money While TravelingLast week I addressed the whole issue of traveling when you’re not rich. A common myth in society for years has been the idea that only the rich can afford to travel. We all dream of traveling. We get excited about the thought of leaving home to see the world. Then we never do anything. Why’s this? We don’t think that we can afford to go home.

Here’s a news flash: traveling isn’t just for the rich any longer.

Today I wanted to share some practical tips that I picked up while spending a month travelling through Europe. These are things that I learned the hard way on my own. I hope that you learn from this and are able to start traveling. You don’t need to become a lifestyle design blogger or anything. You can just travel for cheap in your spare time or when you have a vacation coming up. Let’s look at 4 little known ways of saving money while traveling or when planning to go away for an extended period of time:

1. Consider going off-season.

You don’t need to go during the hot months on your next trip. Going on season costs so much more than it does going off season that I can’t even begin to fathom the numbers. I paid $800 for a ticket to Poland off season. During the middle of the summer this would’ve easily cost me $1,500 or so. The flight is usually the biggest expense of any trip. If you can cut back on the cost of the flight you’ll be smiling.

Going off season also means that I need to address the obvious issue of the differences in night life.

For those that are curious, you’ll always have a great time while traveling. It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is. When you go during a normal time of the year you’ll run into more locals and more long-term travellers. It’s just a different crowd. The party is fun as always.

2. Try taking night trains.

At home I never take trains because they sort of suck. Europe has the whole rail system figured out. You can go move around Europe very easily via train. If you want to save money while riding trains you can do so by taking advantage of the night trains.

I personally started to enjoy the night trains. Depending on the distance and the type of train you can have more fun on your commute than at your destination. Some trains are designed so that you’re in a room with a few other people. You never know who you can meet and how much fun you can have spending the whole night chatting with complete strangers. Give it a try.

You also save money with night trains because you don’t have to book a hostel for a night. If you’re totally exhausted you just pass out and wake up at your destination.

3. Prepare your own food for massive savings.

Whether you want to admit it or not food is usually the biggest expense. We all spend lots of money on food when on a trip. I won’t lie, food is my greatest expense. This is why I highly advice that you prepare your own food.

This might sound lame at first. You know, why would I cook while on vacation? It’s actually really fun, especially when staying at a hostel. Cooking is a sweet group activity and it allows you to save money while eating well.

Are you ready to cook your own food?

4. Go with the flow.

If you’re not open minded then you shouldn’t even bother with traveling. Being open minded will save you money because this will determine where you stay, how you travel, and how you react to things. I was able to have a blast on a budget because I knew not to complain about anything. I ran into many miserable travellers. They would complain about the most minor issues. I don’t even know why they even bothered leaving home.

If you follow these four tips I guarantee you that you can save a good amount of change on your next trip abroad. Drink a cold one for me!

Are there any strategies that you’ve used to save money on traveling in the past? Don’t be shy and join the discussion below…

(photo credot: markstopover_002)

Martin Dasko
Martin Dasko