The hardest thing for any wandering nomad and traveller is irrefutably the budget. Now we know budgets come in all sizes, but Chris and I really feel for the people on the smaller side of things. We know exactly what it’s like to ‘pinch your pennies’ in order to make our travel last that little bit longer. So from our experience we’ve compiled a list of things you can do to save while still having an amazing and memorable time while travelling!
This will be the thing which uses the majority of your money so finding the right place is imperative for a budget. For the solo traveller to keep costs low, hostel living is the way to go (hey that rhymes!). While you might have to share a room with a bunch of potentially smelly travellers you can also actually meet some really cool people, people who may have gotten to the area before you and have some insider info on things to see/do. My advice when picking a hostel is read any reviews they might have and make sure they have a common room and kitchen. For couples or a group of friends you might consider AirBnB, as whole apartments are sometimes only a few dollars more a night than a hostel and you’ll get a lot more privacy which can be a nice change. You can also book a private room in a house, which is typically cheaper than a private hostel room, but gives you the benefit of being able to chat to the owners who know the area. If you also enjoy a bit of adventure why not consider camping, it’s super cheap and one of the best ways to get in touch with your natural side.
Cook for yourself
It doesn’t have to be every night but maybe every other night something simple. Realistically you should be able to cook something yourself for less than half the price it would cost you to eat out. So keep a kitchen in mind when looking for accommodation.
Take a bus instead of a plane or train
You can get some really cheap flights don’t get me wrong, but generally buses will be much cheaper than most airline tickets not to mention on a bus you get to see more of the countryside which can be pretty nice. This is especially true in countries like Switzerland and Austria where the bus ride provides you some epic scenery!
Join a free walking tour
One of the best ways to get to know a city in my experience is to attend a free walking tour. Pretty much every city will have one and all you have to do is type “free walking tour (insert city name)” into google. There may be quite a few tours available or just one depending on the city but the best thing to do is read some reviews before you choose the right tour for you. Ok so they’re not exactly tours done out of the kindness of guides hearts, it’s still a primary form of income for many of them…the tour works by way of tips or donations, pretty much all the guides will tell you to pay them as much as you think it’s worth at the end of the tour.
Nights out can be expensive so finding a happy hour will get your night started and save you a little bit of money to, you can also find some really cool bars and pubs this way. Again google is your friend here, search for “best happy hours (insert city name)” and it should be as easy as that. Alternatively ask your accommodation hosts for some tips on places to go.
Free or cheap events
Check out websites like TimeOut (one of my favourite “things to do” websites) which usually give you up to date things to do in a particular city and even have info on loads of events which are free!
Managing your budget
Most importantly know your budget! Make a daily, weekly and monthly (if you need to) budget, try to stick below each target but understand that if you go over one day you’ll need to make it up on another. If you use even a simple spreadsheet or there are plenty of free budget apps out there it will be easy to keep track of your spending. This way you won’t look at your bank account and notice a couple of decimal points missing when you still have more than half your trip to go.
Remember you can have a budget and still have a good time! Just a little bit of planning can go a long way and if you’re good at it your budget can take you a very long way.