Travel Tips

Tips For Low Budget Traveling

Although nowadays the internet is full of blogs and other travel-related websites sharing tips on cheap flights and various other advice on how to travel cheaply, I keep running into many people asking me basically the same questions and telling me the same excuses for why they can't travel.

I want to encourage and help everyone to travel, thus I've also put all the useful information and experience I've gathered during my travels, and would like to share my personal tips, recommendations and mainly know-how here as well  to make your travels easier and cheaper, and to show you that (I know it sounds like a cliché).

Traveling/Transportation

Before I give a particular attention to the individual means of transport to help you save the money, let me start from the very bottom. I travel a lot, but I really don't know everything. Neither does Google thought. But thanks to the internet we have lots of other options - helpful tools. Here are the websites I use to find connection/tickets between A and B.

Rome2Rio - this is a website that uses a very good algorithm to help you find connections between two places. It searches for any kind of transport, including buses, trains, carsharing, and even ferries and planes. Like anything in the world, Rome2rio is not perfect, but it words very well, shows you the particular companies and estimated ticket price. I'm sure in majority of cases you will make do with it.

Omio (formerly GoEuro) - based on a pretty much similar principle as Rome2rio, but unlike the previous, Omio allows you to book the tickets directly after you've found your connection

Bus Radar - it works better in terms of comparing prices of the individual transport providers

1. Plane

I know this sentence sounds like a cliché, but it applies to traveling by airplane too. Traveling by airplanes is easier (and cheaper) than before, especially in Europe. The times when flying was something noble are a history. Nowadays, you can travel to many places of all around the world for pretty reasonable prices. If you still haven't found out, let me help you now.

Use flight search engines to find the cheapest flights

The flight search engines - aggregators - are websites using an algorithm that is able to crawl the entire internet, search and check all the booking engines, airline websites and travel agencies to bring you the cheapest possible  price of the desired fly ticket, so you don't have to do it manually by yourself. If you learn to use them right, they may really help you save a lot of time and money as well. 

There are many other flight search engines on the internet, but I'm pretty sure in most cases you will just make do with those. They are the best anyway.

All over the internet, you can also run into many websites on which you will find actual good deals. Behind these websites are usually people whose hobby is to search the internet and airlines websites and find the cheapest flights thanks to sale, but most often system errors. If you are quick, sometimes you can flight to places you would never think of for a ridiculous price. 

For the Czech market, you can also check out these:

While the mentioned flight search engines may give you an idea of most of the lines and prices, their drawback is that they won't always cover all low-cost airlines. Another thing to take into account is that they are very useful for finding cheap connections, but the options shown on their website are not always the cheapest way. And that's why I usually use them to find flight connections and airlines between destinations, but then I go and search manually on the airline's websites.

Jirka's additional tips for cheap flying

  • Delete cookies! Most of the (low budget) airlines use various algorithms. Very often, if you return back to the search, the price of the flight you are looking at will be higher. It's because the automatic system rise the price for popular destinations. Just delete your cookies so it looks like you just come for the first time. You will see the price will be different again. You can also try it from a different computer. In fact, you can bear in mind and apply this to anything on the internet.
  • Many low budget airlines change their prices in the evenings of Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays  For example, at Wizzair they do in the evenings of Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday
  • Traveling by plane will be in most cases much more expensive on weekends (Friday, Saturday), whereas plane tickets are usually cheapest in the middle of a week (especially Wednesday)

Here is the list of the low-budget airlines. Low-cost (European) airlines

Canada

2. Train

3. Bus

4. Car

    1. Hitch-hiking/carpooling

      Sharing a car with someone else is definitely the most ecological, adventurous way of traveling. I mean, unless you decide to walk, get on the bicycle or ride horse (or a different animal)

      BlaBlaCar

p style="font-size: 13pt;">In Hungary even more popular website for carpooling is Oszkár TeleKocsi. It works really great, you can find there many many rides.

Accommodation

Alright, let's say you've found a flight to an interesting destination and the price is actually much cheaper than you thought, so you're finally getting exciting and want to go. Now you start thinking....wow, that sounds really cool, but where am I going to stay? Perhaps I should really call the travel agency and get the package they have for a great last minute/early bird price now. Nah, and what about the 30-50% commission you are gonna leave them? No worries, you can make it cheaper. See this.

Couchsurfing

I used this website for the first time when I moved to Budapest in 2012, and have been using it since then. Although after the website has been acquired by another company there have been some not so popular changes made, I still think it's the best invention for travelers ever! It will not only save you lots of money, but through couchsurfing you can meet locals.

Trustroots

AirBnb

There is not many people who would never heard about AirBnb, but there are still many people who have never used it, however. One of the good ideas that have turned into a disruptive invention.

Booking servers

Booking.com

FAQ - Can I use Booking.com to find available accommodation and then contact the accommodation provider directly?

Yes and no. Of course, you can check the places and their actual prices in the location and then contact them directly, I sometimes do it too, but there is a reason why most people won't do it. First of all, if the particular place doesn't use any other website, it may be not easy to find them. More importantly, however, also Booking has an automatic algorithm.

, Hostelz.com, Trivago, Hotels.com, Agoda

WWOOF

There is a pretty good service that can help you claim your compensation back and you don’t have to care about anything. The good thing is that deducted the service fee only if they manage to win the compensation. They also offer some services for free.


AirHelp get compensation

Money

Alright, let's say you've found a flight to an interesting destination and the price is actually much cheaper than you thought, so you're finally getting exciting and want to go. Now you start thinking....wow, that sounds really cool, but where am I going to stay? Perhaps I should really call the travel agency and get the package they have for a great last minute/early bird price now. Nah, and what about the 30-50% commission you are gonna leave them? No worries, you can make it cheaper. See this.

Revolut

I used this website for the first time when I moved to Budapest in 2012, and have been using it since then. Although after the website has been acquired by another company there have been some not so popular changes made, I still think it's the best invention for travelers ever! It will not only save you lots of money, but through couchsurfing you can meet locals.

Transferwise

Avoid ATMs by Euronet!

What? Why? Because they are a scam! A very reliably-looking scam....

Who would expect that...they are everywhere...all around the world. And they look so innocent.

  • They charge a pretty high commission (in the Czech Republic it may be around 100 CZK (5$)
  • They change money for a ridiculously inconvenient exchange rate, especially when you withdraw with conversion
  • They offer you for the withdrawal a crazy amount - average local salary or so

Jirka's additional tips on dealing with money when abroad

  • When withdrawing money from an ATM, always do it "without conversion"! The difference between the two options you are offered is that "with conversion" means the conversion between your and the local currency is done by the ATM provider (bank), the "without conversion" means that it's done by your bank. I don't think I have to emphasize that the chance that you will be screwed up by the foreign bank is very high.
  • Be really careful about the exchange office you are going to use

 

 

 

 

Volunteering

Do you know the feeling when you feel stuck in your life? Tired of doing whatever you're doing and you would just like to take your mind off things? Try volunteering. And volunteering doesn't necessarily mean you have to go to Africa to save kids. Or elephants. There are many more options.

Workaway.info

Helpx.net