10 smart and easy ways to save money on travel

There's a common myth that travelling is expensive, and you need to have a lot of money to be able to afford it. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Because, you see, there are hundreds of ways how you can travel nowadays. All thanks to the internet, cheap long haul flights and travel blogs.

Wanna learn a few more tips and tricks? Follow these 10 simple steps and you'll be able to save money on travel and go on longer holidays!

Read more: Where to find the best deals on flights and holidays.

A woman looking into a distance - Easy ways to save money on travel

10 smart and easy ways to save money on travel

1. Travel during shoulder season

Travel during the shoulder season to save money.

Shoulder season? What's that? Shoulder season is the period shortly before the peak tourist season starts and shortly after the high season is over. It’s often the best time for travelling because of several reasons:

  • Flights & hotels are cheaper;

  • It’s overall cheaper to travel during the shoulder season, which is basically off-season;

  • There are less, sometimes way less, other travellers;

  • Less travellers = shorter queues;

  • Weather can still be great, if you do your research and choose the right time for the trip.

2. Sign up to cheap flights mailing lists

Sign up to these cheap flights mailing lists - Scott's Cheap Flights and Dollar Flight Club.

Decide where and when you want to travel. Sign up to the mailing lists. When you’ll get notified on a good deal book the ticket immediately. Because usually these deals are available only for a few days, or even hours!

3. Pay attention to the total cost

If you are travelling with a low cost airline, travel with a carry on only to save on luggage fees. Because often checked luggage fees are as high as 50% of the ticket price, or even more.

Travelling light not only saves money but also your time and back. Who likes to pay extra for the luggage and then spend time waiting for it at the destination airport? Or walking around with two suitcases? Right, no one.

But if you have to travel with checked luggage don’t assume that travelling with a low cost airline and adding a checked bag will be cheaper than a flight with a traditional airline (also called legacy carrier). Legacy carriers often offer great deals and have promos on certain flights.

Use travel fare search engines (Momondo, Kiwi, SkyScanner) to compare the prices.

Most importantly - compare the total cost. Including luggage fees and getting to and from the airport.

4. Book a hotel outside the city centre

To save money on travel book a hotel outside the city centre.

But not anywhere, though! Before booking a hotel pay attention if there’s a metro or public bus nearby so you can get to the centre easily. Also do research on neighbourhoods and the safety. 

5. Save on hotels

Follow HolidayPirates for the best hotel and package deals.

If you are on budget, stay in smaller hotels, guesthouses or with families rather than in hotels. Thus you’ll save a lot of money and you’ll be able to go on a longer holiday.

If you are travelling to a beach destination and don’t plan to travel around a lot, check out all inclusive deals. Usually such combined hotel+flight deals are cheaper than booking them separately.

Man and woman walk on the docks

6. Compare transport options

Sometimes travelling by land will help you to save money. Other times it's gonna be cheaper to fly.

Find out what kind of transport you can use. Are there modern trains, comfortable intercity buses? Is it much cheaper than flying? However, don't forget that not always the cheapest will be the best. As well as not always the most expensive will be the best.

If you are visiting a large country (e.g, India, China or Russia) consider flying between cities to save time.

If you want to see more and pay less think of renting a car.

7. Use day, multi-day tickets or rail passes

Find out if there are day or multi-day tickets or rail passes.

Those can help you to save money if you’ll be moving around a lot.

8. Eat at local restaurants

Eat where the locals go.

It’s cheaper, and the food is more authentic in such places.

9. Use ride-hailing services instead of taxis

Use ride-hailing services instead of taxis.

These are mostly cheaper than regular taxis, and easy to use. Also there’s no language barrier between the customer and the driver anymore, as everything is in the app! And you don't even have to tell the driver where you want to go. You can do it in the app.

Few examples: Uber and Taxify in Europe, Grab in Asia, Ola Cabs in India, DiDi in China.

10. Choose the right travel debit card

Not all debit cards are created equal. Choose yours wisely!

Which one is the best travel debit card in Europe? Here we compare 3 of the best. All of which are offering free cash withdrawals abroad. All coming with a well designed and intuitive mobile app.

Revolut

  • Free cash withdrawals: €200/£200 per month (Standard);
  • Free cash withdrawals: €400/£400 per month (Premium);
  • Free cash withdrawals: €600/£600 per month (Metal).

Monthly fee: Free (Standard), £6.99 (Premium), £12.99 (Metal).

N26

  • Free cash withdrawals: 5 free withdrawals per month, in euros;
  • Free cash withdrawals: Unlimited free withdrawals in foreign currencies (N26 Black only).

Monthly fee: Free (Standard); €9.99 (N26 Black); Free (N26 Business).

TransferWise

  • Free cash withdrawals: up to £200 per month.

Monthly fee: Free.

Note that whenever you’re buying something in foreign currencies your bank mostly charges you extra for the money exchange. Revolut and N26 don’t charge anything extra, TransferWise charges between 0.35% and 2%.

Anything you would add? Some more tips how to save money on travel? Send them to us!

If you're currently preparing for a trip, you may want to check out our pre-travel checklist!