8 Smart Ways To Save Money On The Road

These travel hacks are ways that you can save money while traveling to any city. Often times, we think of travel and we mentally prepare ourselves to come home very happy but VERY broke.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

I’ve been living and traveling since September 2018 and have realized there are so many ways to balance out the travel lifestyle with a reasonable budget.

I’m sharing my tips with you, as always, with the ultimate purpose to help you travel and explore more!

1. Find out about local free events

Join Facebook groups to find free events in the city. For example, last week we went to Revelion Cultu-Bar in Bogota. They start their evening with 2×1 happy hour, give free salsa lessons every Wednesday evening to follow with live music. It was such a fun outing and we barely spent a dime.

Salsa classes, happy hour & live music in Bogotá, Colombia

2. Check out the city parks

Visit the parks to picnic and people watch, or join an exercise group to get your work out in. This one is definitely Brodie’s favorite activity!

Dog laying down at park
Brodie at Usaquén Park in Bogota, Colombia

3. Expand your cultural knowledge and spend a day at the museums

Most museums will have free entrance once a week or once a month. Check their websites to determine which day is the best to visit.

Free entrance at Museo Botero

4. Bike ride through the city

Rent a bike and see the most of a city in a short period of time. There are some airbnbs that will include a bike with the rental. It doesn’t hurt to ask. Also, safety first – make sure you check the bike routes before hitting the road!

Bike stop in Bogotá, Colombia.

5. Join free walking tours

Join free walking tours to learn about the history of the cities you visit. These typically last 2-3 hours and the tour guides rely on tips. There are also grafitti tours or food tours you can join depending on the city that you’re in. We booked with Beyond Colombia in Bogota and loved our tour!

Free walking tour with Beyond Colombia

6. Skip the tourist traps and try the local menu

Not exactly free but much better than only living off of sandwiches and street food. Look for signs outside restaurants with the Menu of the Day or “El Menu del Dia” – this is a predetermined 3 course meal at many local restaurants that serve its set menu around lunch time. The cost per person can range from $3-8 depending on the city. This is typically much cheaper than ordering a drink, soup/salad, entree and dessert a la carte and provides a well balanced meal while traveling.

First course from el Menu del Dia at Mercado San Miguel

7. Find the spots with free wifi

Cafes, libraries, parks, bus stops are among some of the places where you can find free wifi. With wifi, you can make international calls and texts using WhatsApp, FaceTime, Skype or Facebook Messenger (among other apps).

State Library Victoria in Melbourne, Australia

7. Travel with an unlocked phone

This one is also a money saver. International phone plans are usually high and it’s very easy to buy a local SIM card instead. We’re currently using Tigo in Colombia, 6gb and unlimited text/call with no contract for $20/mo. Not too bad. This is helpful for finding google directions, restaurant ratings or requesting Ubers when we’re on the road without wifi.

Local SIM card for phone

8. Free accommodation does exist

Typically I stay in Airbnb (claim your first stay credit here) but I’m well aware that you can stay somewhere for free. I’m not an expert at this one but I have met friends that are. The two most popular options are:

Couchsurfing.com – A platform where you can find local hosts with a place for you to crash, this is based off of reviews, locations, and are at no cost to the traveler.

TrustedHouseSitters.com – If you have flexible dates, you can look on a house sitting platform to find accommodation in exchange for your time. This could be an exciting and much affordable way to stay somewhere for free.

Streets in Bogota with school girl, boy riding a bike, mountain backdrop and white houses.
We are currently in Bogotá, Colombia!

If you travel smart, it’s much easier to convince yourself to buy that next plane ticket because you know you won’t break the bank. To read more on this topic, check out “Travel Guru Hacks & Tips”.

Leave other tips to share with other travelers in the comments below!

Signed after recording my first podcast (!),

Salma Travel Guru

Do you want to travel but don’t know where to start? 

Contact me to save you money & plan your next trip!

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