Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cheap Adventure Travel: Top Five Ways to Save

1. Book Early and Compare Rates:
    If you're flying, book early and compare rates at ALOT of different sites. My personal favorite is Expedia, they're cheaper (in my experience) even than "student booking" sites. Spend some time comparing prices, as this could save you hundreds easily. Your five minutes spend surfing other sites translates into a hundred dollars saved... that's worth it in my book!

2. Get a Student ID:
    If you are a student, hook yourself up with an International Student ID Card. Especially in Europe, these cards are often the key to saving ten percent or more on everything from dining, travel, or lodging. The most common mistake to hamper the success of these cards is forgetting to use them! So always ask if there are student rates available. Even here in the States, a lot of venues and local businesses offer student rates, use these to your advantage!

3. Pack light:
    Using an airline or not, the more you carry the more it will cost. Often airlines will let you take internal frame packs into the passenger compartment as carry on (I've seen people board with 5000 series packs). Road tripping or local travel is always easier and less expensive the lighter you pack. Plus, having only one backpack with all your worldly possessions in it just gives your heart that spirit of adventure!

4. Be Frugal:
    This might seem obvious, but most people fail here the hardest! Decide early on what your budget is. Is your goal to spend nothing at all? Or are you going to be free with your money. Chances are, if you're reading this you'll want to be saving that pocket change! Do you really need that ice cream cone, or how about that souvenir t-shirt? It should go without saying, DO NOT BUY BOTTLED WATER! Find the stuff at a free drinking fountain and fill up your own bottle, people. Don't even think about being frugal if you can't stop yourself from buying the pathetic bottled waters. A good way to practice this is every time you catch yourself eyeballing something, or starting to consider purchasing it just slap yourself. If you don't already have it then chances are you don't need it!

5. Use Free Resources:
    These include but are not limited to local hospitality and friends, a bench in the park for a bed (be careful of the neighborhood), free transportation I.E. freighthopping. Other common online resources to help you plan adventure travel include:

Workaway - A work exchange website for free room and board worldwide.
Couchsurfing - Most of you probably know this one, a website to find a free spot to sleep.


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