5 top tips for frugal travel

5 top tips for frugal travel

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You might feel like frugal living and travelling don’t really work together.  Well, I disagree.  For me, I am frugal in other areas of my life so that I can travel.

 

Plus, you can extend your frugal living practices into your travels to make it even more affordable and enable yourself to travel further and for longer.

 

My family and I spent nearly 7 months travelling full time on a tight budget.  We loved every second and our frugal lifestyle helped us keep going.  Here are my top tips for frugal travel:

Go self-catering

We all know that food is a major expense in normal life and it is even more so when you travel.  But experiencing new foods in new countries is part of the joy.

 

Opting to go self-catering is a great way to manage your budget without restricting what you can eat.  It does not stop you from going to local restaurants or trying the street food, but it does mean that you can save money by cooking a few meals yourself.

 

I enjoy trying to cook local cuisine while I am in that country.  It is great to head to a market for fresh ingredients and cook food the way the locals do.

 

Avoid hotels

When we travel, we rarely stay in hotels.  For one, we find them restrictive and they create a false impression of the place you are staying in.

 

Secondly, they are expensive, and you can find far cheaper accommodation on websites such as Airbnb and Booking.com.  You might even end up in a hotel but at a fraction of the price.

 

Plus, the quality of the accommodation you get through these websites is fantastic.  You can stay in some beautiful places and even get to know your hosts.

Pack light

This is one of my favourite tips as it saved us a fortune as a family of four.  But pack as light as you can.  You want to aim for around 5kgs each.

 

The reason for this is that you can then avoid paying for checked baggage and just take hand luggage with you.  It is more convenient too, as you are ready to go as soon as you jump off the plane.

 

Be flexible

When it comes to travelling, the best way to save money is to be flexible.  If you can avoid weekends or school holidays, then you will be able to save a lot of money.

 

But even if you are fixed on dates, some flexibility can still help you save.  For example, flying from a different airport to the one you arrived might reduce your costs and you can add another level of adventure by exploring a different part of that country.

 

Travel overland

If your holiday involves moving around a country or region, then swap the plane for a train or a coach.  It might not be the fast way to get somewhere, but it will save you a fortune and you will so much more.

 

Coach and train travel is much better than you are probably picturing in your head.  Coaches have TVs and toilets, and some even provide food.  Trains come with food carriages, bed and showers making them a far more relaxing way to travel than by plane.

 

What are your frugal travel tips?

How have you managed to save money while travelling?  Do you have any tips to share?  Write them below and I’ll add them in.

Disclaimer:  Remember the information you read here does not represent advice.  Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you.  Read the full disclaimer here.


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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Kimberly

    These are great tips! I think flexibility has the most impact when it comes to reducing costs. If you aren’t tied to a certain destination and instead follow the price fluctuations, you can get great deals!

  2. Cate Rosales

    Excellent article! We are seriously light packers and it makes travel so much easier!

  3. Natalie

    When we can travel again will definitely be keeping these tips in mind. Thanks for sharing!

  4. These are very interesting tips to truly immerse yourself into a place or culture while traveling. I think that is one of the best ways to truly see a place.

  5. These are great tips. One of my mottos when the kids were small was “have tent, can travel.” Campsites are inexpensive (or free), and we could eat from our cooler. All we needed was gas money for the car. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

  6. Love your tips. We’ve found that we really enjoy living as locals when we travel. It’s so easy to do now with the vast amount of short term rentals available through airbnb and vrbo. It saves a fortune when you can prepare many of your meals on your own.

  7. Jenny

    Really good tips here! You’re right, hotels are expensive and not really a way to discover the local town.

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