14 Easy Ways to Save Money While Travelling

Tips for every type of traveller!

Saving money while hitting the road seems like a constant battle, doesn't it? Every traveller dreams of that perfect trip without the stress of watching their bank account dwindle. Well, we're here to show you it's possible.

From the bustling streets of New York to the serene landscapes of Australia, we've gathered real, actionable tips from nomads and seasonal travellers alike to keep your travel costs low and spirits high. Whether you're backpacking through Europe, going on a road trip in the US, or planning your next trip to hidden Australian gems, these travel tips and hacks will make sure you get the most out of every dollar.

Preparing For Your Trip

One of the key success factors in budget-friendly travel is proper planning. So, before hitting the road or jumping on that flight, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Do Your Research

Start by hitting up social media and travel forums. They're goldmines for travel tips and hacks. Find out about low-cost cafes, free walking tours, and the best days to visit museums. Knowledge is power, especially when it saves you money.

2. Pack Light

Trust us, you don't need that extra pair of shoes. Packing light saves you from extra baggage fees and makes moving around easier. Plus, it leaves room for souvenirs. If you can fit everything on a single carry-on or a backpack, then you’re in the right direction.

3. Set a Travel Budget

Knowing how much you can spend makes all the difference. Include everything from meals to souvenirs. Stick to your budget to avoid surprises. You can also open a separate savings account just for travel to keep your finances in check.

4. Compare Flight and Accommodation Prices

Use comparison sites to find the best airfare deals. Don't forget to keep an eye out for flight deals and upgrades. For accommodation, check-out hostels, Airbnb, and house-sitting options. They may not offer the same comfort as hotel rooms, but they tend to be a lot cheaper.

5. Get a Travel Credit Card

A travel credit card can be a lifesaver if you’re looking to save a lot of money while ticking off items on your bucket list. Most card offers rewards and even discount deals for tours and hotel rooms. Look for cards with no foreign transaction fees and great travel perks. Just don’t forget to pay off your balance on time to avoid interest.

6. Book in Advance

Booking months ahead can save you a lot of money, especially with airlines and hotels. Early birds often get the best prices. Plus, you'll have more options to choose from.

7. Plan Your Airport Parking

If you're driving to the airport, look at parking options in advance. Melbourne Airport offers plenty of parking options to suit every traveller’s needs and budget, and they tend to be cheaper when you book online in advance. Plus, get this - they don’t charge booking fees or credit card fees! They even offer deals and discounts from time to time if you’re subscribed to their newsletter.

Also, nothing beats the convenience of parking within the airport premises itself. You’re literally just a stone’s throw away from the terminals and check-in counters. That means there’s less chance of you missing your flight and saying goodbye to your hard-earned airfare money.

8. Learn Basic Local Phrases

Knowing a few phrases in the local language can go a long way. More than showing politeness, it can also help you save money. Bargaining at markets, asking for directions, or even ordering food becomes easier. Plus, you can avoid tourist prices and haggle like a local.

9. Get a Travel Insurance

Getting travel insurance is one of those things you might not think about until you really need it. But trust us, it's a lifesaver. If something goes wrong, like you get sick, lose your luggage, or have to cancel your trip unexpectedly, having insurance means not having to fork out a huge amount of money in an emergency.

How to Save Money While Travelling

Travelling on a budget doesn’t mean you have to skimp on the fun. It’s about making choices that keep your wallet happy. Here are some money-saving tips to help you keep those travel costs down without missing out on the adventure:

1. Travel During Off-Season

Heading out during the off-season is the secret to more savings and more authentic experiences. There are fewer crowds, so there is no need to elbow your way through popular spots. Plus, airfares and accommodation prices drop due to low demand. Locals are also usually more relaxed and have more time to share stories, adding a rich layer to your journey.

2. Stay in Hostels or Try House-Sitting

Skip the pricey hotel rooms. Hostels are not only cheaper, but they're also great places to meet fellow travellers. Or, if you want your own place without spending a fortune, check out Airbnb and house-sitting options. They can offer unique accommodations at a fraction of the cost.

3. Explore Lesser-Known Destinations

Venturing into lesser-known spots is what savvy travellers do. These places often come with a lower price tag for pretty much everything, from food to accommodation. Plus, you get to see sides of a country or city that most tourists miss out on. And the best part? You're likely to stumble upon hidden gems, from quaint cafes to breathtaking views, that aren't swamped with visitors.

4. Embrace Local Experiences

Swap out the pricey tourist traps for something a bit more grounded. Eating where the locals eat, for instance, not only saves you money but also treats your taste buds to authentic flavours. Joining in on local events or festivals also offers a unique glimpse into the culture, often for free or with a small donation.

5. Cook Your Own Meals

Eating out for every meal adds up. Choose accommodations with kitchen facilities and whip up your own meals. It's healthier, cheaper, and can be a great way to bond with fellow travellers or hosts. Plus, it's a chance to experiment with local ingredients and recipes, adding an extra layer of fun to your travel experience.

6. Look for Free Attractions

From Asia to London, many cities are packed with incredible sights and activities that won't cost you a dime. Whether it’s a public park with stunning views, free museums, or historic sites, there's often more to see and do for free than you might think. Even simply wandering around a new place can lead to unexpected discoveries, like street art, markets, or festivals.

7. Shop at Local Grocery Stores

Local grocery stores are your go-to if you’re looking to save money, especially if you’re travelling abroad. Shopping where the locals shop means you're getting the real deal, both in terms of experience and price. You'll often find foods and brands you might not see back home and at prices that are often much lower than what you'd pay at a tourist spot or restaurant. And if you're staying somewhere with a fridge, you can also stock up on snacks and drinks, saving even more money.

8. Use Public Transport or Ride-sharing Apps

Get around like the locals. Buses, trains, and trams are much cheaper than taxis. Consider getting a public transport card for discounts. Or, if public transportation isn’t an option, check out ride-sharing apps. In many cities, ride-sharing apps can be cheaper than taxis, and they’re a great way to get around without going over your travel budget.

9. Bring Your Own Water Bottle

Buying bottled water multiple times a day adds up quickly, especially in tourist areas where prices are higher. With your own water bottle, you can refill for free at water fountains and many cafes or hostels that offer clean drinking water. Besides saving money, it’s also a win for the environment.

10. Avoid Unnecessary Spending

When you’re travelling, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and splurge on things you don't really need. Before you buy, ask yourself if it's something you'll actually use or if it's just a momentary want.

Stick to your budget by planning your meals, activities, and any shopping. Or, instead of buying souvenirs, take photos or write in a journal to capture memories. Remember, experiences are more valuable than things.

11. Travel with Friends

Travelling with friends can be a fantastic way to cut down on costs. Splitting expenses like accommodation, transport, and even meals can make a big difference to your budget. It's not just about saving money, though. With your mates by your side, you've got instant companions for exploring, dining, and just hanging out. Plus, planning together means you can share tips and ideas for the best deals around.

12. Use Travel Apps

There's an app for almost everything these days, from finding the best airfare rates to booking budget-friendly accommodations. And don't forget about apps for public transport schedules, which can save you a ton on getting around. The best part? Many of these apps also offer real-time reviews and tips from other travellers, giving you the inside scoop on how to save even more money.

13. Join Loyalty Programs

Whether it's airlines, hotels, or even car rental services, loyalty programs often offer great perks like free upgrades, discounts, and even free nights. Signing up is usually free. Over time, the points or miles you collect can add up to some serious savings. Plus, many programs offer additional benefits the more you travel, like priority check-in or access to exclusive lounges.

14. Avoid Roaming Charges

Roaming charges can sneak up on you, and suddenly, you’re facing a hefty bill. The trick? Always turn off your mobile data and roaming before you board your flight. Once you land, rely on free Wi-Fi spots at cafes, hotels, and public spaces to stay connected. If you need data on the go, consider buying a local SIM card. They're usually affordable and give you access to local rates for calls and data.

Making Every Penny Count on the Road

Travelling smart is about making informed choices. With these tips on how to save money while travelling, you’re well on your way to seeing more of the world for less.

Remember, the goal is to go out of your comfort zone without draining your bank account. So, pack your bag, grab your water bottle, and set off on your next adventure with confidence, knowing you've got the tools to make every penny count.