If you book rack rates, visit popular destinations, and travel at peak times, international travel can be expensive. As a very frequent solo traveller I can tell you that for some accommodations and activities I’ve been charged a higher per-person rate that a couple, simply because I’m on my own.
How do I avoid this?
By travelling smart and utilising the sharing economy.
I seldom stay in hotels, even their discounted rates are higher than what it would cost me to book a homestay or secure a house sit. And, I always find like-minded people to hang out with. I simply avoid over-crowded tours and choose to plan my own excursions during which I find myself in places no guidebook has ever featured.
Want to save money and meet like minded people when you travel? Here’s my helpful guide.
DOWNLOAD AN APP LIKE KAYU
Kayu is a social networking app that brings people together based on mutual interests, while providing opportunities for more fun and affordable travel. Connect with like-minded people in the local area one of three ways; through common interests, by offering or securing an affordable home-stay, or by linking up to share the cost of more expensive accommodation. You can even be in with the chance of winning $10,000 to boost your travel fund! Visit their website to find out more.
TRAVEL OFF THE BEATEN PATH
It’s no secret that mainstream destinations and tourist hot-spots demand higher prices for accommodations and activities. However if you head off the well-trodden trail and visit lesser known places, which I’ve found can often offer a more authentic regional experience, you can save money and find yourself on a totally unique adventure.
JOIN FORUMS AND COMMENT ON BLOGS
Online forums have been around since the dawn of the internet and have always been a brilliant way to connect with like-minded people. Much like these online communities, blogs also offer a platform for people of similar interests to comment and share their opinions. If you spend a bit of time searching for opportunities to ask questions about travel to your chosen destination, you’ll find that forums and blogs provide a wealth of opportunity to find people with similar interests, and budget saving advice.
READ MORE WANDERLUSTERS TRAVEL GUIDES
LOOK FOR EXCHANGE OPPORTUNITIES
I’m a big believe in karma and I think that if you choose to provide a free service to others, you’ll find yourself with the opportunity to reap a similar reward. You could choose to offer something like language lessons in exchange for a place to stay, or provide a meal in exchange for a tour of the local sights. I always try and pitch vendors to see if there’s something of value I can offer them (apart from cold, hard, cash) in order to get a room or activity free of charge, and make a new friend at the same time!
CONSIDER CO-WORKING SPACES
As a digital nomad the idea of a permanent office is pretty foreign to me, so I love the concept of a co-working space. Not only does it offer the opportunity to collaborate with other creatives and entrepreneurs, it can provide a unique way to meet like-minded people and find opportunities to save money by utilising the connections you make!
JOIN LOCAL CLUBS AND CLASSES
This is a seriously old-school suggestion, but one that I have found works really well. Getting out into the communities you’re visiting and interacting with local people who go to (and put on) clubs and classes offers an authentic way to meet like-minded people who can introduce you to endless ways to save money on your stay. Local people know all the best, budget-friendly ways to see their region, and some may even have low-cost suggestions for places to stay.
Do you have a favourite way to save money and meet like minded people when you travel? Share your suggestions in the comments below.