We were quite nervous about making the crossing from Colombia to Ecuador via the Rumichaca bridge land crossing. Some of the stories we had heard from other travellers made it sound like a real ordeal and very stressful.
12 Really Helpful Travel Saving Tips
Here is our very best list of very handy travel saving tips which we hope will save you some time and money on your travels. If there is a super tip that you know of that we’ve missed then let us know as we’re always on the look out for ideas on how to save time and money when travelling.
Travel Saving Tip Number 1 – Don’t plan your trip to the last detail
This is something we try and do for every trip we make. Try and leave some room for unexpected adventure and flexibility. Our favorite type of travel is when you’re not tied to an itinerary. Cruising just wouldn’t be for us! We like to have a loose plan of where we’re going and then let the holiday evolve. Just recently we were in Greece and had planned some Island hopping. Three days on Milos with accommodation booked but after that we had envisaged going to Santorini and Naxos but ended up visiting Paros and then Amorgos which was amazing.
Check out this blog post about the day we accidentally ended up on an Italian island for 4 days and loved it! For more information on how to be more flexible in your travel then get in touch and we’ll be happy to give you more information on how we like to do it.
Travel Saving Tip Number 2 – Embrace the selfi stick
Take more photos of yourself enjoying your travels instead of having a photo reel of beautiful places on your camera or phone the same as everyone else will have. You’ll enjoy the memories more, when back home, with yourself or your family in the pictures. Be silly, be creative and have fun.
Travel Saving Tip Number 3 – Tongue Tied
I’ve mentioned this before on some other posts but having a few words in the local language can help a great deal. Whenever we visit a new country we try and at least find out the words for
- Hello, Good morning, Good evening
- Thank you
- Yes, No
- Some basic numbers
- Also, Can I have the bill please is always handy instead of just writing an imaginary cheque with your hand in the air
Travel Saving Tip Number 4 – Eat where the locals eat
Not only will this save you money and is one of our favorite, very handy travel tips, local restaurants and cafes tend to be cheaper and will give you a more authentic feel for the place you’re visiting. We had one instance in Sri Lanka where our hotel host was so keen for us to try the nice and more upmarket restaurant in town he wouldn’t hear of taking us to the local street food place we’d seen earlier in the day. I think his perception of travellers was that they expected a certain level of dining or that the fact that his friend/cousin owned the more upmarket restaurant. Nevertheless less we got our fair share of local street food as we travelled through more of Sri Lanka
Travel Saving Tip Number 5 – Electronics, valuables and water don’t mix
Pack a couple of dry bags so that if you take a boat trip or there’s heavy rain you can pop your valuables into the bags and have no worries at all. These little dry bags take up absolutely no space at all in your luggage and could be a lifesaver for your gadgets. These are also really handy for taking things to the beach. They’ll protect your gadgets and valuables from the sun and keep them all nice and dry. Chris wishes he’d kept our Euro’s in a dry bag instead of his pocket when he went swimming!
Travel Saving Tip Number 6 – Good things come in small packages
Don’t buy travel toiletries. These little bottles (usually single use plastic) cost just as much and sometimes more than their larger counterparts. Take your regular toiletries, face cream, toner, shampoo, conditioner etc and decant into small, reusable, travel bottles. Less expensive and you get to take your own brands with you. If at all possible try and use solid toiletries. Many great brands now do their products in bars and this will save you packing loads of little -125ml bottles into your carry on luggage if you’re only away for a short break.
Travel Saving Tip Number 7 – Friends & Family
Let family and friends know you’ll be away and where you’ll be travelling to. It’s wise to have someone that knows your itinerary incase of emergency. It’s also a good idea to leave them with a copy of your insurance documents, a copy of your passport and any other relevant documentation you have with you travelling i.e. visas etc. If you lose or need any of these urgently then a family member can get a copy to you. Alternatively you can scan any important documents and email them to yourself so you have a back up copy too.
Travel Saving Tip Number 8 – Keep a journal
Its amazing how many little things you forget from a trip. You remember the big things, the places you stayed, the sites you visited but the little funny things that happen or how fantastically good a restaurant was sometimes get forgotten. Keeping a daily journal keeps all the little things that made the trip so special right there for you to dip into whenever you want. I would have forgotten the time I asked a waitress in Greece for some Tzatziki and she said, Oh I’ll phone one now! My pronunciation of Tzatziki sounded like Taxi ! There have been so many funny moments on public transport that we’d have forgotten them all and its great to read back and be reminded.
Travel Saving Tip Number 9 – The flip of the flop
Always pack a pair of flip flops. Apart from being a necessary accessory on the beach you’ll need them for all sorts of other things such as wearing them in the shower ,especially if you have a shared bathroom or any other shared space in a hotel or hostel. They’re lightweight so will not add any additional weight to your luggage and you’ll be lost without them.
Travel Saving Tip Number 10 – Make the most of your time
Start your day early. Early morning is sometimes one of the best ways to experience a city, beach, hiking trail. So set your alarm clock early on the days you want to see a specific site and get there before the crowds. When visiting venice we arrived at 5.30 am and found St Marks square practically empty. By midday the streets were jammed packed full of tourists. It really is a treat to see places without crowds. Go on, give it a try. We have more tips on making the most of your trip Here
Travel Saving Tip Number 11 – First Aid
Pack a small first aid kit in your rucksack or suitcase. It needn’t be one that would impress an paramedic but just a few bandaids, some paracetamol, immodium, antihistamines, ibuprofen and a supply of handy wipes or tissues for that moment when you’re caught short!. Having some of these first aid items to hand may mean that you don’t have to take time out of your day to find a pharmacy. Also in some countries you cant get the brand of pain killer that you may be used to taking for a headache etc so its best to pack some.
Travel Saving Tip Number 12 – Public Transport – All Aboard
One of our favorite tips and ways to travel is to use public transport wherever you go. Most developed cities throughout the world have comprehensive public transport systems and in the more underdeveloped countries using public transport becomes more of an adventure. Try trains, buses, metro’s and ferries to get you to the different places you want to visit. You’ll see more of the country and get a fantastic feel for the people and the culture. Travelling from Sicily to mainland Italy the train actually drives onto the ferry and that’s something we’ve never done before. You can read more about that Here.
We hope you find these very handy travel tips useful and if you’ve got any great ones of your own the let us know. Doesn’t everyone like to save money and more importantly save time when travelling? Well keep adding to this list so check back!
Booking resources for your trip
Tours & Tickets
You can book your visits as you go at the entrance to your chosen attraction or site. Or you could use the following links to book in advance or just to find out what your choices are in the area. GetYourGuide and Tiqets are our go to choices you could try Viator to see how they compare.
For a full list check out our resources page. Don’t forget always shop around to find the best deal for you. What works for us should be good for you but it’s always reassuring to check.
Some of the links on this page contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or services we write about. You will never be charged a fee for shopping through one of our affiliate links. You may even get a discounted rate and we will make a small commission. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships.
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