Easy Tips to Save Money While Traveling

Money
Tips and tricks on how to save cash while traveling.

The title says it all! We have put together a few tips that we utilize to save money while traveling. Below we have listed are favorite methods to save money on accommodation, transportation and food. Check them out and let us know if you find them useful or have any tips that we have missed.

Accommodation

booking.com – We use this site all of the time. There are listings for every price point. You can find accommodations with free breakfast, that offer bike rentals for cheap, that are close to town, close to the beach, or whatever you need. Easy peasy. There are usually lots of budget options on this site. Many places allow you to book reservations without a credit card and pay with cash when you arrive.

AirBnB – This is a great way to save money, see neighborhoods outside the main areas, and live like a local. If we are staying in a town for an extended amount of time we almost always utilize this option. We find a place with a washer/dryer and kitchen, then cook and do some laundry. Love it!h

Transportation

Busses – We love taking the local bus! Plus, it’s almost always going to be the cheapest option. Don’t fret over taking public transportation. It gives you the opportunity to experience the city like a local. It also eliminates having to haggle with taxis/tuk-tuks. Find a bus map and take a photo with your phone, or ask your host for bus stop locations. It is easy, fun, and cheap!

Riding the public bus in Sri Lanka.

Uber – Yes, Uber if they are available. You just drop a pin, the app gives you a price, and bam: you are off to wherever your little heart desires. You don’t have to worry about negotiating a price with a driver or about having the correct change. It is also safer. You don’t have to worry about being outside in the dark or walking through an unsafe neighborhood. You will be picked up in front of your hotel, etc., and dropped off in front of your destination.

Walk – This is our favorite option for transportation, but of course it depends on how far you going. Walking can be a nice way to see the city. You can stop to take photos, it keeps you active, and it’s a great way to get your steps in and burn some calories. Make sure you have comfy walking shoes.

Food

Utilize accommodations that offer free breakfast – Not only does it cut down on every day expenses, but it’s also one less decision that you have to make that day. Deciding on what and where to eat each day can be harder than you think the longer you are traveling. Just remember to ask what is served to make sure it fits within any dietary restrictions.

Cook if you can – Look for accommodations that have a kitchen or common cooking area. You can ask where a local market is or even better, a produce market. This is the best option when possible because it will be cheaper, fresher, and healthier than eating out every meal.

Clay cooking us breakfast in Playa Gigante, Nicaragua.

Sharing food – Sharing is caring! We quickly realized this can be one of the easiest way to save money while we are traveling. Often the portions are large enough for two people. If a little more food is needed, you can order an inexpensive appetizer. It saves money, helps eliminates food waste, and also prevents over indulging yourself.

Eat where the locals eat – Eat at mercados, indulge in street food, and look for where the locals eat. Not only will you save money, you will eat the best food. The locals know what’s up! Some of the best food we’ve had was a local cooking up some grub on the street. Some restaurants can be tourist traps, serving up overpriced Western food. We did not come to Sri Lanka to eat pasta!

Water

Buy a reusable water bottle – We can not stress this enough. We need to watch our plastic intake at home, and also while traveling. I have a Stanley water bottle that is stainless steel, has a lifetime guarantee, and keeps water cold for 24 hours and coffee or tea hot for 12 hours. It also has a lip guard for extra protection, and is BPA free. We can ALL do our part to reduce our plastic consumption!

We never leave home without our reusable water bottle.

Drink the water – Check first to see if the tap water is safe to drink in the country you will be traveling to. If it is, drink it! Not buying bottled water will help reduce the environmental impact of all of the plastic waste, and it will save you money.

Refill at your hotel/hostel – Many hotels and hostels are now offering potable water to refill your water bottles. Some will charge a few cents, but nothing to break the bank. Hotels are now becoming more aware of the plastic crisis and are stepping in to help the environment and their fellow travelers. Also check for public purified water dispensers. We were able to refill for free from WLAD (Waste Less Arugam Bay) in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka!

Clay refilling a 5L jug with filtered water from WLAD refilling center in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka.
Clay refilling our 5L jug of water at the filtered water station in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka.

Buy a larger 5 L jug to refill your reusable water bottle – We do this when we can’t drink the tap water. This cuts down on having to buy multiple single use plastic bottles. We wish we did not have to, but in many countries you still can’t drink the tap water. We learned quickly that a larger 5 L only costs a little bit more than a 1 L. You get 5 times the amount of water for just a little bit more money. 

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