I try and live as frugal as possible. There is one major issue though, I love to travel and spend a fair amount of time doing so. The last year has been spent in New Zealand, two years before that in Egypt and two years before that in Canada. In fact in March i’ll be returning home to the UK for the longest time in 6 years and even then i’ll only be back for three months before skipping off somewhere else!
Traveling gives me so much but it also pulls a lot of money away from my precious little funds. To counter this I often find myself living extremely minimally and watching pennies whilst traveling, some would say that’s a waste of travel but I think the trade off is worthwhile.
I handle my low level of spending by doing my travel slowly. I rarely go to a place for 1-2 weeks and try to stuff everything in. I visit for extended periods where possible and slowly take my time to get to know it from as local a point of view as possible. If I can learn bits of a language, accept and learn about a new culture and find gems many tourists don’t see then I am fulfilled in my travel. This sometimes means I miss the tourist trail ‘must-sees’ but I feel my travel life is full.
Enough blabbering about me. The point of this post is that although it’s difficult being frugal can go hand in hand with travel and if you pick your destinations / routes / accommodation and activities wisely it could even work out cheaper than living in your home town despite high airfare costs.
To cut down on expenses while travel here are some tips I use.
- To save on accommodation I often do work exchanges. This could be cleaning in a hostel for a bed or Wwoofing as some examples. You could also try Couchsurfing or Housesitting.
- Putting effort into finding cheap flights / alternative destinations often pays off. Visit every comparison website, every airline website and call everybody up directly to find the best prices!
- Try to either cook at your accommodation or find ways of eating cold meals. Hummus and wholemeal bread with veggies can be put together affordably from any supermarket. Just carry a knife with you for cutting things.
- When you are going to pay for something always search online for a deal / coupon. You may find an alternative too. One example of this was when we wanted to see glow worms in Waitomo, New Zealand. After searching online we found an alternative company that offered a similar experience at $50 cheaper per person.
- Just keep an eye on budget and consider picking up work as you travel.
- Earning income online through blogging or providing a service is an excellent way to keep the travel fund topped up.
- Get to know some locals and find out where the locals go.
- Always be kind to people, somehow kindness has a way of paying itself back!
So do yo agree that frugality and travel can mix? Do you have any tips to add?
Thanks for reading.