Tips to travel cheap (or even free) – Part I

14 July, 2016

After doing a few trips, we would like to share with you some of the lessons we have learned in regards to travel cheap and sometimes almost for free. Of course there will be some tricks we don’t know, but you can save quite a bit of money knowing these four recommendations. 

TRANSPORT

It is one of the largest items in the budget of a traveler and planning it may help you save a lot of money.

FLIGHTS

tripsaround app share trip costs

Get the best flight: Search for a flight on websites like Kayak, Momondo, Vuelokey or Skycanner, which is very popular now.

Try to book it on week days and you’ll get much better rates. In addition, our recommendation is that, although you are going to use search engines, you should also check directly on the website of the airline in question. Sometimes, there’s a big difference between the initial price in the searchers compared to the final results, whether it’s taxes, fees, etc… Check the price directly on the airline website it’s cheaper sometimes.

Oh and don’t forget to check low-cost airlines! There are a lot now and many offer good service at an affordable price: Ryanair, Air, Finnair, Vueling, EasyJet, Airasia, Nokair… there are a LOT.

IN THE CITY

As we will repeat later in the article, we are big fans of walking. Walk, wander, get lost and get lost again. Make sure not to get into any dangerous neighborhood or area, aside from that, going all over the city on foot will allow you to discover places that you would’ve overlooked otherwise.

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If you’re in a mega city like New York, for example, where distances are huge, find out if there is any tourist card that includes all means of transportation (plus tickets to monuments and museums), or see if there are any bonus for subway or bus you can use during your visit.

You can also rent a bike or use your own… It’s another alternative, fun and healthy way to move around a city.

And we can’t forget Uber, Cabify, etc. platforms where you can get a vehicle to move, cab-style, but generally cheaper.

LONGER JOURNEYS

For longer journeys always try to catch the local public transport. In many parts of the world there are transport services aimed at tourists and travelers and which price is exorbitant if you compare it with the local option. The bus will probably be a little jaded and the air conditioning won’t work as well as it should, but you can save some money.

In Europe or the US you can travel very cheap by sharing a car. There are very large platforms such as BLABLACAR or Carpooling that may help you find a spot in the route you want.
In Southeast Asia many people choose the option to rent a scooter. It’s a really cheap option, since you can rent a bike for about 8 or 10 dollars a day and it gives you the freedom to decide your own route and make all the stops you want. However, before renting the bike, make sure your insurance covers you in case of an accident and be sure whether you need to have international driving license in the country where you are. You should have all the documentation in order to avoid problems with the police if case you are stopped.

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Another very cheap option which, as we have heard, is somewhat addictive, is the hitchhike. It’s an option that we personally have not tried but that’s getting more and more popular. In addition to meeting new people, you add the adventurous point of not really having an idea of where you are going to sleep each night. It’s a mixture of adventure and savings that we are going to try soon.

And whether you’re a beginner, or an expert hitchhiker, you can find all information you need on the web Hitchwiki .

And ever since we launched Tripsaround, June 2016, you can use it to publish your plan of sharing transport: whether we are talking about taking an Uber or a taxi at 4 in the morning to go to the airport or renting a car for a couple of days and travel around Barcelona, in Tripsaround, you can search and find people with whom share a taxi or car, so that each person spend less. Don’t forget to try it.

FIND CHEAP OR FREE ACCOMMODATION

Finding cheap or free accommodation is quite easy. Everything depends on the level of comfort you want to have or, put another way, the comfort level you’re willing to compromise.

The cheaper options tend to be either camping freely, which is basically to go to a site and set up your tent (I’ve seen that some people would let you camp on  their garden, which gives extra safety, from our perspective – Camp in my garden -), or doing couchsurfing.

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Couchsurfing is a platform where local people will open their home and offer from a sofa to a double room with bathroom inside. Each within their means. The nice thing about this option is that you will also know a lot of locals and that will teach you a lot about their customs, which is something we particularly like a lot.

In Southeast Asia you can experience what we could call the “Monastery Couchsurfing”, because there are many monasteries, and the monks will let you stay the night if you ask them.

The next option would be to go to a hostel, where you can get a bed in a dorm from 2 to 3 dollars, depending on the part of the world.

And another option some people like occasionally, is to share a double room with someone (if you can’t afford a single one, of course 🙂). When you have been sleeping in hostels for a while and you’re a bit tired of dorms, you may feel like getting something a little quieter for a couple of nights. The problem issingle rooms are usually very expensive.

Then you you have two options, either you do it with someone you met while traveling, or in the hostel room, or you can find people who want to share accommodation by using the new Tripsaround application. In the app, you can publish your plan to share a room or find listings of other people’s. It won’t be as cheap as a dorm, but not as expensive as a single room.

tripsaround app tripsaroundapp

And if you aren’t hurried, or travel as a way of living, there are a couple of interesting options:

You can work in exchange for accommodation in hostels, restaurants, local travel agencies, etc.. Normally you will work a few hours a day and get the rest of the day free. The range of opportunities is as wide as you can imagine, from building a website, to helping with cleaning, filming and editing videos and many other things… It’s a matter of asking.

If you need to fill your pockets a little, you can work on organic farms Wwoof (although usually for this you may need a Work&Holiday visa), pick mangos, kiwis, or any other fruit or vegetable of the season, or collaborate in one of the many organizations looking for help on their pages like Workaway, Workstay.com.au or Helpx.net.

And that’s all for now… Tell us your personal tips to travel cheap and we will be very happy to include them in the next posts :).

See you soon with more useful information. Have a nice trip! 🙂

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