TIPS TO TRAVEL CHEAP (OR EVEN FREE) – PART II
26 July, 2016
As we told you few days ago, after travelling for a while, we have learned some good tips in regards to travel cheap and sometimes almost for free. Check them out and tell us what you think!
WHAT TO DO? FREE (OR ALMOST FREE) TOURS AND ACTIVITIES
In many large cities all over the world, there are free tours. Usually, companies offering these tours do it to make themselves known and with the objective of you buying any “paid” tours they also offer once you’re done. How do they work? They usually in an emblematic site of the city at a specific time (sometimes you have to book a place if you don’t want to be left out), then they take you to visit the main points of the city with a guide that tells you a little history and anecdotes of the places. After the tour, they distribute leaflets with info about other tours they offer, and finally, attendees give a tip to the guide, depending on how much you liked their work and the money you carry in your pocket :).
These tours are a good option and you get a feeling of the sites you may want to come back later with a little more time, etc. For example a company that makes these tours is Sandemans.
Walk around the city and get yourself lost in it: It seems obvious but walking is super cheap… It’s the cheapest means of transport and the one that gives you more opportunities to see how the local people behave, how they work, what they eat, what they buy, where they buy… We love wandering the cities until getting lost, taking pictures and taking a coffee or tea occasionally. Wandering through the city is one of the most wonderful ways of knowing places that you would not have found otherwise.
If you love museums, inquire into when you can visit for free or cheaper. Almost all museums have some kind of special discount or free days and also see if there is any tourist card including transport and attractions. Maybe you’re interested if you will visit many monuments and museums.
There are many places where tours or excursions organized offer discounts per person from a certain number of participants. If you’re traveling alone or with a friend or partner, we recommend using Tripsaround. On the platform you can search and find people looking to do the same tours and you can save money by sharing certain plans.
EATING FOR LITTLE MONEY
If you’re not too scrupulous, we really recommend you to check out the street food. It all depends on where in the world you are, it’s obvious that the same noodle dish will not cost the same in Thailand than a snack (or sandwich) in Germany but it’s usually a good choice. If this still sounds very expensive for you, the option is to go to the supermarket and make your own food. Hostels usually have kitchen and you can cook whatever you want, if not, then you can always buy some cold cuts and bread and make a sandwich :).
OTHER IDEAS AND TIPS
Try to avoid using ATMs. We do not like to carry a lot of money with us but during our trip through Southeast Asia last year we would have liked to take a little more. Commissions totally killed us!! With the commission of the local bank (sometimes the cashier wouldn’t even ask if you accepted the commission and made the operation directly), the exchange rate applied in some banks, the small amount you can withdraw at a time and the commission of our bank in Spain, we ended up wasting a lot of money.
We also exchanged using Western Union and although the commission charged changed in each city, it was significantly lower than the average we were paying in ATMs.
Our advice here is, if you’re going to be X days in a country and you have to withdraw some money, calculate what you are going to spend and withdraw it all at once if you can. You get a huge hit to your budget every time you go to the ATM.
Try not to exchange at the airport, or keep it as low as possible. And before exchanging, visit several exchange houses. In countries such as Vietnam, you can haggle the exchange rate a little. Yes, we know, we got shocked too, but haggling is really common in a lot of countries, and don’t feel bad for bidding too low, you will probably end up paying too much anyway J.
Get a student card if you can. If you don’t have any, you can try to sneak a card with your photo as if it were a student card. It worked for us in Indonesia, for example.
BE CAREFUL with your phone. If you’re going to be there for a long period of time, buy a local SIM with minutes and data. Some people prefer to be disconnected, but the truth is that it comes very handy to have internet sometimes. And if you want to call to your house, make use of the wifi of the hotel/hostel or bar you’re drinking a coffee in and take advantage of services such as Skype or WhatsApp Messenger.
And that’s all for now! We hope you find this info useful! If you have any tip we didn’t list here just let us know and we will add it to this list!
See you soon in the next post.