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As I’m writing this Wanderlust Workers post from the sundeck of my hotel that overlooks the Dead Sea in Jordan, I’m thinking about how many times I never thought I’d ever being doing this. Like many people, I automatically wrote travel off as something that was expensive, and that there was just no way around it.
Well, I’m also sitting here going into my sixth month of full-time travel, and I know for a fact off the top of my head that it’s been way cheaper to travel than it would have been living my normal life in Los Angeles. Travel does not have to be expensive, YOU just need to get your head out of that little box that says there’s only one way to travel.
Spending less and saving your money WHILE you travel, is going to be the final lesson in this Wanderlust Workers program, because it’s just as important to stretch your dollar, as it is to make it.
How do we do that? With travel hacks. They don’t always work, they do require more time and patience, but once you start using them, and getting good at them, you’ll be able to see how much you can save while you travel. I’ve written blog posts about most of these, so this post is going to be more like a resource than tutorial. However as I continue to improve this program, and learn more travel hacks, you can check back here for reference!
So let’s begin!
Flights are hands down the most expensive part of travel, and there’s usually nothing you can do about that. UNLESS. You’re a flexible, patient person, and you don’t mind spending a little extra time researching, and possibly hanging out in another country in order to save a hundred bucks or so.
I’m talking about my “flexible option” technique that I use with a website called Skyscanner in order to find the cheapest possible flights for my trips. It’s not a secret feature that the actual website offers, they just find the flight results. It’s an extra couple of steps you can take that’s easy to do since Skyscanner offers a few “flexible options”.
Basically what you want to do is:
By being flexible with time, routes, and dates, you can end up saving A LOT of money. Below are a few articles I wrote with more detailed instructions, and also a video tutorial as well.
“How to Find the Cheapest Flights to Indonesia” (just change the destination to wherever you want to go)
Here’s one using Kayak’s “Everywhere” feature:
Other travel hacks for flights that I use include:
You know which cost I’m talking about here. Luggage fees. Nothing is worse than finding a cheap ass flight, getting all excited about it, then getting hit with an insane luggage fee once you get to the airport. Most international flights do include at least one piece of checked luggage, but they can still get you with those excess weight fees! So here’s a few tips:
I have a massive tutorial for how I pack coming soon, but in the meantime, here’s one I did for packing a weekender bag:
Another thing that everyone thinks is going to be expensive and really isn’t, is accommodations. There’s a good chance you’re just not looking correctly. Typically I use Booking.com because I book things last minute, but if you plan in advance, I’d suggest using the map feature on Google to find where to stay.
I did a whole tutorial on this as well, but essentially Google shows you all of the hotels in the area your interested in, then when you click on the hotel name, it pulls up every site that has the hotel listed, and includes if any have a special or deal.
Here’s the info on how to use that technique: How to Find the Cheapest Hotels Using Google Search
For anyone who still has doubts about using AirBnB, get over it. It’s not sketchy, it’s not weird, it’s awesome, and it can sometimes save you a lot of money. I have found that using AirBnB for longer trips also is super beneficial and cost efficient, since most listings offer a discount if you book for a week or more.
I also purposely book AirBnB’s that have a washer/dryer during my longer trips sometimes to save on doing laundry! Also having a kitchen helps a lot because then you can buy some groceries and cook yourself rather than always having to eat out!
Food costs can seriously start to rack up while you’re traveling if you aren’t careful! Don’t write your meals off as something you HAD to spend a fortune on because it was all you could find! Look for local cafes or restaurants, and even street food if you can! As I mentioned above, I tend to do a little bit of grocery shopping, even if it’s just at a nearby convenience store.
I also usually always bring granola/protein bars with me when I travel. It helps offset my hunger, keeps my metabolism balanced, and of course is a healthy alternative to just grubbing down on whatever I can find when I’m hungry.
It’s a given that taxis are probably the most expensive mode of transportation anywhere you go. Sometimes you can’t avoid it, but most of the time there’s a cheaper way. The first thing you should do when you get to another country, is check to see if Uber is available there. From my experience, not only do they usually offer pick up from the airport, but pre-arranged prices as well.
If you’re flying into an airport that has an airport train, that’s usually a pretty cheap option as well. All you need to do is look it up before you arrive to make sure they have it, then you can simply follow airport signs, or ask someone, once you arrive.
That being said, if the above two modes of transportation exist at the airport, they probably exist in the rest of the city as well. Aside from buses (which I typically have a slightly more difficult time figuring out), they’re probably your cheapest options. Actually I lied, walking and biking are your cheapest options, so always opt for those two first!
It is very easy to spend all of your money very quickly when you travel if you constantly buy every thing you see! I always limit myself to one small souvenir, and one small accessory, both of which I wait until the last couple of days to get when I see if I have any leftover money.
It also helps to make yourself extremely familiar with the exchange rate, that way you don’t end up thinking you’re spending less than you really are!
So yeah! These are all things to keep in mind before and during your travels! Again, please keep checking back to this post, as I will be improving it as I continue to shape this Wanderlust Workers program!
Don’t forget to keep adding to your Luggage Egg! Next week is graduation!!!!!