So one thing that I am asked consistently is whether I am super rich since I have managed to travel to so many countries. Well, I am not poor, thats for sure. Nor am I struggling to make ends meet. But I am also not rich. Not in monetary terms anyway, I am rich in terms of love and experiences though ;). What I am, is a planner and a dreamer. I make a set of goals, as to which countries/places I want to visit every year based on feasibility and finance, plan accordingly, budget and save. I can be very stringent when it comes this and it really helps me meet my goals. In the points below, I will share the tips and tricks I use to save money while travelling the world. For you to plan your trip better, I have broken this down into 2 parts: Before the trip and during the Trip. This post will be focused on tips for before the trip.
Things to invest in for the travel:
1. Invest in a good backpack: I cannot emphasise this enough, a good backpack will take you a very long way and will really save you money in the long run. In my opinion a good backpack has the following features: a) It is light (maximum 3 lb, especially if you are not someone who is super into your strength training, pleasure understand that a heavy backpack = less things you can carry and more bag you are carrying). b) It is the right size: my cut of point is 50 litres for a trip that will last 3-4 months in the summer. The bigger the backpack, the more the hassle. c) It water resistant and has durable – this one is quiet self explanatory! The reason I insist on this is because in the long run, a light and durable backpack will save you tons of money when you are walking for miles and are super tempted to take a taxi or you bag breaks open in somewhere like Iceland where you can barely afford to breathe.
2. Invest in a good pair of shoes for walking or hiking: I mentioned this on a previous post, but honestly it really goes a long way. You can walk longer, do more things, carry more stuff, are more mobile and therefore save tons of money in the longer run.
How to book “cheap” tickets, stays etc
3. Ticket: My go to search engine is Skyscanner on private mode. So heres how I do it: I go on private or incognito mode on my browser while searching for flights on sky scanner. I do this because this way, i can search the price without the website collecting all my data and then dramatically increasing the prices when they see a route that I have been eyeing, when i am about to purchase the ticket.
4. Ticket: When your search engine shows you the different options, compare them separately by searching for the same flights in the airlines offered. For example, If i am booking a flight from Dhaka to Munich and sky scanner tells me the emirates is the cheapest option, i will also double check this in the emirates website, because sometimes the “mother” websites (emirates in this case) can offer a cheaper price when you search separately.
5. Ticket: Between trains and busses, busses tend to be cheaper (globally), so I would really recommend you looking into that if you don’t get motion sickness. I have bought a megabus ticket as cheap as £1 for a trip from Amsterdam to London. So buy that travel pillow and the eye mask and sleep through long ass bus trips, and don’t forget those ear plugs too! 🙂 Plus bus rides can be so beautiful!
6. Accommodation: Couchsurfing all the way!!!! For more 3 main reason, it is a beautiful website which allows travellers from different countries to connect and share incredible experiences. Often enough you make friends for a life time (Hi Natasha, Hi Lorena, Hi Enrico!! <3) and its completely free for an incredible cultural exchange. I feel that it is perhaps the most human way for travellers to share a part of their life, culture and heritage with others. But as mentioned previously in 7 tips on travelling while being a young, semi broke, 3rd world citizen , be careful, it can go anywhere between the best experience of your travels to the worst. Watch this space for an article on travel safety soon!
7. Accommodation: Hostels are a cheap and affordable way to travel. You can often meet amazing people who you become really good friends with and travel other places together, which often makes things much cheaper and more fun! I think the trick to hostels is reading the reviews. I recently stayed at a hostel in Cancun which had really high ratings but was super loud and dirty. What i didn’t see when i only chose a rating was that it was actually rated for being a party hostel and not good otherwise. So be careful, because it can be tricky!
8. Accommodation: Airbnb and booking.com are also great for booking cheapaccommodation. With booking.com, because I have booked with them over 11 times, so I get a genius discount and deals. So whenever you book, please make sure you are logged into your account to avail these deals and discounts. Plus, if you look for deals, you will sometimes find really good hotels for cheap prices. Key is to always read the reviews and see what people say about the place because sometimes staying at a very cheap place could cost you crazy amounts of money for transport etc, so make sure you are staying within walking distance to all the places you want to visit.
9. Accommodation: Stay with friends and family. I know this part is not one that many people are keen on when they go on vacation but if you are a traveller like myself (I don’t go on vacations tbh, I travel as if its the only thing I am open to do. I spend most of my days learning as much as possible about the country, city, place and its culture. Plus, I love going to places to see friends! (Ciaooo Laura, come stai?)
Finally, I cannot emphasise enough on penny pinching, especially if you (like myself) have a habit of buying stuff that you don’t need. It took me a very long time to learn how to structure my spending, but i finally got here. And trust me, a couple of dollars here and there turns into a few hundred dollars in the long run!
I hope this post has been useful and informative for you! If you can think of any topics you want me to write about please be sure to email me on : [email protected]. And if you like this article, please show a sister some love, head over to instagram and follow my page: @maliharoundtheworld:D
Maliha Fairooz is a 27-year-old Bangladeshi solo traveller, who has travelled to 83 countries, on a Bangladeshi passport. Through her blog www.maliharoundtheworld.com, she shares her experience of travelling as a brown, Muslim, Bangladeshi woman while simultaneously encouraging a culture of travel amongst Bangladeshi youth.