Some people think that traveling always costs a lot but there are actually so many ways to go someplace new with a low budget. I have never been very wealthy so I know some tips on how to travel cheaper.
1. Use low-cost airlines or trains to travel around Europe
Trains were the first transport mode that people used for traveling long distances. Today, trains are a lot faster than they were years ago. Train transportation, especially in Europe, is quite cheap and often time-consuming. You can get from one European city to another European city many hours faster than you would have got by plane. Sounds impossible? Add all the hours you would spend, arriving early at the airport and waiting for your luggage and you’ll see you would save a lot of time traveling by train (speed-train).
Also, some low-cost airlines are a great way to travel cheaper. When using this transportation method you should acknowledge that you would have to read their terms very carefully. It’s cheaper to travel with hand luggage only. Extra luggage is usually not included in the ticket price. Pay attention to the permitted luggage size or you will end up paying extra at the gate.
2. Travel on Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday
Very often the price of flight tickets depends on which day you travel. I have noticed that cheaper prices are usually when traveling on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. This is not always the case though. You could also find cheaper flights from alternative airports, like airports in the neighboring country/city.
3. Use public transport
It’s quite obvious that using public transport would be much cheaper than renting a car. By using public transportation you travel like a local and you see things as local people do. You will get an experience to step out from your comfort zone of being a typical tourist and dive into the real world as a traveler.
When I went to Italy with my aunt’s family, we went from Salerno to Amalfi with a bus full of people. It was so full that people were standing against each other and the bus rode near the cliff so fast it felt like we’re on a roller-coaster. The buses were honking their horns in every curve to let other drivers know the bus is approaching the curve. We probably would not have known that if we had rented a car. And we got a crazy and terrifying story for us to tell others. Using public transport truly gives you some kind of cultural experience.
4. Sleep in hostels, cheaper hotel rooms or Airbnb rooms
Hostels are not only for young people who party all night long and then sleep in bunk beds. To be honest, I’ve never stayed in one of those kinds of hostels. My experience with hostels is totally different. In Spain, I stayed in a hostel that I booked through booking.com and it seemed more like an Airbnb apartment. A woman, who lived in the apartment had about 3-4 rooms for people just like me. A decent room with one or two beds and shared access to the kitchen. The apartment was very nice and we hardly saw anyone there the entire time we were there (4-5 days).
5. Book an apartment or villa
When traveling with a larger group of friends or a family, consider booking an entire apartment or a villa. It might be a cheaper option and you will be all together instead of different hotel rooms. I booked an apartment for a trip to Italy with my cousin’s family (5 of us all together) and we enjoyed the privacy of living on top of the mountain where we had a kitchen/living room area, big bathroom, and two bedrooms (You can read about my trip in Italy here), view of the mountains and a patio where we could enjoy our breakfast under the lemon tree. We stayed there for about 3 nights and it cost about 450€ in total. Divide it with 5 people and 3 nights and the total for one person for a night would be about 30€ which in my opinion is quite cheap for accommodation like that.
6. Visit free or cheap museums
Very often there are a lot of cheap or even free museums in the city that you’re visiting. National museums could be a great start for your trip to get to know the country/city that you’re in. There are more opportunities (In Europe) for getting a free ticket into a museum if you are an EU student with an ISIC student card. I showed my ISIC card in Athens Acropolis museum just in case and not only did I get a free ticket to the museum, but I also got a free ticket to see Acropolis (To read more about my experience with ISIC Card in Greece, click here). At some places, the price is cheaper just because you are younger than 24 or something (For example, in Caserta Palace, Italy).
7. Try getting a package of attractions to visit in the city
If you are planning to visit many places in one city, the best choice to save some money is to buy a package of attractions. I often search for packages like that. For example, I have saved up a lot in Barcelona with Barcelona Card, in London with The London Pass and now I am going to use a Go Los Angeles Card in Los Angeles. With a card like that, you can visit many attractions at a reduced price or completely free. The price of the Card depends on how many days you wish to use it.
8. Find great deals
There are a lot of websites that offer great deals. Just be careful and read other people’s reviews before you trust any website and purchase anything from there. I like sites like Holiday Pirates and Last Minute. Sometimes you could find really great deals from sites like these. I have to admit, though, that I have never used these sights, but I have found some great deals from there. On these kinds of sites, you usually have to think fast because a great deal won’t last long.
9. Go hiking
Instead of visiting expensive attractions and museums go hiking. It’s free and also fun. You would see nature more up close and see beautiful views on top of a mountain. It would often take hard work to climb up on a mountain or hike many kilometers/miles but I’m pretty sure it would be worth it.
10. Rent a bike instead of a car
If you are staying in a bigger city you could save some money by renting a bike instead of a car. With a bike, you can go further and faster than walking and see more in a day than you would’ve by foot. Also, in many big cities, there are traffic jams where cars and buses would be stuck but with a bike, it’s easier to avoid traffic jams.
That’s it! I hope you got some ideas and some necessary tips for your next travel.