How to Spend Less Money When Travelling the World


There is no denying that travelling the world is an expensive business. Paying for a hotel and food every single day is one sure way to whizz your way through any budget, no matter how big it is.

Having said that, there are some fairly simple ways of making sure that you spend less no matter where you are and what you are doing.

Eat Where the Locals Eat

Food is one of the biggest expenses on any trip but do you spend more on it than you should? Most cites in the world have a touristy part where the best and most expensive restaurants are located. This is often in the main square or on the beach. These are usually great places to eat or to drink a coffee but are usually far more expensive then the restaurants where the locals eat. Often, you only have to walk a couple of blocks to find far more affordable places filled with locals and the price difference can be massive. I have always found that these local eateries are more interesting and tend to offer more authentic local food as well.

Look for Free Events

Many cities have free events that travellers could miss if they don’t keep their eyes peeled for them. For instance, you might find that local museums offer free entry on a certain day of the week. A few minutes of checking online could result in you finding something free to do that takes up a few hours of your day. You might even end up doing that you wouldn’t have otherwise considered. I have wandered into many unusual museum and art exhibitions simply because they were free. Some of them were pretty good while I made a hasty retreat from others.

Think in the Local Currency

One of the most difficult things to do while travelling is to think in the local currency. This is especially true if you are hopping from one country to another and from one currency to another. If you have no idea what the local money is worth then you won’t ever know what you are spending. Check out an online currency convertor to understand how much your money from back home is worth in every place you visit. This is worth doing as soon as you arrive or beforehand if you can.

Find out the Local Cost of Living

Of course, knowing a bit about how much the currency is worth compared to back home is only part of the solution. You also need to work out what the local cost of living is like. If you don’t do this then you might think that, for example, $2 is cheap for a hamburger because you pay $4 at home. However, it could be that $2 is really expensive for the place you are and that you could easily find an alternative for a dollar or less. Forget about the prices from back home and try to think like a local in this respect.

Take Overnight Transport

An excellent tip I have come across is that of travelling overnight on the bus or train. In places like Latin America and Asia even really long overnight bus trips are often dirt cheap. It won’t be the most comfortable night’s sleep you’ve ever had but it will probably be a lot cheaper than staying in a decent hotel. Just remember to keep your wits about you when you get off at the destination. My backpack was stolen once when I wandered off a bus early in the morning and tried to book another ticket right away. It’s best to head straight to a nearby hotel to get your head straight before hitting the streets.

2 Responses to How to Spend Less Money When Travelling the World

  1. Alexis says:

    I save money traveling by couchsurfing. I try to never stay at hotels/hostels. Not only does it save money, but I get a true sense of the city by staying with a local.

  2. NZ Muse says:

    Definitely try to save on accommodation! Whether it’s last minute hotel/hostel deals, hospitality exchange (eg couchsurfing) or Airbnb.

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