Saving your pennies whilst abroad will help prolong a trip and could be the difference between adding on another country or returning home earlier. There is no need to feel shameful about counting your pennies, everyone does it! There is a sense of competitiveness among travellers to see who can save the most money but do the most things.
Some travellers are creative with ideas on how to save money, from bulk buying pasta and only living on that to wild camping for accommodation. The shoestring budget approach to travelling isn’t ideal for every traveller. Find a balance between saving money and enjoying your travels.
One way of saving money is to look for alternative holiday options, not just looking at staying in resorts or backpacker hostels. Below are some alternative holidays which can save travellers hundreds!
Many home owners and pet owners love travelling but hate leaving their house unattended and boarding their pets in kennels. Pets are creatures of habit and happiest and healthiest with little change to their routine and in their own home. There are now many websites which home owners post on, advertising their home for free in exchange for sitters looking after their animals, plants and home.
Each house/pet sitting website has different conditions, often there is an annual subscription from £15-100. Often house sitters are required to pay the bills for the time they stayed and sometimes a deposit is required in case of damages, but each host is different.
Help work towards a world without poverty and join a project abroad. There are many different ways to volunteer abroad, the main include: teaching, community development, women empowerment, health care and teaching English.
Many expensive companies offer projects abroad for a thousand pounds a week, however there are affordable organisations out there offering the same positions for a fraction of the price. These organisations don’t advertise all over the internet and can be hard to find. They do exist, perhaps on the second or third page of search results. Affordable organisations I have used include: Original Volunteersand World Packers. I also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity although they are certainly not in the affordable category.
In the past couple of years, working exchanges have boomed in popularity and numerous work exchange networks have sprung up online, helping to connect hosts and travellers. These come in many different forms: family exchanges, home stays, farm stays, working holidays, cultural exchanges and more!
In exchange for accommodation and sometimes food, a couple of hours is spent during the day working. Hours vary from project to project, sometimes a whole day of work is required, and travellers get a couple of days off during the week and some projects require work every day with shorter hours, 2-4 hours each day.
Each project is unique, and it is possible to find unusual and quirky ways of seeing a country. I have seen adverts for help wanted on road trip adventures, at reindeer and husky farms, and even someone looking for help searching for big foot!
Unnecessary Costs Whilst Travelling
- Lost hotel key deposits
- Coffee, one coffee a day from a coffee shop can easily cost over $100 a month!
- Alcoholic Beverages
- Excess baggage fees
- ATM charges, try and find a machine with free withdrawals
- Booking Charges, go direct to a website, rather than using a comparison site, and see if you can book cheaper
- Cancellation fees
- Tours at attractions, museums often advertise tours with guides but also provide free audio tour in multiple languages.
- Post cards and international stamps
- Individual bottles of water. Buy larger 5 litre bottles instead and keep it in your hotel room, refilling a re-usable bottle to take with you each day, rather than buying them on the go.
- Western food is expensive abroad, embrace the local culture and if you’re eating out eat the same as the locals.
- Airport food
- Wi-Fi, look for a café nearby that offers free Wi-Fi and go there instead of buying hours at your hotel
- Branded food at supermarkets, you will save so much money cooking yourself and make even more of a saving by avoiding branded food and sticking to the local products.