Accessible adventure: how to travel on a budget – Kiwi.com
How to travel cheaper ? Check out our five tips to help you stay on budget.
One of the foremost concerns in the minds of travel enthusiasts is the cost of their trips. Everyone is always on the lookout for tips on how to save more on their hard-earned money, which is why we’ve put together a few tips and tricks to help you travel on a budget.
One: Travel light
If you are flying, your baggage allowance will depend on your carrier’s policy, which you should familiarize yourself with prior to your trip. As a rule, low cost airlines (such as Ryanair in Europe or Frontier Airlines in the United States) charge additional fees for any checked baggage in the hold of the aircraft. Therefore, giving up all checked baggage will save you money. However, in order to do this, you need to be able to fit all your things in a cabin bag, which comes with considerations.
Be aware of the exact specifications of the carry-on bag that your airline will allow you to bring with you free of charge. For many carriers – whether they are low-cost or not, it will be a small suitcase not exceeding the dimensions of 56 x 45 x 25 centimeters. This is the guideline established by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), but by no means a hard and fast rule. For example, some large low cost airlines – two main examples being Ryanair and Wizz Air – charge extra for a small suitcase like this because their free baggage allowance size is limited to that of a backpack. Still, the cost of an IATA approved carry-on bag is usually less than that of a registered bag.
So what can you put in a bag that measures 56 x 45 x 25 centimeters? Your valuables and documents, minimal toiletries (which we’ll get to in a minute), and a few extra clothes. On that note, a common advice is to wear as much clothing as possible when traveling. You may look a little bigger and you might be slightly uncomfortable if you fly out in the summer, but it’s all in the name of saving those pennies.
Another thing to consider if you want to travel without checked baggage is that your cash allowance will be limited. Try to skimp on toiletries and cosmetics if you can, and you definitely won’t be able to bring full-size drinks with you.
On the other hand, if larger volumes of cash are absolutely necessary for your trip, the checked baggage allowance would likely be cheaper. – rather than buying liquid items again either after airport security or upon arrival at destination. This is especially true for makeup enthusiasts., speaking from my personal experience. However, it is rather the exception to the rule: the less you take with you, the more money you will save.
Two: eat smart
While you cannot bring drinks in your cabin bag, you can certainly bring solid food. Dining at airport outlets can be expensive, especially airside (after going through security and / or passport control). Therefore, it stands to reason that some preparation in advance to ensure that you have some food on hand throughout your trip will reduce your transportation costs.
The same rule generally applies once you arrive at your destination. Eating in cafes and restaurants is certainly part of the vacation experience, but if you’re budget conscious, it helps to stay somewhere where you have access to a kitchen. Having a kitchen means you can prepare your meals with groceries from the supermarket, just like you would at home. – and take them with you on your adventures. It sounds simple and obvious enough, but it really is an effective money-saving trick.
Living together is the best way to find accommodation when traveling on a budget. Hostels are the classic mode of budget accommodation, where you’ll typically pay for a bed rather than a private room. Plus, many of them have kitchens (result!), And the setup makes it easy for travelers to meet other people like them. You never know – you might make lasting friendships, more than you anticipated during your economic exploration.
If you are particularly easygoing, you may choose to go further and stay with a local. SofaSurf is arguably the most famous online host network that allows travelers to stay with them for absolutely nothing but brief company. Essentially, you are gifting someone with your wonderful personality, instead of the contents of your wallet.
On the other hand, if you feel a little uncomfortable living with new people, consider bringing your own friends on your trip. If you were all to rent one house, apartment, or hotel room, naturally everyone’s budgets would only support a fraction. To share is to love.
Four: stay on the ground
These days, you can get insanely cheap airline tickets (and there are tips to make them even cheaper, which we’ll see in due course). But if you don’t mind taking the time, consider taking your earth trip instead.
Long-distance buses are a great form of transportation if you are traveling on a budget. In addition, your baggage allowance on a bus will generally be more generous than it would be if you are traveling with a low-cost airline – most operators accept one piece of checked baggage per passenger free of charge.
In Europe, some of the biggest international bus companies are Flixbus, Megabus and Eurolines. Together, these companies operate routes spanning dozens of countries, so you can be sure you can get from A to B efficiently on the road. Many long distance bus companies also operate elsewhere in the world. Kiwi.com’s search aggregator allows you to filter results by mode of transport – a nifty way to check bus connections wherever you are, wherever you are.
Traveling by train can also be more economical than flying, so it’s worth researching your rail route and ticket options. If you are planning a long European tour, the popular Interrail and Eurail the passes give you great flexibility to plan your trip at great prices. Let’s not forget that long-distance train travel can be a charming experience in itself; sit back and enjoy the view of the countryside from the window, share a beer or a game of cards with your exploration companions and let yourself be soothed at night by the gentle movement of your sleeping car.
One more thing that ground transportation has on the flight is that you will almost always reach the center of your destination, arriving at a bus or train station. This means that there is less of your budget to spend on the sometimes long transit between the airport and the city. Depending on the airport you land at, you might have no choice but to take a taxi, and no money-conscious tourist wants it.
Five: Book with Kiwi.com
At Kiwi.com, we hack the system. Our aggregator has a few tricks up its sleeve to show you the best possible prices for the trip you want to take.
If you are a true globetrotter, one of these tricks that you can use to your advantage is Nomad. Nomad ingeniously takes your desired destinations, as well as the time you intend to spend in each, and works out the cheapest routes you can choose from. That’s it – want to travel full, without breaking the bank.
Another rather unique way that Kiwi.com obtains low cost tickets is to include “hidden segments” in certain routes. It might sound absurd, but some (usually traditional) airlines will charge more for a one-way trip than for the same route with a return flight or an outward flight. For example, even if you want to make a one-way trip from Paris to Los Angeles, it may be cheaper to buy a return ticket, or a ticket that goes from Paris to Mexico City, with a stop in Los Angeles. Of course, you don’t have to come back to Paris or travel to Mexico City; simply leave the Los Angeles airport, disregarding the extra flight.
In the industry, this practice is called a “throwaway ticket,” and it’s an innovative little money-saving trick. However, in order to use disposable tickets, such as when you choose to travel without checked baggage, there are certain conditions that you need to consider.
One of these considerations is to do with flight without checked baggage: your itinerary is strictly cabin baggage only if you have a hidden connecting flight. The simple reason is – to use our sample itinerary – if you were to register a bag in Paris, it will end up before you in Mexico City.
You should also make sure that you have enough documents (such as a visa) to arrive, hypothetically, at your “final” destination. At the airport, you will be checked in to Mexico City. As such, the carrier will need to see the relevant documents from you to enter Mexico, even if in practice you are not going.
Our website finds these special tickets in seconds. Rest assured that it will be always will tell you if any of your search results contain a hidden segment, and it will notify you of route conditions. If you can’t or don’t agree to the terms, that’s fine – Kiwi.com still has plenty of ticket options that don’t include hidden segments, at very competitive prices.
There you have it, five practical ways to save money on your trip. Traveling doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg; careful planning, fine tuning, and good overall thinking are all that is needed.
Do you want more travel items? Visit Kiwi.com Stories.