If you haven’t booked your travel plans yet, check out my tips for how to save money to travel BEFORE your trip. Either way, just to reiterate:
The most efficient way to save money to travel is to make your adventures a priority in your life. If traveling is high on your list of priorities, you are going to want to save money and cutting out unnecessary purchases and costs from your life will be a lot easier. However, you just successfully saved enough money to go on your next adventure, but, if you’re on a student budget like me, you still need to stretch your dollar (Euro, Pound, Peso, Yen, etc.) as far as you can while on the road. Here are a few tips on how to save money and budget DURING your trip:
1. Skimp on Where You Stay, Not What You Do
I’m a big fan of Airbnb’s personally. After traveling around Europe, I found often times an inexpensive Airbnb will actually be cheaper per person than a hostel if you are traveling with a few friends. It’s also important to remember, if you’re traveling, you’re going to be out and about most of the day, so you really just need a place to sleep and to possibly keep your extra things. Cheaper living arrangements might make it more cost effective to pay for that once in a lifetime experience in a destination you may never return to!
2. Two Words: STUDENT DISCOUNTS
This saved me so much money when traveling around Europe. If you have a student ID, there is normally some sort of discount into a lot of touristy destinations (especially museums!). Pro Tip: Some European trains have student discounts for tickets. You may even get a bigger discount if you are studying at a university in the EU. During a trip to Athens, Greece, we discovered that you can get into nearly all of the historic sites for free if you are an EU student. This saved us over €30!!
3. Grocery Stores
I know I know I know. Local food is one of the best parts of traveling!! Hear me out. Some destinations, while cheap to travel TO are expensive to travel IN. Examples: Switzerland, Sweden, and Iceland. To save money, for every local and pricier meal, pick up at least two meals at a local grocery store. While the fondue and charcuterie board in Switzerland made my stomach happy, my pesto pasta from the grocery while watching the sunset set over Geneva made my bank account happy.
4. Public Transportation
This might be an obvious one, but it’s an easy one to start implementing now. If you have the time and you are physically able to, I recommend walking as much as possible. Not only is it free, but it’s a great way to see the various neighborhoods of your destination. Often times there are public buses/trams/subways heading nearly everywhere you’d be interested in visiting (in a city). ESPECIALLY to and from the airport. Do your research and book ahead when it comes to airport transportation. In Stockholm, we missed our bus to the airport, and needed to take a taxi in order to make our flight. Let’s just say the taxi to the airport was more expensive than our round trip flight from Belgium to the Stockholm. ☹️ (Skip to 9:50 of my Stockholm Vlog to witness the aftermath of this mistake)
5. Pack in a Backpack or Carry On
ESPECIALLY if you’re flying a discount airline. There is rarely a reason to pay for baggage fees if you’re a student traveller. Trust me. You might not have 10 different outfits for that effortless looking Insta post, but no amount of likes is worth paying baggage fees. If you think otherwise, why did you need to read this far into my post?! (JK I respect your priorities 😉)
BONUS: Bring your own re-usable water bottle.
This saves you a TON of money in airports and on discount flights where you have to pay outrageous prices for water. Airports are even adding water bottle fill stations in their foodcourts or near their regular water fountains. I’ll also make sure to fill mine up whenever I’m at a restaurant or see a public drinking fountain with clean water. (Plus you’re saving the planet, which is the one thing that might be a better investment than travel. 🌍)
Please let me know in the comments what money saving travel tips you use!