Many people ask me how I can afford all of my trips. I would love to say that I won the lottery and have an endless supply of cash flow but that is unfortunately not the case. The reality is I work for every penny that I spend on my trips, and I am very familiar with the struggle of saving money and trying to make it go far.
That’s why I have created a short list, for you struggling travelers out there, of the best cheap-o-tips (as I like to call them) that I learned in Peru to help you make the most out of your money and trip.
1. Airport shuttles
Look for hotels/hostels with free airport pick-up and drop-off services. This simple service can save you the costs and hassle of taking a taxi. Especially if you are not very familiar with the language and are in a country where tourists are sometimes taken advantage of, this service can give a lot of peace of mind, and keep a few extra dollars in your pocket.
2. Take advantage of free breakfasts!
Many hotels/hostels offer free breakfasts. Whether continental or buffet-style, eat a huge one so that you are satisfied enough to skip lunch. If necessary, sneak away some food to save for a midday snack. If you do this right, you can stay satisfied until dinner time, all for the price of zero!
3. Ditch the tourist spots for food
When dinner comes around and you start getting hungry again, don’t go to the touristy areas to eat. They are usually overpriced. If that means walking a couple streets down, then do it! When Sam and I went to Peru, a meal in the heart of Cusco was about $10-15CAD each. When we walked a couple streets down though, we found a nice, home-y restaurant that was offering dinners for under $5CAD. Huge difference, and totally worth it.
4. Cheap-o rain cover
This doesn’t apply if you already have a rain cover, but if you are just getting into this and are considering it, let me tell you why you don’t need one. Line your backpack with a garbage bag, then fill the bag up with all your things. Tie the garbage bag off, and viola, waterproof!
5. Choose your destination wisely
One Canadian dollar is 0.66 Euros, while that same Canadian dollar is more than three soles. If you want to do be able to do the most with your money, the best way to ensure that is to go to a place where your money goes far. That doesn’t mean you should sacrifice your life-long wish to go to France, but it is something to think about.
These are 5 cheap-o-tips that I have up my sleeve. What ones do you have? Leave a comment below.