Meaningful travel is possible even if you don’t have tons of cash to fund a trip. If you plan wisely and stay flexible, you can experience new cultures, and witness the beauty of the world — without going broke. These four tips can help you get started on how to save money and travel like a local.
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4 Tips to Save Money and Travel Like a Local
Wanderlust is defined as “a strong desire for, or impulse to, wander or travel and explore the world.” For me, that’s also experiencing the local culture, digging in deep, and getting to know that destination. But that desire to travel comes with a price tag. To help save money when traveling, these 4 tips will help cut costs and inspire you to travel like a local.
Live Like a Local
Instead of making plans to visit every high-priced tourist attraction, let your travel serve as a built-in excuse to slow things down. Living like the locals will allow you to get in touch with the authentic culture of your destination.
Avoiding tourist traps and the elevated prices that often go with the restaurants and shopping in those areas will help you stick to a budget while you’re traveling. Cafes and restaurants that don’t offer English menus are a great place to start.
Part of living like a local? Doing some “home” cooking instead of eating out for every meal. Check out an authentic market, and stock up on fruits, vegetables, and other local delicacies. Even if you make your own meal just once a day instead of eating out, you’ll save big over the course of your trip.
Book a Vacation Home or Apartment
One way to dig in and travel like a local is to skip the hotel and book a vacation home or apartment. Whether traveling solo or with the family, there are plenty of destinations offering rentals for a few days and even a month or longer. “Homestays” are an affordable option to hotels, and it also gives you an option to cut down on cost with a full kitchen to cook your own meals.
Find Work While You’re Away
You can fund and even prolong your time away if you get creative with working. Plenty of remote gigs are available online if you have a working internet connection. You can also search for jobs specifically for people looking to go abroad. Consider teaching English or getting a job as an au pair if you love kids.
If outdoor work is more your speed, check out WWOOF, or World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, for another way to combine work and travel.
Utilize Flight Alerts
Taking advantage of flight deals is an easy way to travel on a budget. Signing up for flight alerts and services that do the legwork of finding great deals for you will save you time and energy, not to mention cash that you can use to have fun while you’re away.
Once you know where you’re headed, take some time to strategize your packing. Packing light will give you more flexibility while you’re on the go and also save you the hassle of lugging around heavy bags throughout your journey.
Identify a few key pieces you can’t live without, like shoes you can walk in and a layer for chillier nights. Then, choose clothes you can mix and match to create outfits for different days. (But you can also pack smart and still be stylish!)
If you’re planning to check out a few locations on your trip, smart packing is even more important. Budget airlines often charge fees for checked baggage. Sticking to a carry-on will save you those unexpected added costs. Even if you’re going by train or bus, you’ll appreciate being able to tuck your one bag under the seat in front of you or onto the overhead rack without a struggle.
Before setting off on your next big adventure, consider ways to help you cut down on costs while you travel the world. You’ll find yourself diving into more authentic, meaningful experiences with these tips in mind.