Do you like to travel, but the price it costs is a hindrance? Indeed, it is necessary to have a certain budget to be able to move within a country and discover the local culture. However, there are tips and solutions for cheap travel in France and abroad. And also follow our advice in terms of accommodation and meals to save money once there. Everything you need to know to afford a vacation at a lower cost.
Do not book the hotel in advance, a good idea for cheap travel
Those who like to organize everything will surely not adopt this method to travel cheap. Yet it has proven itself to save money.
The idea is not to book a hotel room in advance to prepare for your stay. Indeed, by Internet or by telephone, it is difficult to negotiate the price of the hotel. And on the other hand, it is impossible to know if the place is empty or not.
By paying for your night on site, you can negotiate the price more easily, especially if the hotel is not very busy or if you want to stay there for several nights.
Finally, if the hotel does not satisfy you in terms of service, you can find another one without losing money.
Read also: How to find the cheapest flight?
Sleep for free in a foreign country with couchsurfing
This is a great way to travel cheap when you want to save money. The principle is to spend the night at a private home. These are ordinary people who offer a bed or a sofa in their home. And the process is totally free, so nothing to do with gites and furnished rentals.
But do not limit the practice of couchsurfing as a way to avoid paying the hotel. It is also a good opportunity to meet locals to better appreciate the culture of a country. Beautiful encounters in perspective!
Take the bus for cheap travel
If you plan to travel in France or in a European country, you have the choice between several solutions including the train or the plane. This is not necessarily very economical. Fortunately, there is another means of transport that allows you to get around at a lower cost. This is the bus.
Bus trips are a good plan, especially since the prices can be ridiculous when you select your trip at the last minute. In addition, most buses are equipped with WiFi.
Carpool to go on vacation
Taking your car to travel is a very important item of expenditure. Between the price of fuel and that of motorway tolls, there is sometimes not much left once there.
Know that to save money, and if you are traveling alone, you can opt for carpooling. This eco solution is valid both for journeys in France and around the world. Thus, it is possible to carpool from France to go to other major European cities such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Milan, Berlin, Brussels…
In the end, you will save a significant sum, sometimes up to several hundred euros.
To note : if you plan to travel to Canada, there are also sites in the country to practice carpooling. A nice way to discover the country at a lower cost.
Sleep in a youth hostel in the event of a low budget holiday
If you are not afraid of noise, sleeping in a youth hostel is a good accommodation plan for the holidays.
Plan a budget between 5 and 20 euros per night depending on the establishment. Some are cheap and offer a warm atmosphere, which allows travelers to get to know each other. Besides, there are common areas like the kitchen.
To note : youth hostels also offer private rooms for holidaymakers who prefer to maintain their privacy.
A practice has been democratized almost everywhere in the world. That of housesitting. The principle is simple. Homeowners are looking for someone to watch their home while they are away. In exchange for your monitoring, you have comfortable accommodation completely free of charge.
If the concept seems attractive, know that you will however have to present solid references to hope to become a homesitter. Sites like Trustedhousesitters offer babysitting deals for those who are flexible.
Food at a low price for an inexpensive holiday
There are also tips for not spending too much money abroad. So that your food budget is not too large, here are some solutions:
- favor the all-you-can-eat buffets which cost around 10 euros. Search for establishments that offer this type of catering on Google Map;
- eat street food. The kitchen is prepared in the open air. You take a chair and enjoy food by the side of the road. This type of meal, very common in Asia, costs very little, around 1 euro per plate;
- eat local because outdoor cooking is much more expensive;
- prefer vegetarian meals because meat is more expensive;
- look at the tourist cards where there are discounts between 15 and 25%.
Volunteer for accommodation or food
Almost everywhere, it is possible to work for free in exchange for accommodation and/or free meals. You can offer your services in schools, on farms, in shelters, for example.
But be careful, before rushing headlong, check the number of hours worked. And also expect some costs. Some organizations charge a small fee to welcome you.
Tips for paying less once there
Visit museums for free
In several cities around the world, it is possible to visit museums for free. Generally, Sunday admission is free. Find out beforehand and organize yourself to visit the museums that interest you that day.
On the other hand, there are countries in the world that offer free museums on public holidays. As for the famous Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, it is free every Friday afternoon.
Negotiate on prices
Sometimes the art of negotiation is part of the culture of the country visited. You can therefore negotiate without problems when this is the case. Indeed, the prices displayed generally take into account the future negotiation. So they are quite high.
But beyond the markets to bring back a souvenir or a handicraft, you can also bargain at the hotel. If it is empty or if you intend to stay there several nights, play the competition. And when buying a bus ticket, also negotiate whether there are several transport companies.
Take away leftovers
In France, this is beginning to be accepted, but in other countries of the world it is a habit. Thus, in some states, it is common to ask the server to wrap the leftovers. And all social classes are affected.
In Latin America, for example, it is a frequent practice. Especially since the dishes are often very generous. And it is sometimes difficult to finish them. To travel cheap and save money, ask for your doggy bag.
Record all expenses
On vacation, we have the annoying tendency to spend more than necessary. To avoid excesses, it is best to control your budget. To do this, write down all of your daily expenses in a notebook or on your phone.
If ever you are going to exceed your estimated budget, be more reasonable in the days to come. Withdraw less money from the ATM, for example.
Use a prepaid card
Are you used to being quite a spendthrift? Before burning all your savings in a foreign country, consider the prepaid card. This solution saves money, especially on withdrawal fees compared to a classic CB.
Plan a maximum amount on your prepaid card and do what is necessary to avoid having to top it up. By doing this, you will not exceed the budget set during your trip.
Travel with your own water bottle
This may seem trivial, and yet it is a real item of expenditure. During a summer stay in a hot country, you will have to buy several bottles of water. However, they are sometimes sold at disproportionate prices near tourist sites.
To travel cheaper and avoid unnecessary expenses, use an empty plastic bottle that you refill regularly.
Visit a city with free guides
In some major cities around the world, it is the locals who offer to take the tour. And this, almost for free (although plan a tip).
This solution is economical because the traditional guides charge quite high prices. And the locals are often very good guides. They know their city like the back of their hand, including many curiosities, far from the tourist circuits. Another way to visit a country.
Read also: Traveling without money: yes, it is possible!