We’re all after ways to save money while we travel. With this in mind, we’ve put together 10 of the very best travel hacks which will help you to do just that. From being smart when it comes to exchanging currency and using your phone abroad, to learning how to live like a local once you’re there, read on for some of the best travel hacks that are guaranteed to help you save money and enjoy more budget travel!
Be savvy when booking flights
One of the best travel hacks to save money, there are countless ways to snag a cheap airline deal. The problem is most of us can’t be bothered to spend the time working out how. Luckily for you, we’ve done the homework. Being flexible on the date and time you fly, comparing different (less popular) sites and even booking in a different currency are all ways to find the cheapest flights online. Two other top tips include setting up flight alerts for tickets you’re interested in (and booking promptly when there’s a price drop) and the handy 8 week rule: booking no sooner or later than 8 weeks.
We actually created a whole post on how to find the cheapest flights online a while back. Read it here for even juicer information and tips.
Book an Airbnb rather than a hotel
Nowadays, there are plenty of options other than the hotel chain. This is one of the best travel hacks for saving money, particularly if you are staying somewhere on a longer-term basis. Plus, you can often rent an entire place – giving you the luxury of privacy and your own space to really relax in. It also means you have the freedom to eat in whenever you like, which is great for budget travel.
Avoid roaming charges and huge phone bills
One of the easiest ways to lose money – and also save it – is with unnecessary roaming and mobile phone charges. Coming home to a whopping phone bill is no one's idea of fun. Thankfully, this can be easily avoided by either buying a local sim once you arrive at the airport (recommended) or buying an international roaming package from your carrier.
TOP TIP: Double check with your mobile provider whether any international roaming is included in your package – it often is, but many people miss out on it!
Shop and eat like a local
Unsurprisingly, not only is it much better for your travel budget to shop and eat like a local, it’s often better for your stomach, too. Swap your supermarket chain for a local market, and try out street eating for a change – you may be surprised how much you enjoy yourself! Your wallet certainly will.
Be smart when it comes to exchanging currency
In other words, don’t exchange your currency at the airport. Or the Post Office. Instead, employ the services of a reputable and competitive company like ACE-FX. We guarantee the best rates in the UK, and we’ll deliver the currency to your door free of charge if you don’t fancy making it down to our London Bridge or Canary Wharf branches. For only a little effort, you’ll find yourself saving some serious dosh.
Learn the art of haggling
One of the best travel hacks to arm yourself with when you travel the world? Haggling. How to haggle is one of the most useful things you can learn when going abroad – and you’ll be surprised just how often it will come in handy. As well as the obvious places, like markets, shops and taxis, many places you would not expect will have you haggling for cheaper hotel rooms and reduced bike hire fare. A more detailed article to come on haggling 101 – watch this space!
Use public transport, not taxis
Many places you visit will have a particularly good form of public transport. In Mexico, they’ve got great bus services. In Spain, they’ve got a superb metro. Switzerland is known for its superior train lines. Rather than doing the tourist thing and getting a cab everywhere you go, save a bit of money and travel around like a local. It’s a fun way to get to know a place a bit better, see another side to a country and stick to that all-important budget travel!
Make the most of free activities
Every city has something free to take part in, whether it’s enjoying a beautiful park, visiting a market or wandering around a museum. With minimum effort and a little in the way of research, you will be able to find a multitude of free activities in any place you decided to visit. Get searching, budget travellers!
Think about house sitting or couch surfing
These are not often options people actually consider when going abroad, but this is one of the best travel hacks if you want to both save money and really get to know the place you’re visiting. Trusted Housesitters is one of the best websites for finding reliable house sitting, with people across the globe searching for housesitters to look after their homes and pets while they’re away.
Use your hand luggage wisely
The ideal, of course, is only bringing hand luggage with you, and therefore not paying anything extra for luggage. But we can’t all squeeze everything into a small bag when we’re going away, particularly not if it’s a long trip. What you can do, is maximise your use of hand luggage allowances. Spend less on your checked in luggage, and pack more into your hand luggage. As for extras, put them in a plastic bag and carry it on to the plane with you – no one will be any the wiser. Easy!