2016/10/31

#60 10 INCREDIBLY HELFUL TIPS TO SAVE MONEY WHILE TRAVELING


What an enormous power a simple piece of thin paper can have on us humans … money.
  
Some of us have a lot of paper, others have enough to life a good life we would call 'normal', more than just a few have barely nothing.
But when you are traveling, oh when you're traveling it turns out to be a completely different story.
Even though it does obviously depend on which place in our big world you have chosen as your next place to be, I have barely met any (long time) traveler who did not have to waste some thoughts on their wallet and the relationship between them and what fills it.
   
I spent a lot of time contemplating about mine, listening to people who have never even had the chance of spending just as half as much money as I do per week, listening to others who could spend it all within one week if they want to but first of all - listening to myself when standing in front of mirrors like that. I still allow myself to spend some notes on clothing, still buy those $5 coffee rather than making my own using some weird powder and boiling water, still pay $8 for a beer. By now, I have figured out how to keep track of my expenses and to avoid ending up completely broke (even though it was quite an experience).

I collected these 10 helpful tricks that will help you to keep your coins together !


Book your flights smart
Remember my detailed description of how much I hated waking up at crazy times in the early morning just to catch the plane to Adelaide ?
Well, as you can probably guess – I didn't choose that time at my favorite one to travel. Always try to be flexible with your days and times, try to fly on Tuesday or Wednesday and really early in the morning to catch a break in fares.
My all time favorite to compare fares and to find the ideal flight for me is Skyscanner as it gives you not only the possibility to find the cheapest months to fly, but also to choose the most affordable place to depart and arrive in the country of your choice.

Use cash
Here in Australia, you just tap the credit card on the eftpos machine to fix up your bill, which makes it pretty easy to loose track of your expenses. Try to take cash – only cash – to be aware of how much you are spending and to keep your bank account filled. You will be surprised how much that helps !

Set a daily budget and stick to it
This can be quite hard at the beginning, as I know most of us have those little voice whispering in our ear that we are on holiday, that we should enjoy our life and don't give a damn. If you want to stay on the road though, without ending up broke, it is quite important to keep a better eye on you're daily expenses. As I've already said – leave your credit card alone, take the cash you need to spend your day and go without the tempting, expensive treats. You will figure out how much you really need each day pretty quickly, if you go over this budget - cut it back the next day, if you manage to spend less you might be able to afford some shopping later. It is a great way to learn how to deal with money and to travel longer !

Stay away from shops and summer sales
I used to waist quite a lot of money on clothes, accessories and other fashion items that where tempting me out of the stores window here and there, which is surely the reason for why I ended up broke a few times. Even though it was always an interesting experience to pass the week without any money left – I had to stop buying. After reorganizing my whole wardrobe I finally realized how many clothes I have owed without even wearing them once. I decided to donate a few of them and to keep only my favorites, which did additionally make my backpack way lighter and so much more comfortable to carry around. From then on I stayed away from the big shopping emporiums, which are expensive in almost every aspect anyway, and just treat myself from time to time with some new pieces I do really like a lot. This helped me so much not only to become more aware of my needs, but also to get more creative with those clothes I own and to develop my own unique style!

Never leave without some snacks and drinks in your bag
Remember these practical lunch boxes you had in school ? They are coming back ! And even if it's just a bottle of water and an apple in your bag you will be saving money on snacks. Especially in bigger cities, it is pretty easy to spend your savings on those delicious little threats seducing you out of the bakeries window, and trust me – they will start to ad up in one point. I collected many good memories stopping somewhere to eat my pre-packed lunch or dinner, meeting awesome people, having good conversations and saving some coins at the end of the day.

Take the public transport
Isn't it ridiculously easy to just wait for a minute on the side of the road and catch the next cap ? It might be comfortable and relaxed – until it comes to the payment. The easiest way is rarely the smartest one. Try to make use of the public transport as often as possible, which is surprisingly good in almost every bigger city. You will not only treat your wallet, but also get a better idea of the locals lifestyle and might end up in the most beautiful places when accidentally taking the wrong bus or train.
(If you are under time pressure or just want to be comfortable from time to time catch an Ueber Taxi, which works out a bit cheaper than a regular cap)

Don't stay in Hotels
Instead of spending tons of cash for a hotel room each night, try housesitting, couchsurfing, volunteering or to work for accommodation. You'll be surprised about the possibilities most places offer you to protect your money and also to make memorable experiences most people don't !

Don't hesitate to talk to locals
My golden travel rule, which you can apply in many many situations of your journey – talk to locals and don't be shy to ask them questions about their home ! You will be surprised about the information you get and maybe even make some new friends ! A good ice-breaker is always to ask for directions or simple advice (How do I get to street x?”).

Travel off-peak
I remember being absolutely amazed by how affordable Thailand was when I visited this beautiful country for the first time during the monsoon-season. When I came back a few years later, visiting the same places at the same time as most tourists and travelers, I was shocked by the increased prices. Do a little research to not to end up spending too much money for accommodation, food and co, just because you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Especially South East Asia is even more enjoyable during the low-season, as less tourist lead the countries to be way more authentic and you to experience it in a way most other wont.

Treat yourself
Don't forget to be generous to yourself from time to time. It is great to live on a budget, save money and make unique experiences, but life is a book we are writing ourselves, so who said it is not allowed to break the rules from time to time ?
Pick one day at the end or the beginning of each month, take your favorite dress out and treat yourself however you like it the best.