What are the best travel hacks for saving time and money?

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1. Pack Light
When you are planning to stay on road for months, the most important thing to keep in mind is to pack light. And to do that, invest in a good lightweight backpack and other accessories. From small things like carrying polo T-shirts (that you can roll and shove in any corner in your backpack) over carrying fancy shirts to investing in a light-weight travel-towel over a traditional big-sized one, by packing smart you can make your journey a lot easier.

2. Save On Accommodation
For a long-term traveler, Accommodation is a big expense, making it important to be careful to not end up bleeding too much money when booking a place. I have traveled across Europe once without spending anything on accommodation, and how I did it?… By using hospitality networks. If you’re planning on staying in a town for weeks, I recommend volunteering and saving 100% on accommodation. Networks like WWOOF and Workaway are great to search for volunteer options. I’ve personally used workaway and volunteered in Europe and Australia for weeks.

3. Remember, Long Term Travel Is Slow Travel
If you move too fast and try exploring new places every day, exhaustion and uneasiness will eventually take over and outweigh the pleasure of traveling. I remember I did the same mistake during my first ever indefinite solo travel journey (to Bhutan) which happened to be my first backpacking trip after I quit my job to travel.

4. Make Friends Or Find A Hobby
The only downside of long-term traveling is that it can be boring. Whether you’re traveling solo or with a partner, if you’re traveling slow and staying put at one place for weeks, you will eventually need something to keep yourself busy. Some people keep themselves busy by going out and making new friends every day, while others do it by finding an interest: photography, reading a book or something else. For me, for example, it was blogging.

5. Don’t Plan Too Far Ahead
To be honest, in long-term traveling, planning doesn’t work, because there will be times when you will end up in places where you won’t feel very comfortable while there will be others where you’ll think you belong and want to stay forever. It has happened to me so many times that I visited a place with so many expectations, and once I arrived there, I just wanted to leave.

Shop Like A Local! When it comes to everyday items like fruit and coffee, find your local market and head there instead of the nearest supermarket chain. Especially in places like Asia and South America, you’re guaranteed to find everything you need at a reduced cost.

I am from Jaipur.

I am going to tell my experience of our Europe and UK Trip before the Brexit.

Total budget - INR 5,50,000 somewhat similar to 5,500 GBP.
4 People and 11 Nights,
Places covered- London(4N), Copenhagen(2N), Prague(2N), Frankfurt(2N), Brussels(1N).
Inclusions- Everything.

Yes, it included our Flights, Airport transfers, Hotels,Public Transport Passes, Activities, Food Expense and you know what, it also included the shopping we did in these places and that was worth around 50,000 INR.
It was a kind of a luxurious holiday on a backpacker's budget.
Tips while making a Travel Plan:

Do Everything by your own

 I even applied for our own Visa without a travel agent and that saved a lot of money,but just don't risk your travel plan for the sake of being individual planner, if you are not confident and don't have much experience you should take visa services from an agent.

Try to book everything in advance 

 Don't pre assume that you will do any booking on the spot, because in Europe all the train and bus fares works like flight fares, i.e. they are only cheaper when booked in advance. I even booked the bus from our London accommodation to the airport in advance, it was around 60KM and it only cost me 7 GBP Per person, although on the spot taxi costs 120 GBP for the four of us.

Try to have Electronic currency i.e Travel Cards rather than cash form of currency

The reason behind this is Travel Cards are much more cheaper to buy and are very handy, We just had 50GBP Cash and 600GBP in Travel Cards, you can just en-cash the required amount at any ATM but just don’t use ATM at airports, they are chargeable per swipe, outside ATM’s are free to withdraw cash. We only opted for small amount of cash just to buy anything at the airport or in between for refreshment or emergency.

Book Hop-On-Hop-Off for every city you visit.

This actually enables you to do a city tour of any city in just one day and you get to know all the important places of the city which you can travel on other days.
You can Hop off from any bus on any of the stops that it’s route contain and can Hop on to another bus from any of its stops, they typically have a frequency of 15–20 mins for each bus to come at any stop. Tickets come at 24 or 48 hour, we bought the 24 hour tickets from isango.com . Isango offers 10% discount on additional tickets purchased from them, so I guess this was the biggest steal.

Download Google Offline areas for every City you visit.

This eventually gives you a sense of confidence that you won’t ever get lost and will know your directions to hotel in the case of crisis.Only Directions and GPS would work offline and not the Public Transport Directions.

Have a Public Transport Map of Every Place with you 24X7

Whether download it on your phone or buy from any store, They are extremely helpful, tells you what is the better option to take Tram/Metro/Bus. Tells you which stop is near your location(if you compare it with your offline Google map).

Do your Homework.

Try to know everything about the places you visit by searching your questions on Google. Search for markets, safe places in night, Tourist attractions and other places, send emails if you want to know about something,keep looking on the net and plan your holiday with commitment

The following are some of the hacks I have myself experienced:

1) Contrary to the general perception, sometimes you can get a place cheaper if you search after reaching there (old school way). Reason: there are many hotels (low budget ofcourse) which still aren't very comfortable with listing themselves online. However, you may not find the quality of stay at par with what you can get if you book online after loads of research and referring to user reviews.
2) Try skipping the first and/ or the last night hotel booking (a lot depends on your landing and departure times). Instead, you can directly start visiting places if you land in a country and negotiate for reduced room charges for the night! Similarly, try and see if you can skip last day's hotel booking.
3) Make friends online to the country you want to visit. They can help you with offering very cheap stay and food besides possibly travelling with you and give you company. Social media or even dating apps can be of help here!

1) Eat local cuisine
2) Eat at local hotels and restaurants

1) Use local transport - by definition, local transportation is for local population and hence is the cheapest possible in a country.
2) Hitch-hike: If you have hell loads of time with you, then this can be explored!

Trip dates
1) As a general guidance, if you plan your trip during off-season, it'll be economical

Local SIM
1) With free WiFi everywhere, there is almost no need to get a local SIM connection. This also has an indirect advantage of keeping you away from mobile addiction during your trip!

Obviously, book in advance (This one is a no-brainer but needs to be mentioned just for the heck of it!)

Caution: In some of the above hacks, you may have to do a trade-off with time. So if you are really time packed, then some of the above hacks may not be recommended.

Book your flight in the afternoon
Though it’s well known that flight prices are likely to fluctuate during the week, not many people know that they also change during the day. To save some money, book in the afternoon as prices tend to be higher in the morning when business travelers book most of their flights.
1 comment
  1. book flight tickets at least 35 days in advance to get cheaper rates, even for international flights.
  2. book hotels also in advance
  3. can book hotels or the stay a bit further from the main center of the city or tourist attraction, that would be much cheaper..
  4. get passes for local transport... they are always at discounted fares.
  5. go on nearly off seasons..
  6. enjoy!!!

The best travel hack to save money is definitely purchasing airplane ticket few months before the travel. Especially if you are traveling somewhere far away. Airlines often offer big discounts on the first few tickets that are being sold in the plane and that's why you must be among the first few people that buy them.

Other than saving money on that, you can save plenty of money by not going to the most popular restaurants in the place you are visiting. Sure, they probably look great but you never know what you'll find around the next corner. Explore and ask locals to guide you! Often a small restaurant offers better meal that the ones in the center of the place and for the smaller price!
Travel light,
Travel alone,
And travel on economy class flights
1 comment
  1. Use the Free Days. Such a simple tip I know but simple is always good. ...
  2. Talk to the Locals. This is how we travel. ...
  3. Spend More Time in Fewer Places. ...
  4. Be Flexible with Your Flight Dates. ...
  5. Adjust Your Times for Flying. ...
  6. Fly on a Midweek Day. ...
  7. Go Directly to the Airline Website. ...
  8. Join a Frequent Flyer Program.

Be flexible with your travel dates and destination.