- Don't check any luggage in. This will save you at least $25 on most domestic carriers.
- Use public transportation whenever possible. Taxis can cost you an arm and a leg. Public transport is usually quite affordable. I saved 54 pounds because I took the Picadilly train in London instead of taking a shuttle.
- Don't eat near big tourist attractions. You'll save a lot of cash if you find where the locals eat. To save even more money on food, purchase prepared food from a grocery store for some meals.
- Don't restrict yourself to one mode of transportation to get from point A to point B. Be open minded. I traveled around Europe on train a lot, but I saved a lot of money on taking buses and planes on certain segments.
- Don't spend a ton of money on accommodations. Consider staying in hostels or book a room on Airbnb. I've even stayed at a hostel converted from a palace. Booking "secret" hotels on Priceline and Hotwire can also make your pocketbook happy.
If you do quick Google search, it may seem like you have to be some travel guru so save money while traveling. "Sign up for these credit cards." "Join these loyalty programs." "Book your flights on these days." Blah, blah, blah. Saving money may be more simple than you think. Here's a list of five ways to easily cut your costs down.
Before my last trip, I had always hauled around a large suitcase while traveling. My 29' suitcase was roomy enough to pack multiple shoes, clothes to fit any situation, and all the toiletries I could possibly need.
In 2014, I started a tradition to buy myself a Christmas present from Rick Steve's shop. My first gift to myself was his Blu-ray collection. At 50% of off with a few free extras, it was a heck of a deal. Last year, it took me a while to decide what to get, but I finally decided to buy a piece of luggage from him. It was a carry on bag. It's soft-sided, and has handles on the top and side. It has backpack straps you can pull out from a zipped pouch.
I made the jump, and decided I was going to utilize this bag for recent trip. The duration of the trip was 18 days, so it required a complete change in philosophy for me to mange this.
For one, the only pair of shoes I'd take were the ones I would wear on the airplane. I took a pair of flip flops, which I planned to trash after I was done with them. Do you know that quart size bag you put your liquids in to get through security? That was my toiletry bag. I took old tees I wasn't attached to. I'd dispose of these after I was done with them. I packed a week's worth of shirts to wear. I wore one pair of jeans, and packed only one other pair. This would require me to do a little bit of laundry as I went. If I needed anything along the way I didn't bring, I'd just buy it.
What do I think after doing this for the first time?
It was liberating. I saved about a total of $100 on baggage fees across four different flights. I didn't have to stand in a long queue at the airport to check in my bag. I didn't waste time waiting at baggage claim waiting to collect my luggage. I had no fear that my luggage would be lost. It was much easier to get around on the subways and trains because I had all my belongings on my back. I even had room to bring a few things back I bought; 2 Blu-rays, 3 CDs, 2 long sleeve shirts, a jacket, and and a new pair of shoes.
I can't mislead you. It wasn't all roses. I had one major frustration; trying to navigate around all the people slowed down by their big suitcases.
If I could change one thing about the way I packed, I would have packed even less.
Jesus follower. Love music, baseball, theater, and traveling. Always up for a new adventure. Always ready to meet new friends.