There's no doubt about it – travelling costs money!
And although the only way to technically save money abroad is by working, there are ways that you can reduce the amount of money you spend by making some little changes to help you travel longer…
Do you really want that fat juicy Argentine steak (admittedly they are thin) or could you save half the money by opting for a soup instead? (not as much fun we know). I always try the local food then tend to opt for the cheapest options and see the other meals purely as ‘fuel' instead of nice tasty food.
If you eat on the street corners, where the locals eat or buy your own food to cook in a hostel kitchen, it's going to be cheaper than that posh looking burger bar down the road.
I take breakfast bars with me for… yep, you've guessed it – breakfast! and peanut bars for energy when I'm lacking in the sleep department. Rice packets or pasta are great for a cheap dinner and you can spend the rest on the local tipples instead!
Drink the house wine or local beers. Imported beers and spirits can be the same price as what you'd pay back home. (e.g In Budapest a pint of beer is approx £1.50, a bottle of Bulmers = £3.30). Which one would you choose?
If the area is safe, take local buses or look for a travel pass. No matter how cheap the country, taxis will still be the most expensive option so check out the underground or bus services. Once you've used them once, you'll realise how easy it is to work them out.
No matter how tight your budget don't risk your safety by sitting on the top of buses! (overland trucks are fine).
Buy a two day pass for an attraction if you're unsure you can get around it in a day; these sometimes only cost a little more and save you buying another ticket. My favourite way of seeing the city is on a Hop on Hop off bus. You generally get a river cruise thrown in too (if they've got a river) and although they will try and upsell, just make sure you eat and drink before or after your ‘free' ride.
Many cities now have free walking tours where you tip according to how you much you enjoyed the tour. These are a great way for meeting other people if you're solo, getting some exercise and seeing the city and will only cost you a small amount of money. It's generally not worth paying for a bus tour if the city is small enough to walk around.
Choose the biggest dorm for the cheapest price, camp instead or try couchsurfing to stay with locals. Use a hotel comparison site for the best hotel rates (we use Hotels Combined) and a hostel booking engine such as Gomio to check out who's going to be in your dorm before you get there!
If you're staying for longer than a few nights, see if hostels have a long-stay price.
The biggest price of travelling are the flights so sign up for price alerts from airlines which fly to your chosen destination. Be flexible with the dates you can fly (Tuesday and Wednesdays are generally the cheapest days) and where you can, stay away from travelling during school holidays.
The big question that always comes up during each trip is: ‘Can I really afford this?' when I'm debating whether or not to do that bungee jump, that quad-biking ride or classical concert in Budapest. I've learnt over the years to totally avoid this question and counteract it with:
‘Can I afford NOT to?'
There are so many places in the world that it's going to take me a lifetime to get around them. If I'm only somewhere once and I'm pretty sure I won't be coming back then I just do it, even if it means eating cup a soups for the next week.
After all you only regret what you DON'T do rather than what you DO do and you may never get the chance again…