How I Find Savings on my Travels

Budget travel.

Just saying those words together brings a smile to my face.

 Seriously, Look at my smile while I'm writing this.

Seriously, Look at my smile while I'm writing this.

I like to learn how to do things for a lower price all the time and I’m sure you do too.

These are some ways I like to find travel savings.

  • Research beforehand (internet, television, or books)
  • Ask friends/family that have been to the place before
  • Ask a Local (My Personal Favorite)
 Chrome Searchbar

Chrome Searchbar

Research

There are many ways to research a place but I would recommend using the good ‘ol internet above all else. The internet is always up to date on things to do and how to save on it.

I like to start with blog sites that I know like NomadicMatt and Whimsysoul. I check these sites because I have been following them for some time now and they have some great advice on them. Then from there, I go to the typical sites like Google and TripAdvisor. Google is going to have a lot of stuff that you will have to look through yourself though. Tripadvisor is nice because it is travel-friendly. The reviews they have on there are geared towards the traveller. 

Every now and then I’ll find a good one on the Facebook events page. The events page on Facebook is a place that a lot of people don’t even think about but some businesses operate only through facebook so you won’t find their deals anywhere else. Facebook’s location-based options make it really easy to see what is happening near you and doing it on my phone allows me to put it on my calendar that much easier. Those sites will have a lot of info and you will find yourself with a long list of things to do. I don’t want to take the same trip they did though.

Television is also a great tool but you are probably watching an episode of Man vs Food that was recorded a few years ago and that flying fish you saw in front of the Real World is now bear food. (It’s true; they donate the fish that they have been throwing in the public market that day to the local zoo but more on that later.)

Books are a slightly better option when you are going to another country or a place where you won’t have a phone with an internet connection at all times and you can always glance at the book. After all, I know there are those that like physical copies.

Friends and Family

 William, Deanna, Me (From Left to Right

William, Deanna, Me (From Left to Right

 Pike Brewing Company - Monk's Uncle Triple

Pike Brewing Company - Monk's Uncle Triple

Now it’s time to turn to friends and family that have been to these locations. My friends and family generally know what I like and, even if they don’t, there’s always a food recommendation. Who doesn’t love to eat and drink?

 

Ask A Local

 Chief Seattle, Deanna and the first electric Trolley stop in Seattle

Chief Seattle, Deanna and the first electric Trolley stop in Seattle

Now I’m sure you have a whole list of things to do already but the truth is that this last one is usually your best resource.

I like to leave some open spots on my list for these recommendations.

How do you meet with a local you ask?

Well, it’s actually easier than finding them on tinder. 

I generally live in a place for 3 months so I use Airbnb constantly to find places to live for long periods. The person I am renting from is a local.

 Seattle Skyline from the seawall

Seattle Skyline from the seawall

Let’s say you already had a place on your list to grab a drink or dinner. Your bartender and/or server taking care of you is most likely a local. They even work in the business of food! They will 100% know where you can get a great happy hour.

Now let’s say you don’t want to talk to anyone. Sometimes I just want someone to tell me things. Let’s say you are like me and have that natural instinct to say “No more questions.”

I like to book a free walking tour of the city I am visiting. Almost every city has them and some have more than one.

 Pike Place Market Sign

Pike Place Market Sign

This past weekend I had the pleasure of going on a tour with Jake Schlack who is the founder of Seattle Free Walking Tours. Jake took my tour group through Seattle 101 which is their flagship tour and the Market Experience tour. He brought us to the Fish Tossing stand and I got to watch Deanna catch a slimy fish as they told us where they would be donating that fish.

Seattle Free Walking Tours are based on a business model of hundreds of other companies doing the same thing in Europe. So this is not a new thing.

Free walking tours are my favorite way to get to know a city. The tour is supported by your tips and your word of mouth. This is not a paid advertisement. I just want to help get the word out there.

So after the tour, you might know more than most locals and you just did some exercise on your vacation!

Now after you shower washing off that evil “exercise,” you probably have some recommendations to save money from your tour guide who is in fact….. a local.

Congrats! You have a list full of adventures at lower prices!

I ask you do one before you close this web page or click on another post.

There is such thing as over planning and creating a list that is unrealistic. Maybe you pick out some highlights and just go out and have fun. After all, that is what travel is all about.

Just save some of your money so that you can do it that much more.