Travelling for a year means that you have to not only budget correctly but squeeze pennies wherever you can. Here are 5 money saving tips for your Gap Year.
Always ask for a better price
Don’t be afraid to ask for a better price, anywhere. There’s no such thing as a fixed price. Some people believe that haggling is for the markets in Asia. This is not true and there is always something that they can do. Booking my flights to Guatemala I got £50 off from the travel agent. I mean I recently got 15% off my father’s insurance. You have to be aware that you might not be talking to a decision maker. They might be reading the price from a screen. If this is the case, encourage them to speak to their manager or supervisor to see if there is something that can be done. Always ask, always.
Visit Supermarkets and Markets
It may not always be the most sociable when everyone goes for a meal and you stay in to cook but in the long run it’ll save you a bundle. I always locate the nearest supermarket or even a locate market when I arrive at a hostel. In places like Australia and New Zealand I had my own cooler bag so that things like milk and margarine didn’t go to waste and it was easy to transport between locations. It’s also worth raiding the kitchen cupboards at departure cities. I remember finding a treasure trove of food that had been left in Auckland. Most hostels have a free food shelf so keep you eyes peeled.
Search for Discount Codes
When you buy anything online it’s always worth sticking whatever you’re trying to buy into Google followed by “discount codes” for example Hotels.com discount codes or Low cost holidays discount code. Using this method I’ve had discounts on things like travel insurance and getting photos printed. All of those 5% and 10% offs soon add up!
Plan ahead for events
If you know you’re going to be in a certain place at a certain time, check ahead to see if there are any events going on. Leaving it until the last minute to find accommodation for New Year’s Even in Sydney or the Queenstown Winter Festival will see you either paying a higher price or not having accommodation at all. Also get creative with where you look. Sometimes getting a short term let is actually cheaper than a hostel. I was in New York for Labour Day Weekend and it was cheaper to split a weekend rent of an apartment with someone else than get a bed in a hostel dorm.
Get in a group
Economies of scale is your friend. In Thailand I would go into a tour agent and negotiate and haggle the price for one person. Once they had agreed to that price I would say, well there’s four of us, what kind of group discount can you do? I was recently in Morocco about to head into the Sahara desert and pretty much our whole tour bus went into a shop to buy turbans. Again why bother haggling individually? I just said to the shop owner there are ten of us, make us a deal. When in Vegas it was cheaper to split a room at the MGM Grand than it was to get a dorm room. Greyhound sometimes has offers like two for the price of three. There’s certainly safety in numbers but also huge cost savings to be made.