Make no mistake; Travel is as exhaustive as it is expensive, but that does not mean you can’t benefit from a few clever travel hacks and save stacks of cash on your next adventure, flashpacker style!
The secret to travelling for less comes down to a surprisingly simple idea: STOP following the herd and travel when no one else wants to! From grabbing cheaper flights and saving on insurance to wearing your luggage and crashing on a friendly stranger’s couch, here are just a few of our favourite ways to save money, travel in style and experience more without busting your holiday budget.
10. Cheap Flights & Stupid Tax
To get the most cloud mileage and save a fortune on “Stupid Tax”, pay careful attention to the actual day you plan to depart and return. Instead of travelling from a Friday to Friday, start and end your trip on a Tuesday or a Wednesday and choose the less popular early morning and late night flights. Saturday afternoon flights are normally less crowded and cheaper. Big Airlines and dubious travel agencies use “cookies” to track your online activity and then raise prices with every further interaction. The best way to avoid falling victim to these clandestine tactics is to search for flights at work and make your purchases at home from a different IP address.
9. Baggage Woes Be Gone
To save money on excess baggage charges, weigh your bags at home and wear your extra items instead of packing them. Naturally, you can design your own “Snack Jacket”, but a modern photographer vest is perhaps a more fashionable option. To save even more space and hassle, chuck your suitcase, get a backpack and click here to learn how to pack it like a pro.
8. Comfort is King
To lessen cramps on long airplane journeys crunch your toes or walk around regularly and your legs won’t hurt as much. Another nifty trick is to massage your feet with a tennis ball. To avoid a bumpy bus ride, pick a seat directly above the back wheels of the bus.
7. Travel in Low Season
High season means high prices, big crowds and long cues. Plan your journey with school terms in mind and plan your getaways shortly before or after the peak holiday season. It comes down to your choice of country and experience but keep in mind that when it’s winter in America, it’s summer in Oz, and most of Europe still has beautiful weather well into September. South America is best until around November and Africa offers great weather and activities all year round.
6. BYO Snacks!
Airports are notoriously expensive and most airlines charge a hefty sum for food and drink onboard. Save yourself the budget of a small country and simply pack your own snacks. A sporty water bottle and a few Ziploc bags stuffed with dried fruit, nuts and energy bars will do nicely for most trips.
5. Eat Like A Local
Instead of popping into one of those grotesque fast food joints or spending the budget of a small country on dinner at a hotel, browse the local supermarkets, try some of the local cuisine or pack your own picnic. To find the best value for your money (and tummy) pop into a hostel and ask for recommendations.
4. Liquid Refreshments
To make the most of your flashpacking adventure, take it slow and as tempting as it may seem, do not over-indulge on your first night. Nothing kills a fantastic holiday like starting out with a hangover!
3. Save on Insurance
Whether you’re planning an extended trip abroad or simply going camping for the weekend, annual multi-trip travel insurance is cheaper than buying insurance for a single trip. Also remember to include your digital gadgets and mobile gizmos on the list.
2. Personal Plastic & Foreign Machines
Change your currency before you get to the airport or after you’ve arrived at your destination and you will get better rates. It’s no secret that Travellers Cheques are obsolete, but cash is still king in many countries. If you will be using your personal plastic to draw cash from a foreign ATM, always bring along an extra ATM card. To save on commissions and charges, use a credit card for big purchases and a debit card for expenses.
1. Break Away From The Hotel Chains
Hotels are over-priced monasteries compared to some of the new breed of swanky and affordable hostels popping up all over the world. Instead of blowing your budget on a fancy hotel, why not book a private room in a hostel, swap your home, crash on a stranger’s couch, or go garden camping!
If you have a top travel tip to share, why not pop it in the comment box below?