We all know the struggle: Finally a few days off and we would like to just go for the weekend to another place or city and have a good time… if it wasn’t for that money. Traveling is expensive. Or rather: can be. This blog is dedicated to serving you with good travel advice on how to save money while traveling – all learned from personal experience. In this entry, I will provide you with some general tips that you can apply to basically every trip. Of course, depending on who is asked, you will get different answers. Here is my personal top five:
- Be flexible
By saying “be flexible” I’m referring to different aspects of your trip. First of all, yes, be flexible with the date. If you are using your holidays for work, it might be a good idea to ask for days off starting from the middle of the week and not necessarily leave between Friday and Monday. Be also flexible with the time of your trip. It is more comfortable to travel during day hours but this luxury will cost you. And also, be flexible with your trip in general. Found a good offer for a train/bus to Hamburg instead of Berlin? Well, maybe go to Hamburg then.
- Talk to locals
This one might need some courage but the pay-offs are huge. And you’d be surprised how nice most of the people are. They can tell you which places to visit better than any guidebook and which sights are actually just tourist traps. And their advice is free and shops and bars for locals are often free of the “tourist-tax”. Sometimes it’s enough if you just look confused on your phone and people will approach you automatically. During night hours talking to locals should be even easier as people are on the streets to socialize.
- Prepare food and snacks
The problem with being out on the streets and exploring: Hunger is a constant companion and often you are rather in the pursuit of the next snack rather than genuinely embracing the city. Be prepared and instead of buying expensive, low-quality food be smart and take some extra food (and water!) from the breakfast on your way to the city. That way you can save some money on food you can later spend somewhere more appropriate (beers?)
- Get free accommodations
Have you got a friend who recently moved to Portugal for his/her Erasmus Semester? Might be worth to just ask if you can crash a few days their place. That way you save the money on hotels or Airbnb and get to meet some friends. Of course, there is Couchsurfing but let’s be honest, that’s not for everyone.
- Find a good travel deal
From Facebook Groups to travel websites and agencies, everyone is spamming you with seemingly perfect deals for you. It is exhausting but you have to find the one that is fitting for you. Yes, those deals can be interesting but never book anything without having done any research before. Just looking up your hotel on google maps can sometimes be quite revealing. In the end, nothing comes in free. Make sure if possible that you book transfer or similar with some time in advance. And bring awesome people. With good friends on a trip, you could as well go camping in the nearest forest and you should have the best time.