Money Saving Tips For Extensive Travelers
Article by Gemma Canter
We all like to travel. New horizons, a break from the everyday, and the opportunity to experience a different culture are always irresistible. Alas, sometimes life gets in the way of our wanderlust. With bills to pay and mouths to feed, it’s hard to find the cash to get away as often as we’d like.
However, if you have time but not the cash, then there’s some good news: a travel lifestyle can end up cheaper than you’d think if you do it for longer and more regularly. How? We’ll discuss some ways in the article.
If you travel a lot and are happy to commit to one place, the best way to save money is by buying a holiday home. There is obviously a much higher start-up cost, but over 10, 20, 30 years, it’ll pay for itself. When you want to go away, the only consideration you’ll have is how to get there, and once you have the home you can go there for six months at a time and incur no accommodation fees. No accommodation fees! And there’s another very useful aspect of owning a holiday home too: rental fees. When you’re not using it for yourself, you can rent your place out to other tourists and recoup a lot of your costs, including the monthly price of your mortgage. All in all, it’s a win-win situation that is always profitable: you either stay in it yourself or have other people pay you to stay there. Of course, there are some considerations. Before buying, you’ll have to check with local laws to ensure that you are legally able to rent it out on a short term basis. Secondly, you’ll have to ensure your holiday home is properly covered against any mishaps – otherwise you may end up with costly damage like this woman, whose guest threw a crazy New Year’s Eve party in her London pad!
A Single Trip
A single trip to anywhere and for however long is always expensive. This is because of our mentality when we go away for a single trip – we want to see and do everything, spare no expense, and make each minute of our trip memorable. This is understandable if it’s our only trip of the year. Of course we’re going to live large – we only have a matter of days to make it count!
But these single trips can kind of skew our perception of how much traveling actually costs. If you were to go to Europe for a week, you’d need to budget around $100 a day. But if you went for two months? That figure can come right down. In some places, you could get by on not much more than a $100 a week.
Stay For A Month
Let’s look at an example. Let’s say you want to go to Prague, one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, for a week. You’ve bought your expensive flights. You’re looking at hotels – you need to be near the action, so you decide to stay within easy walking distance of the Old Town, at one of the more expensive hotels (superb location = $$$). When you arrive, you have no idea where you’re going so you visit the first place with a sign that says “beer”, “rooftop terrace”, and “hamburgers”. You live like this for a few days and are shocked to discover just how much you’re spending.
Now here’s the other way to do it. You think carefully about your flights. You’re flexible when you go, and you also know that it’s pretty easy to get around Europe, so you book a cheap flight to London then a staggeringly cheap flight to Prague using one Europe’s famous budget airlines. You want to stay in Prague for a month, so you sublet an apartment. For this accommodation, you’re paying less for a month than you would for a week in a hotel. You’re not in the center, but you can still walk there in 10 minutes. Instead, you’re in the trendy local neighborhood. This is the “real Prague”, and everything is much cheaper. Beer alone is three times less than it would be in the more touristy places. You also have a kitchen, which means you can cook your own meals from to time to time instead of always eating out. Because you’re there for so long, you also learn of the best, cheap places to eat and where to avoid. You have time to acquire the insider knowledge that means, by your second week, you can get by quite comfortably on less than $20 per day.
In an age where everybody wants to travel, getting a bit creative with your travel plans can save you thousands of dollars each time you go away!