10 Tips To Save Money While Traveling & Creating

Photo by Jack Finnigan

I want to start by saying that you don’t have to travel to create great content. There’s so much that can be done right where you are no matter where that is. However, broadening your horizons is a good thing and if given the opportunity you should certainly take it. Many of us have other jobs in addition to our passions when you get some vacation time take advantage and go somewhere you’ve never been to inspire your work. It might not be super relaxing, but it will certainly worth it.

Traveling has a funny way of draining your bank account if you let it. It’s not just about the high airline prices or expensive accommodation, it’s about the breakfasts you eat out, cafe visits, and daily souvenir shopping. Yet, I want you all to know that travel doesn’t have to be unattainable. There are always ways to make sure you go on that trip of a lifetime. Below we put together some helpful tips that will allow you to enjoy yourself on your next adventure. Remember that you will have to make sacrifices and that in the end, that won’t matter because you will be producing more amazing content.  

1. Stay somewhere that has a washer/dryer

I always pack light. Which can be hard especially if you want to have the right amount of outfit changes for photos. It takes some advanced planning on my part, but I always know what I am going to where and what day I will wear it, I bring no more than I need. You want to do your best not to have to check luggage. It’s expensive and there are no guarantees that your clothes will make it to where you are. Washing clothes helps a lot when traveling. So keep that in mind when packing for your next trip.

2. Don’t “wait to buy it there”

I used to do this a lot with toiletries to avoid going over the liquid requirements in a carry-on when flying. You will actually be spending more money by doing this. Again, plan ahead, make some compromises on what you really need and buy loads of travel sized bottle to fill up.

3. Explore wherever you are going on foot

This is important to get the lay of the land. It saves money on transportation and tourist attractions. Go on hikes, find the best spots for golden hours. Find the free museums and other free tourist options by asking around.

4. Don’t pay for a tour, ask a local

When I travel there are some very rare cases in which I will pay to have someone take me around my location. More often than not I speak with the locals and find out the things I should really be seeing. Then I take myself to those places and it’s cheaper and more fun than a guided tour.

5. Use a credit card

This is especially important when you are traveling abroad. Learning how to avoid paying those international fees is key. There are many credit card options out there that will not charge you an international fee and thus save you a lot of money on those transactions. If you have to exchange money avoid doing it at the airport. The exchange rates there will be higher. Shop around in town before making a decision, you don’t want to go to the first place you see without checking for lower rates. If using a debit card to take out money at an ATM be wary of the fees and know if your bank will reimburse them.

6. Budget for your trip beforehand

Before I go abroad I decide how much I would ideally like to spend and then I create a sperate checking account to hold those funds designated specifically for travel so that you do not overspend.

7. Eat smart before your trip

If I know I want to go somewhere I make sacrifices when it comes to food and hanging out with friends before I leave. I stop eating out and drinking alcohol. I ask my friends to hang out at my place or their place instead of going somewhere. It’s not always fun, but it is effective and will give you more money to splurge with when somewhere new.

8. Group Travel

Traveling with a group can, of course, get complicated, but it can also make things very affordable. If you have a core group of friends that you know you can get along well with while traveling then go for it. Also, request your time off work to start in the middle of the week because this is when traveling is the cheapest.

9. For meals limit yourself

No, this doesn’t mean starve yourself or skip meals. It just means be smart about it. You should try the cuisine wherever you go, but when you do steer clear of the touristy areas and go to the lesser know parts of the city you are in where the food will be just as authentic for a much more affordable price. Also grocery shop. The food may not be gourmet, but it will serve its purpose and keep you from unnecessary spending on those snacks.

10. Stay away from the “only here” mentality

There are things that can only be done in specific locations and you should make sure you have some money in the budget to do those particular things. However, know that you shouldn’t do every big touristy thing in the city. Pick one or two and make sure they are the ones that are in your budget and truly unique.

This is just a starting point. We are creatives after all and we can come up with endless ways to save money, all it takes is a little bit of imagination. The important thing to realize is that even if it takes a little while to save up enough money for your dream trip don’t give up or get frustrated because you will get there and it will be so worth it.