How do you save money for travel? My favourite frugal travel hacks make sure I always have some cash in hand to treat myself on the road.
If you love good frugal travel hacks, you've come to the right place. I LOVE a deal - and I also love crafty tips and tricks to help me save for a trip so I can splurge, worry free, during my adventures. It’s often nice to have a bit of surprise cash – even as little as $20 – allocated for a bit of spontaneity during your trip. If your budget is already stretched to its max you may just need to get creative on how to come up with the extra funds. These frugal travel hacks will help.
The frugal travel hacks that just about any would-be traveller can use to get extra cash.
While all of these recent "freebies" were indeed memorable (and delightfully frugal!) my favourite frugal travel hack wasn't even a hack - it was just really good luck and a bit of determination. My most successful use of spare money while traveling came during my first summer of backpacking in Europe. I was working at a student center in England, helping to clean the dorms.
The staff room had jars of spare change from every European country, left behind a cent or two at a time by departing students (this was a few years before the Euro -yep, I'm old). No one wanted it. In fact, no one was reasonably able to use it. It's not like the British bank would accept several hundred foreign pennies! As such, I was able to claim it. I carefully divided it into plastic bags and tried to think of the different ways I could use it. I paid for a hostel one night in Paris using the biggest coins I had (they were still unimpressed by my messy handful of coins spilling everywhere on their counter). I fondly remember buying an applesauce filled crepe along a beach in Normandy with another handful of coins - and the unimpressed look the owner gave me. The last of my francs – down to the exact cent, were spent on a railway station pastry before crossing into Italy.
In Ireland, on my last night of the trip, I had enough money to get a small glass of white wine at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and a vending machine item back at the hostel. In between, there were countless city bus tickets, bakery buns, and vending machine drinks purchased, one 5 cent piece at a time. I think the total amount of all that change probably worked out to about $40 or $50, but spread out across 4 countries in 3 weeks, it was like a never ending gift.
Some people may scoff at coming up with little ways to save $20-$50-$100 for a vacation; especially long vacations that end up costing thousands of dollars. But I’d rather spend my travel money on tickets that take me far away and keep me there for a long time. Often activities and entertainment costs makes up 5-10% (or less) of our travel budget and I’m determined to make the most of every trip and every dollar.
I'd love to hear from you! What crafty tips do you have to save up for a big trip?
If you enjoyed this article, you'll also like:
Getting Value from Paid Attractions
When Good Value Means Splurging
Lessons Learned: Small Steps to Save Big Bucks
Posts by Location
Posts by Date