15 Money Saving Tips if You Think You’re Too Broke to Travel

Anything is possible, even travelling on next to nothing...

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  • 19 March 2018
  • • 8 min read

Think you’re too broke to travel? Think again. If you really want to travel but feel hopelessly broke and on a tight budget, there’s always a way. And that goes for anything in life. If you really want it, you can make it happen. Just like that guy  Tomislav  who decided to pack up and go with almost no money to his name, hitchhiking his way around the world. Or Welsh lad Simon Wilson who recently went to America with no money and  vlogs about how he gets by  (these are extreme examples, of course)...

But budget travellers do it all the time - so you have to ask yourself, is travel really what you want to do. And if the answer is yes, it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. There are SO many ways to travel on a budget that makes what once seemed impossible, completely achievable.


1. CUT COSTS GETTING TO YOUR DESTINATION

The main expense is usually getting to your destination. Sometimes, you have to be really patient to find the right deal or just know where to look. Once you get to wherever it is that you want to go, you can become the biggest penny-pincher in the world.

Our top recommendation for finding cheap flights is  Jack’s Flight Club . Sign up to his newsletter for free and follow him on Facebook for all of the latest updates on cheap flights. A god send for saving money in the initial booking stages.

Other good websites to find cheap flights include  skyscanner.com airfarewatchdog.com , and  scottscheapflights.com.  Consider coaches and buses as an affordable travel option, too. It may mean travelling overnight but it could cut down costs more than you think.


2. WORK AND TRAVEL

What if you didn’t need to go home to refill the bank? What if you could keep paychecks coming in while you wander? In fact, what if you could start travelling any time, even without any savings, because you could travel and earn at the same time, right from day one?

Working in a hostel is one of the many jobs you can do abroad. Do you know how many staff a decent hostel needs? Reception, cleaning, social media, web maintenance, bookings, managing staff, walking tours, pub crawls, cooking, dishes, bartenders, laundry. Short answer: They need a lot. Particularly if you’re young and energetic, working in a hostel is a backpacker dream job. You work with people from all around the world, you mingle with guests from all around the world, and, well, you have a job.

An extract from , written by travel blogger  Bren on the Road .

St Christopher’s Inns have backpacker hostels all over Europe and are always looking to hire budding travellers. See their current vacancies  here .


3. LOOK OUT FOR LATEST OFFERS AND DEALS

This one may sound obvious but a good offer could make your trip significantly cheaper. You just need to know where to find them.

St Christopher’s Inns for example offer all kinds of deals that run throughout the year to make your stay cheaper.


4. TRAVEL WITHIN YOUR COUNTRY

Never knock the amazing places your own country has to offer. As a Brit living near London, I’ll use the UK as an example. I love exploring the other cities of England whether it’s down south, in the north or the beautiful midlands! England has a coastline, beautiful countryside and some INCREDIBLE cities other than the capital, such as medieval Bath, Manchester and Bournemouth. The country even has mountains and some of the world’s most beautiful lakes in the Lake District. Whatever country you’re from whether it’s Denmark or the Czech Republic, travelling within your country will cost you less than catching a flight.

Check out these awesome day trips from  and 

For those living in France, here’s 


5. FREE THINGS TO DO

People aren’t always aware of this but there are so many free things to do in a new city. Whether its free walking tour offered by the hostel or discovering a new park or a free museum there are some incredible ways to be a tourist without spending a penny.

Use our guides to help you scope out the free things to do in some of Europe’s greatest cities...


6. WALK

Walking is not only the BEST way to see a city (you can come across all the hidden gems by foot). It’s also the cheap way. A 20-30 minute walk won’t kill you to get from place to place - and when you’re broke you’re not really in a position to be splashing the cash on a cab fare or train ticket. Unless of course, there’s no alternative if somewhere you really want to go is far away. Then all that walking will pay off as it will mean you can use the money you saved to travel to the places further out of reach.


7. BUDGET EATING

Five ways to cut down your spending on food:

  • Make sure your hostel offers a free breakfast

  • Buy food from supermarkets

  • Make use of hostel kitchens

  • St Christopher’s offers 25% off hostel food for guests who book direct through the hostel

  • Research for good affordable restaurants around the city, or ask hostel staff for their recommendations. Tripadvisor is your best bet with honest reviews online.

Or just head down to the hostel bar and drink instead…


8. ONLY SPEND ON WHAT YOU NEED

If you’re struggling for money, don’t waste your euros on anything unnecessary. Only pay for the things you actually need and this will do any individual A LOT of favours. Before you buy anything, ask yourself ‘Do I really need this?”. This will also mean saving more money for great experiences and food.


9. LOCATION CAN MAKE OR BREAK YOU

When you’re looking for accommodation, it’s sometimes worth spending that little extra to ensure you’re based in a central city location. In return you’ll save a lot if it means cutting down travel costs - especially if a lot of the main sights are within walking distance. Research thoroughly before you book. Some accommodation may seem super super cheap, but there may be a catch - and that is usually because it's far out of town.

St Christopher’s hostels are all based in amazing, central locations.


10. GIVE YOURSELF A REALISTIC DAILY BUDGET

Take some time to figure out how much money you’ll have to spend in total for your whole trip. Do some research about how much you will realistically need for each day in each city before deciding on a daily budget. Take into account the cost of your accommodation, attractions, travel, food, drink and of course which city you are in - is it more or less expensive in general? Hopefully you’ll end up really trying to stick to your budget and being extra happy when you have money left over at the end of the day! Pass the beer.


11. HAPPY HOURS

Drinking abroad doesn’t have to break the bank. Do your research and find out the cheapest happy hours in bars around the city. For example, Belushi’s has the longest happy hour in the whole of Amsterdam! Another good tactic is signing up to bar newsletters - sometimes just by signing up, they’ll give you a free drink voucher!

If you’re in London get  The Drinki App  for one free drink at a massive selection of bars around the city! What’s better than free drinks with no catch?


12. CHEAP DESTINATIONS

Choose cheaper destinations. A huge part of saving money can depend on where you go. Travelling Eastern Europe will be a lot cheaper than going to America’s West Coast for example. Then there are affordable cities such as Berlin, Lisbon and Prague that make amazing weekend trips that won’t hurt your bank balance.

For further tips and advice on affordable cities and where to go, check out these .


13. TRAVEL IN THE OFF SEASON

Again, pretty obvious but travelling in the off-season is not only cheaper, but it also means that you’ll benefit from quieter tourist sights, less queues and crowds. Crowds completely ruin a destination for me and I learnt this when visiting Rome’s fascinating Colosseum. The combination of hoards of people, queues and boiling heat almost ruined the experience.

Prices can be almost 25% cheaper compared to the peak season - especially when it comes to accommodation and flights.


14. SELL SOME STUFF

If worse comes to worst sell your stuff and pack up and go with the money you made. Lots of budget travellers use this method. Old things you don’t need anymore, an old laptop, mobile phone, shoes, clothes... The list of things you can sell is endless.


15. WASH YOUR CLOTHES IN THE SINK

A simple but effective way to save a few euros. Why go to a laundrette if you can wash your dirty clothes in the sink?

Check out our guide on .

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