Many people I talk to say that they would love to travel but simply can't afford to and this is a real shame. Too many people put off experiences simply because they think they don't have enough money to achieve everything they want to, and so they would rather not attempt it at all. With so many people failing to take the leap and discover the many different cultures and countries out there, I felt compelled to let you in on some of my top money-saving travel tips to put into practise before you go and while you are away.
1. Raise funds
You could always whack everything on your credit card and have a grand old time of it while you are away, but this only means returning to financial strife once your travels are over. A more practical way of raising funds is to use what you already have and by this I mean selling unwanted items you have in your home. The Gumtree Site is a fantastic local resource on which you advertise your unwanted goods and can even save money on posting and packaging by requesting the buyer picks up the items themselves. You can sell all manner of things on this site including books, clothes, gadgets, bikes and ornaments, so get sorting out your stuff and sell anything you no longer want or need to fund your next big adventure.
2. Plan Ahead
Although a wonderful idea in theory, jetting off and going where the wind takes you is not a sensible nor cost effective idea. When on a budget it is best to plan exactly where you want to go, how you are going to reach each destination and to find out as much about the location as possible. Researching the cheapest way to travel is easily done via the internet and if you scour travel forums you can feast on the experiences of other travellers who will know the cheapest places to eat, the least expensive way to travel and also about any local taxes and charges that you may not be aware of otherwise. If you are stuck for ideas on where to start regarding travel sites, take a look at The Independent's 50 Best Travel Sites and discover a wealth of information in one spot.
3. Alternative Entertainment
When being thrifty, it is important to be definite about what you absolutely must do and things you can go without, especially when it comes to discovering the entertainment available in the country you visit. Be selective about how many times you dine out, how many nights you spend at the clubs or casinos, and know exactly what museums and galleries you want to visit before you go so that you don't waste time and money on a place that doesn't interest you. Stock up on entertaining apps so that if you are spending the night in, you can still enjoy some form of entertainment. If you're staying in a place like Vegas and don't want to miss out on the excitement of the casino on the nights you are not going out, take advantage of the offers and bonuses currently provided by Betway that are all available to play online, and who knows, you could actually win a lot by only spending a fraction on what you would have spent if you'd gone to a real casino!
4. Save Money by Recycling
Those dinky travel-sized bottles of shampoo, moisturizer and shower gel seem like a practical space-saving solution, but when you compare how much they cost to their full-sized versions, you will soon realize that you are being ripped off. There is no need to buy toiletries specifically for your travels and you can save money and space simultaneously by reusing small plastic bottles and pots and filling them with whatever you want to take with you. For years I have been cleaning then storing pots that previously held body lotion and then filling them with shampoo and conditioner whenever I go away. This is also a great idea for when you are traveling light and only want to take hand luggage as small pots under 100ml ensure you won't have to throw items away for being over the maximum liquid allowance.
Related: 50 Ways To Save $500+ Each Month
5. Stay with Friends
If you have ever had a friend that lives abroad insist that you stay with them when you travel, take them up on the offer. You could save hundreds of pounds by not staying at a hotel and will also have the benefit of your friends' knowledge of the local area. Do ensure their offer was genuine, however, as there is nothing worse than staying somewhere you are not welcome. Yet, if friends in foreign lands ever do invite you to stay at their home, then do it, and make sure you bring them a lovely gift in return for their hospitality, and who knows, they may even invite you to stay again!