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  • Destinations of our boats including Phuket, Lanta, Krabi and secluded islands in Thailand reachable by ferry only.
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24 Incredibly helpful tips to save money on travel - Part 1

Travel can be really expensive and when you're in a new place you want to experience as much of the culture as possible. It can be really hard to keep your costs down while travelling and the temptation to say, "Stuff it, I'm on holidays! I got my money, let's spend it up!" can be nearly irresistible. But there's nothing worse than coming back from an amazing trip away, getting a bad case of the post-holiday blues and realising you overspent. Which is why it's important to live and travel within your means.

When it comes to saving money on travel it's really in the details, while each tip may save you a few dollars here and there they all really do add up at the end! There's nothing embarrassing about being a smart traveller and getting the most for your hard-earned money.

Today I wanted to share with you some of my favourite tips and tricks for saving money on travel and saving money while you travel.

1. Take public transport

Use public transport to your advantage wherever you can, countries like Singapore have pre-paid metro cards which save you money on your train fares and can be used on all public transport systems. In Tokyo you can catch the train from the airport to the city centre and, trust me, it saves you an absolute bundle! It can be a little tricky working out a new train system, but it's worth it.

2. Switch between budget and luxury

This is my number one money-saving trick. We will book hostels and cheap hotels for the beginning of our trip, saving a few nights in absolute luxury to the very end. It's a great way to save money without missing out and, usually, the cheap places are the ones we have the funniest memories of. Like the big fight we heard through paper-thin walls in a Japanese hotel, sparked by a boyfriend's inability to take a good photo of his girlfriend who was really, really upset about it.

3. Set a daily budget and stick to it

Before you leave home, work out how much you can afford to spend each day, including shopping, food and all other expenses. Use this figure to come up with a per-day budget and stick to it! Really, really stick to it. If you go over your daily budget you'll need to cut back the following day to get that money back. If you save money one day you'll have extra for another day. It's the best way to keep your spending on track.

4. Our 'one a day' rule

When we travel, Matt and I tend to stick to a rule of one restaurant meal a day. We eat breakfast, lunch or dinner at a restaurant, cafe or other place we really want to visit. The other meals we eat on a budget by picking up something from a local cafe, bakery, deli or grocery store take-away. One of my favourite food travel memories is sitting in front of Sacre Couer in Paris, watching the sunset while we ate big bowls of takeaway pasta we got from a local deli and drinking a 4€ bottle of wine. If we had been inside a restaurant, we would've missed that beautiful sunset altogether.

5. Stay in a self-contained apartment or holiday rental

Try to find a fully self-contained apartment or do some research on a holiday rental. This saves you money as you can buy essential groceries, snacks and drinks to eat at home sometimes, you can also buy duty-free alcohol and have a few drinks at home before going out of an evening. Most self-contained apartments or holiday rentals should have a washer and/or dryer too so you'll be able to keep on top of your laundry.

6. Look for 'breakfast included' deals

I love that breakfast is usually included at hotels and resorts in South-East Asian countries, it makes travel easy because you can roll out of bed in the morning, go to breakfast and plan your day over yummy food before heading out. It's also a built-in money-saver! If your hotel doesn't include breakfast and the cost to eat there is high, try heading out for a coffee and muffin at a local back-street cafe or bakery instead.

7. Go off the beaten track

It can cost a lot to stay in the major tourist spots and major cities. Instead of deciding to stay right in the thick of it all take a look at nearby towns or places easily accessed by public transport(along the train line) or by hiring a bike. You can save quite a bit of money by staying places other people aren't willing to and the chances are you'll have a more authentic local experience. Similarly, restaurants and cafes right next to main tourist attractions are usually pretty pricey. Walk around the corner or a few streets back and you're likely to find a place that sells the same items at half the price.

8. Look at home-stay options or volunteer arrangements

Lots of countries have safe and reliable home-stay options which can also save you money on travel and, again, you may just find yourself having an incredibly memorable and authentic travel experience with lovely locals. If you're willing to trade your time and skills you may be able to work out a volunteer arrangement with a local business, school, orphanage or other organisation.

9. Travel off-peak

We took a 3 night trip to Ibiza from London in the low season and all-up, including flights and accommodation for the two of us, it cost us $300! Travelling in the off season can be a lot of fun and can save you a bundle. Also, you get to see the quiet side of a destination and experience it in a way most others won't.

10. Fly mid-week

Flying on a Tuesday or Wednesday can see you save a bit of cash on your flight prices, so try to be flexible with your days and times. If you catch a less-taken flight you're also likely to catch a break in fares, try for red-eye flights and really early mornings.

11. Pack snacks and drinks for the day

Stop by a local grocery or convenience store or fresh food market and stock up on snacks. Even if you just put a bottle of water and a muesli bar or apple in your bag you'll be saving money on snacks. Those daily coffees, blueberry muffins and bottles of water really do start to add up, especially when you're paying top dollar for them at a cafe or other shop. I have so many great memories stopping for a pre-packed snack along my travels, sitting on a doorstep in a foreign country with Matt, watching the world go by. It's a great way to stop and just take it all in.

12. Pack light but smart

Think through what you're taking with you, is there a chance you'll need a raincoat or a warm jumper? It's not going to be budget-friendly if you have to shell out for new clothes once you get to your destination because of chilly autumn evenings or an overlooked monsoon season. Think about what you'll need carefully and be sure to pack it!

24 Incredibly Helpful Tips to Save Money on Travel - Part 2

Phoebe Lee

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