Andrea Hausold - Feb 14, 2018

Traveling can be one of the most enjoyable events in your life. It can also rack up the costs, if you aren’t careful. Doing your research for everything is important. This is especially true for Australians traveling out of country, who need everything from affordable travel insurance to a passport. Regardless of origin, here are 7 unusual ways you can save money while traveling.

1. Travel during off season

Consider traveling during the off season when rates are at their lowest and many places have deep discounts. Hotels and flights can be gotten for much cheaper than during the high season. For instance, off season in the Western United States is usually fall or spring when most families and travelers are either starting or still in school.

The southern United States has an off season during the height of summer when temperatures reach over 110 degrees Fahrenheit and most locals stay inside. Do your research and find out when a country's off season is and consider booking travel during that time.

2. Make a budget and stick to it

Another unusual way to save money on travel is to create a budget and stick to it. Most people will create a budget, but don't always stick to it. To help you save money for your trip, you might consider creating a separate account at your bank that is hard to access and money is deposited automatically each pay period or monthly.

If you have any existing debt, your financial contributions may be lacking until the debt is eradicated. College is one of the main causes of debt, but with so many options to refinance student loans, attaining a more reasonable monthly payment is fairly simple. Mortgages, credit cards, hospital bills are other common causes of debt.

The old adage of out of sight is out of mind would help you be successful in fulfilling your budget and creating great savings to help you travel with ease.

3. Eat local or bring your own food

There is a rule called the 'Six Block" rule that states you should not eat at any restaurant that is within six blocks of a tourist center or hotel. By trekking a bit further out you reduce the cost of your meals significantly. Plus, you'll get to experience the joy of meeting and learning about the culture of the place you're visiting.

You can also hit the morning street markets to get good deals on fresh food for snacks and meals like a picnic in a park. The idea is to look for ideas outside the regularly worn tourist traffic areas.

4. Stay in hostels or use Airbnb or another home sharing site

Many travelers are embracing the idea that staying in someone's home for a much cheaper price than a hotel can be more relaxing and enjoyable. Hostels are great for the single or couple traveler who want to just have a place to lay their head and perhaps meet other travelers.

If you are kind and courteous, most people will gladly share their knowledge and lessons about their own travels. You may even be able to contribute some advice about your experiences also. But if you are a family traveling, you should consider using the home sharing option like Airbnb or Homeaway and stay outside the parts of the city where hotels are located.

5. Use apps to connect with family and friends back home

Calling home often uses out of network rates from your cell phone carrier and that can add a humongous amount of charges to your travel. Instead consider using an app like Skype or WhatsApp to call home and check in. Even Facebook has the ability to video call anyone on your friends list.

If you're able to connect to free Wi-Fi, then you can make calls and talk to your family for free. Even paid Wi-Fi can be cheaper than the charges you'll accrue on your out of network cell usage.

6. Use your smartphone intelligently

Speaking of using your smartphone. You can use it for other things that will save you plenty of money. Research before you go and determine which apps would best serve you. Things like google maps or even Yelp will help you find places and transportation.

You can also download train and flight apps that will tell help you determine the best rates for where you're going. But the best app to make sure you have on your phone is google translate. If you struggle with understanding the local language, this app can help you get close enough to the phrases to be able to understand and ask for help.

7. Use public transportation as much as possible

Many travelers think renting a car is the cheapest way to travel, but the truth is, publish transportation in most major countries are a reliable way to travel and these public transportation facilities usually have instructions in different languages so they're easier to navigate.

These unusual ways to save money when traveling will help you have peace of mind that you're saving the most money and still getting the most enjoyment from your trip.


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