Having lived abroad for close to five years and traveling as much as I can, I have learned a few things about how to travel, as well as how to save some money. I have to say though that saving money while traveling can very easily be done, however, it does take a little bit of legwork.
I have a few different websites that I check when I am looking for a cheap flight. I usually check all of them because sometimes they will offer different deals and some of them will have access to separate airlines. I also make sure to sign up for every frequent flyer program for every airline that I fly on. Many of them allow you to transfer points/miles to other airlines due to partnerships. I also recommend booking directly whenever possible. Booking directly will help you in avoiding getting bumped as well as avoid many refund and flight delay issues that may occur by booking through a third party.
Just like when searching for flights I use several different websites. Sometimes you can find cheaper prices on different websites. Once I find a place to stay that I like. I will also usually check the hotel’s website because sometimes they might offer a better deal if you book directly. They then won’t pay any fees or commissions to the booking site which is why sometimes you can get it for cheaper by booking directly.
These are the sites I use for a traditional Hotel.
If you are wanting to save a little bit of money a hostel can be an option. At a hostel, you typically will just be renting the bed and not the entire room.
To save even more money you can try Couchsurfing. Essentially you will put a request to stay with someone and sleep on their couch. However, most of these people will be more than willing to show you around and do a lot of things for you during your stay. They are typically very excited about the city/country they live in and want to make sure that everyone who visits will have a good time.
Then for an experience where you can rent an entire apartment sometimes at a better price than a hotel room. This can be a great option if you don’t want to look like a tourist.
MacBook – I use to have a small tiny Asus for my first year in Korea and my travels, and it suited me just fine. However, as I got more settled and started working on my master’s degree, I realized I needed something a little more serious, so I paid for a much better computer. It all depends on your needs and to be honest, the mass majority of people traveling on short-term trips can and will get by just fine without a computer as any modern smartphone can do just about everything.
(I now travel with a small HP, but will be upgrading to a new MacBook as soon as my budget allows.)
iPhone SE 2020 – I have not always been an iPhone person this just seems to be what I prefer while traveling now. A little disclaimer anything I say about my iPhone can be done with any modern smartphone with a nice camera. The main reasons I highly suggest carrying a phone around with you (and getting a SIM card that works in your country destination) are for looking things up on the fly, keeping in touch with your travel companions in case anyone gets separated, and it’s a great way to keep in touch with any local friends you may have made. Finally, the best camera is the one you have with you, and a good phone camera will let you not have to lug around some giant camera. I have a lot of apps that I use regularly, and many don’t require me to have the internet all the time.
My Current favorite action camera is the Insta 360 One R
I definitely suggest getting some form of travel insurance. Something that a lot of people don’t realize is that they might have a little simply by using their credit card to purchase their flights. So before purchasing anything else check your credit card agreements and see what kind of free insurance you already can get free.
Aside from reading my blog, I always recommend doing at least a little bit of research before you head out. Here are a couple of sites that I definitely recommend.
A favorite for more obscure places to visit
XE – The most up-to-date currency and foreign exchange website. Always check this website to know the exact exchange rate before exchanging your money, so you know if you’re getting ripped off or not!
VISA HQ – Check this website if you’re not sure what the visa situation is in a particular country. It would be horrible if you were forced to pay hundreds of dollars for a visa (or denied entry) into a country because you were unaware of the visa requirements. This website has up-to-date information. You can even apply for many visas directly on the website, and they will deal with all of your paperwork.
If you have anything that you would like to add or have a question please feel free to post it in the comments section below.