If you have been reading more articles on our blog you probably know by now that we love to travel. Traveling can be quite a challenge when you’re trying to be budget smart. The expenses quickly add up and a few relaxing weeks can become a super costly period in the year. Let’s explore some unique tips for traveling on the cheap!
Of course, there are obvious ways to cut expenses during your travels. You can look for the best flight deals and save a lot of money by booking beforehand. Another way is to focus on free events at your destination rather than paying full price for expensive excursions. A hike through nature can be pretty relaxing and cheap. Instead of using your own car, you can perhaps drive with your company car to your desired holiday destination instead of booking an expensive flight. And preparing meals in the kitchen of your rented apartment will be cheaper than staying and eating in a fancy hotel.
Creative ways traveling on the cheap
Besides the more obvious things, there are even more creative ways for traveling on the cheap. As soon as you start looking at traveling as a possible way to save money, you will discover endless opportunities to spend less without enjoying less. These possibilities might not immediately come to mind although they are actually quite effective. The way to discover these options is by broadening your scope from your own journey to the complete context… Soon you will discover a lot of opportunities.
We will share our most favorite ones that will hopefully inspire you to start searching for even more ways to travel on the cheap:
1 | Eliminate all accommodation costs
One of the main expenses when it comes to travel is your accommodation. Accommodation can be very expensive, even if you look for the best deal in town. And apparently, good price deals will often mean accommodation is of much less quality. However, there are other options. When you are lucky, you might have the opportunity to stay in a (second) home of family members or friends. Another possibility is to swap houses with family, friends, or acquaintances abroad. Or, if they are not up for it, you can use Home Exchange. Home Exchange is a platform that allows you to exchange your house with other people, free of charge! It literally saved us thousands of dollars on our holiday spending.
2 | Start travel hacking
With travel hacking, you can book flights and stay in hotels for free. It sounds rather unbelievable, but there is actually a whole group of travel hackers devoted to collecting points to travel for free. The main way to hack your travels is by using special credit cards that allow you to earn miles or points. Credit cards will give you a sign-up bonus. Also, you can add to this bonus by spending as much money as possible via your credit cards. This sounds like buying as much stuff as possible, but it actually is all about looking at your normal expenses and paying for these already existing costs via credit card. Kara and Nate are two travel vloggers who have done this quite successfully and they share their knowledge via their online travel hacking course.
3 | Create a travel business
Starting your own travel business is quite an interesting idea when it comes to traveling on the cheap. This does mean that you need to put some work into your travels. But when you are serious about your traveling and when you love to share your experiences, creating a travel business is a valid option! Write about your travel experiences, share photographs or even vlog during your journey. a travel blog is actually not that hard. You can for instance start a WordPress blog to start sharing your experiences. By doing so you can put a lot of your travel expenses into your business. This allows you to receive major tax benefits. Of course, this doesn’t work when your business is only a gimmick or a facade. So if you create a business around your travel, be genuine about it, or you will have a lot of explaining to do towards the authorities
4 | Generate extra income with your assets during your holiday
Something people often don’t consider is renting out their house when they are staying abroad. Depending on where you live, renting out your house for a few weeks can be a great extra income stream to balance out the extra spending you will have during your travels. There might be a lot of people interested in your house when you leave in high season! Next to renting out your house, you can also consider renting out your car to generate some extra revenue. And yes, you may freak out about somebody else sleeping in your bed, but if you’re honest: so many other people slept in the same hotel bed you’re staying in. Put your ideas about this into perspective and balance the potential risks objectively to the costs to determine where you stand. It’s interesting to see how you can use your assets to create extra income and reduce your financial risk.
5 | Leave in winter, or summer 😉
It might be clear that the timing of your holiday directly influences the costs. In high season costs for accommodation and transportation are way higher than in the low season. However, there is an additional idea behind planning your holiday in the wintertime and it might be something you overlook quite easily. During the winter in the Netherlands, it is quite cold and we run the heating all the time. Also, we have more lights on because it is darker than during summer. The costs for this really add up. We are pretty energy conscious but we probably pay still around 200 Euros per month for this in winter. We can turn the heater down when we go out and travel for a couple of months, which is a big money saver. Of course, the best time to leave your house depends on where you live. When you are living in Florida you probably are better of leaving in the summer months due to the high electricity usage from the air conditioning.
6 | Use a weekly budget during your holiday
We actually use the challenge of living on a weekly budget of only 100 Dollars. This means we can spend a maximum of only 100 Dollars per week on our flexible costs. During our travels, we jack up the amount a little, but we still work with a weekly budget, which allows us to be more critical of our spending. As a result, we spend far less than we would before we used this method.