How to save money when traveling

  • November 07, 2023
How to save money when traveling

You don't need to have a couple of billion to travel around the country or go abroad. Even students or middle class people can afford to travel to Poland or Greece, for example. Sure, it's not the Seychelles, but if your goal is to lie in the sun, swim, and eat fast food, what difference does it make where you do it? And if you want to study the history and culture of a country, why are Poland or Romania more boring than Italy?

Tips for budget-friendly travel

We will explain how to avoid throwing money away when going on vacation. To do this, we'll cover everything from travel preparations to free excursions. There are other things you shouldn't skimp on, but we'll talk about them later.

The road and preparation for it

If you need to get out to Warsaw, the most cost-effective option is to take the bus. Modern intercity buses have long since moved away from the Soviet theme. Nowadays, buses have air conditioning, Wi-Fi, power outlets and toilets. It will be much cheaper than traveling by plane or private car. Do the math yourself. Of course, there are exceptions when a train or plane ticket is cheaper than a bus ticket, but then what quality of travel should you expect? No one knows.

HeyBus offers its buses for economical and comfortable travel. For example, a ticket from Kyiv to Warsaw will cost an average of 1390 UAH, and from Kyiv to Lublin - 1190 UAH. But it also depends on the destination and the number of passengers. A taxi is fast and comfortable, but if you want to save money for a night out in a pub or a ticket to the theater, you should consider a trolley, bus, or walking.

Bus tourism

Choose hitchhiking

Bla bla car  is widespread both in Ukraine and the nearest foreign countries. It happens that some people are simply afraid to get into a car with strangers. And this is absolutely normal. If you don't want to hitchhike, find and download any hitchhiker service and look at the driver's rating. This way you can be sure of safety.

If you can't do without personal transportation and rent or drive your own car, then check out all the parking lots at hostels and hotels in advance. It is desirable that they are free.

Reconsider the luggage

If you are not planning to move to Lublin, we are sure that you will not need a huge suitcase or handbag. A small hand luggage and a briefcase will be enough for your vacation. Why do we recommend using a minimum of luggage? Try wearing a backpack and carrying all your bags and packages in your hands, walking with them to the bus, making a couple of stops, and then walking back home.  In addition, the more luggage you have and the bulkier it is, the more you will have to pay for it.

Luggage for traveling

Housing

To begin with, you need to look at the available options. It is better to evaluate them according to the criteria "price-quality-my budget". Guided by this, we should realize that we need:

a) a roof over our heads;

b) basic needs in the form of water, light, wi-fi, toilet;

c) a place to sleep and personal belongings;

d) a room of your own (optional).

You can register on Airbnb, choose the right price and book your accommodation in advance. If you like to meet new people, a service like Couchsurfing is ideal. Couchsurfing can even be free, as on this site locals offer tourists their rooms in exchange for socializing. It sounds a bit weird, but it works. The main thing is to read reviews on this or that owner/s to avoid any extreme.

Accommodation for tourism

What to see: excursions, museums

There is such a thing as a Free Walking Tour. Of course, no one forbids you to use the services of travel agencies and their guides. But, firstly, it is expensive, and secondly, with such a tour you see the city, take memorable photos and immediately forget about it, because usually travel agencies appreciate the workers who fit into the schedule, not trying to impress tourists and leave them a memory for life. 

Free Walking Tour is a thing you can find on the internet. You register in advance, get to the pick up point, find a guide and enjoy a leisurely tour. The pros are that it's free (but no one will mind if you tip the guide as a thank you). Just type "Free Walking Tour in (city)" into the search engine, and find the right one.

Some museums have hours and days when you can come for free, you can also look online in advance for discounts on interesting events: aquariums, parks, nightclubs, science centers, etc. The bigger the city, the more likely you are to find something to your taste - cheap or completely free.

Communication and internet

If you need to contact someone, it is better to use free wi-fi and messengers than to take a SIM card with universal roaming. Be watchful and don't "login" at open free wi-fi hotspots, there's no telling who's sitting nearby. Some data, such as your logins and passwords, can fall into the wrong hands. Log in from a safe place.

What to eat?

Let's start with airports and train stations. Take a snack and a bottle of water with you in advance. That way you won't spend half your paycheck on a sandwich. This is especially important if you have to wait a long time. Also calculate how many snacks you need during the trip itself. It is desirable to take something light and compact, so as not to spill the contents of the bag and do not take up unnecessary space. Also remember the etiquette - food should not smell all over the cabin, even if it smells good.

When you get to your destination we recommend renting an apartment with a kitchen. Expensive? Not really. The same amount you spend on renting a room with a kitchen and buying groceries will go to the restaurant. For example, which is better: spending 30 euros for extra comfort or 30 euros for one dinner? Some cafes have a "Menu of the Day" system where you can pay 15 euros and take the first, second and third at once. Also, if you don't like unnecessary waste and want to save to the smallest detail - take a bottle of water, drink it, but don't buy a new one. Often in large cities there are drinking fountains, take water from them. If you can't drink from it, it will have a sign to that effect - a crossed cup.

Ask the locals where they like to eat. Usually, there are places a couple of blocks away that tourists are too lazy to get to. They serve the same dishes, but cheaper.

Travel snack

What's the one thing you can't skimp on?

  1. If you have insurance, choose one that will cover many emergencies.

  2. It is highly discouraged to buy expired food or go to pubs and cafes that are too remote and cheap. No one needs to spend their vacation in the local health clinic department.

  3. If you have to choose between "get to point A through a suspicious looking slum at night or order an expensive cab" - order a cab.

There is no perfect instruction on how to save money on a trip. The main thing is to stick to the golden mean and constantly ask yourself the question "Do I need it? Can I do without it?". But also do not go to extremes, because the vacation, even frugal, should bring positive emotions. Only planning and preparation will save you from unnecessary waste.


Elena Chernenko

Elena Chernenko

Elena is a recognized expert in the bus transportation industry. With a deep understanding of the industry and a wealth of experience, Elena has earned a reputation for reliability working with both large carriers and private companies. Her expertise includes route planning, safety analysis and efficiency of transportation solutions.

In her blog, Elena offers professional advice, reviews current market trends and shares her experience to help readers better understand the world of bus transportation.

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