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 for the last 3 months 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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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).
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.
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.
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
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