We all deserve to see the world but we shouldn’t have to break the bank while doing so. Doesn’t getting there cost enough? Here are 5 tried, true and thrifty travel hacks that I use every time I say “Bon voyage!”
Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network)!
Did you know that many booking sites will change your rates based on where you’re located? I know, it’s ridiculous. Of course, I’ve found a way to hack this, as have many others. Instead of using my Internet browser as I normally would, I downloaded an AdBlocker app and then use my Internet browser. I originally installed this because I was sick of watching Youtube ads but, it comes with a VPN feature as well! You can keep this on your phone permanently and switch it on and off whenever you feel like it! I keep mine on 100% of the time because I love saving coins and skipping ads! Additionally, you can download this as an extension in Google Chrome to use on your laptop or desktop.
Get a local SIM card!
Phone companies charge entirely too much just to provide service that may or may not be reliable. If your phone is unlocked or is eligible to be unlocked you can buy a local SIM card and forget about all the carrier charges. The difference in savings can be exponential, so this is something I highly recommend! Once you do this, set up a Google Voice account and it can forward all calls and texts that come to your original phone number to your Google Voice. After this is done, download both the Google Voice and Google Hangout apps and now you have free calling and texting! This will also work on Wi-Fi if you decide to forego the local SIM card!
For my long-term travelers, if you decide you want to keep your phone number Google offers a feature that allows you to port your number for $20. Porting your number would give Google ownership of your number and end your service with your carrier. This is what allows me to continue to get calls and texts to my original number without international charges for myself or the person I’m communicating with. The best part about this is I no longer have a monthly bill to pay!
Work for your Accommodation
My current Workaway is at a quaint little hotel. Unlike volunteering with a family, my Workaway is an accommodation focused project. Just imagine how much I would be paying for a hotel room each night…I don’t know about you but my bank account would suffer! Luckily, there is so many options to volunteer as a member of a hostel or hotel staff. Another bonus is that you get to meet amazing people who are passing through! Budget travel doesn’t always have to be minimal, or uncomfortable. Use your resources and see what options are out there for you!
Depending on who you ask, tours of the city can range anywhere from $0 to hundreds! However, it’s important to realize as a traveler you are the demand. My recommendation would be to ask the local hostel staff (even if you’re not staying in one) if any walking tours start at their location. A lot of tour companies understand that hostel guests don’t have the flexibility to spend on tours, so they offer free tours. Although, some of these tours aren’t exactly “free” because the tour guide will want a tip 😉
Sometimes as a traveler/tourist we can be tempted to throw our savvy ways out of the window and live like royalty! If you want your money to go further, I highly recommend taking a trip to the local grocery store. Not only could this be a new experience for you but, you save a lot of cash and time! However in some countries, money spent on groceries and eating out could be similar, so this hack really depends on your location.
I’m always looking for new and exciting ways to save money and of course, I will share them all with you.
Feel free to share any traveling hacks you’ve picked up along the way because I’d love to hear them!
Until next time,
The Pint Sized Traveler