After traveling for work for ten years and a nine month trip around the world, I’ve collected some strategies for traveling cheaper. I’ll cover them in a ten part series in this order:
A. The flight
– How to Book the Cheapest Flight
– How to Use Free Flight Stopovers
– How to Find Alternatives to Expensive Flights
– Finding the Cheapest Airport Transportation
B. The Hotel / Accommodation
– How to Book Cheapest Hotel Rooms
– How to Find Hotel Alternatives
– How to Use Hotel Points
– How to Get Local Currency for Your Trip
– Avoid International ATM Fees!
– Know How Much Things Cost
Know How Much Things Cost
You’re the most vulnerable when you enter a new country and aren’t yet familiar with how much certain items cost. We got ripped off multiple times by not knowing prices, but we also saved a lot of money when we did do research beforehand. As long as there are travelers who don’t know how much things cost, there will be people there to happily rip them off!
Although it’s not possible to research the price of every single thing on your trip, you might be surprised at how much information is actually available online. From how much a driver should cost on a full day trip in Bali, Indonesia to how much you should pay for fake designer jeans in China, the internet is full of great information. You don’t even need to do all of the research beforehand if you have internet in your hotel or other places while you’re traveling – just look it up as you go.
By the way, if you plan on shopping in a market in Beijing, just know that you should only pay 10-20% of the original asking price! After they give you their price and you give them your 10% return offer, they’ll act like it’s the end of the world and tell you they could never make money on that price, but after some friendly negotiation and walking away, you’ll be surprised at how much they’ll come down on price.
The former example is how we won, but as mentioned before, we also lost a few times. When we got off the bus from Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh City, a taxi driver was waiting for us right outside the bus stop. He knew we just came from Cambodia and assumed we didn’t know how much a taxi would cost… and he was right. We paid about 10x what we should’ve paid for a taxi… I was not happy with that one but that’s what happens when you haven’t researched!
It’s usually as simple as a quick Google search to try and find prices. Give it a shot, it could save you big!