Mention the words ‘long haul trip’ and the last thing you’ll probably think of is saving money. Many of us plan amazing round the world trips at some point in our lives. Some of us go before or after college before we start ‘real-life’ jobs. Others quit said job after ten years and use their savings on the trip of a lifetime. But whatever your personal situation is, you can bet that you probably expect to blow a lot of money on your travelling experience. Whilst there are some things that you simply can’t get out of paying for – flights and travel insurance to name just two – there are actually ways you can be financially savvy even when on an extended vacation.
Hiring a car
Initially, you might turn your nose up at car hire, thinking it’s going to be too pricey or simply too much of a hassle. But this is where you could be wrong. In many cases, hiring an economy sized car is cheaper than paying for multiple rail, bus and flight tickets between destinations. If you are spending a while in the same country but planning to travel around it, it really does make sense to hire your own car. As well as saving on ticket prices, you can split the cost of rental and petrol between you and your fellow travellers, if you are going in a group. Having a car at hand can also simply be much more efficient. You can get from A to B as and when you please, without having to worry about missing your train or bus.
Hotels, or even private room hostels, are generally a waste of time when you are travelling. Of course, it feels nice to indulge in a bit of luxury every so often. But for the most part, you will simply find yourself at the end of your budget pretty fast. There are plenty of other, cheaper ways to find accommodation on the road, that often doesn’t mean compromising on quality either. Airbnb is a new favourite amongst international travellers, and you can also find a decent enough bed for the night via websites like Couchsurfing. Multi-bed dorms can be hard to get used to at first, with people being noisy and coming in at all hours of the night. But armed with a sleep mask and some ear plugs, there’s no reason why you still can’t get a good night’s sleep.
Cooking for yourself
After a long day of sightseeing or trekking, the last thing most of us want to do is cook ourselves a meal. But especially in Europe, eating out can be expensive. You will find that you save so much money if you buy groceries and cook for yourself even just a few times a week, whilst you’re travelling. Most hostels and Couchsurfing properties have kitchen facilities you can use, providing that you clean up after yourself. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy – with a few spices at hand, you’d be surprised at how great pasta and a tin of tomatoes can taste! Then, if you’ve managed to save a lot of money, you can treat yourself to a nice local meal somewhere that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford.