Saturday, August 15, 2020 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

Don’t Break the Bank – 15 Cheapest Ways to Travel

You may worry that travel is expensive, but it doesn’t have to be! Build memories on your next vacation without emptying your bank account. Here’s how.

Bus For a cheap way to get pretty far, take the bus. Worldwide, there are about 40 countries that either have a rapid transit bus system or will get one soon. Most countries that don’t have rapid transit buses still have some sort of bus system, whether official or unofficial. The key to traveling on buses anywhere is to know what to do. Ask locals what the usual fare is, and be sure that taking the bus is safe for someone in your situation.
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Air Air may not seem like an obvious cheap way to travel, but sometimes it can be even cheaper than a bus! To get a deal, scan several ticket sites (my favorite is Google Flights) to see what is the best deal. Opting to fly standby or take redeyes can get you great prices. Also, don’t forget about the smaller airports and airlines!
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Hitchhiking This is not the safest way to get around, but it works and it’s free. If you choose to hitchhike, ask around whether it is considered dangerous in your area and be sure to take precautions.
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Hostel There are all kinds of hostels out there, and they are usually your best deal. You can stay a whole night for as little as a couple dollars! Be smart and be safe when staying in a hostel.
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AirBnB If you’re not familiar with this website, go explore it now! You can stay in someone’s house while they are gone and enjoy all the amenities of home for less than the cost of a hotel stay.
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Camping Staying in the woods for a night is practically free- plus, it’s fun and adventurous. You can get a nice tent for the price of one night in a hotel and use it over and over. If you’re not into sleeping in the middle of nowhere, you can get a cheap spot at a campground and have access to things like showers and toilets.
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RV If you’re taking a road trip, why not rent an RV? It’s a little less expensive than a cheap hotel room, and you can use it as your transportation, as well. Everybody has to try it at least once.
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Pack your own Yes, it is possible to pack most of your food for a trip! I like to throw a jar of peanut butter and a package of bagels in my suitcase to eat for breakfasts. The less picky you are, the cheaper and easier it is to pack your own food. Just be careful what you put in your carryon—cans won’t fly (literally) and nut butters fall into the “gel” category and will be confiscated.
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Grocery Shop Nobody wants to go to Walmart on their first day in Orlando, but when your other option is to pay an arm and a leg to eat out for every meal, sacrificing an hour is worth it. If you grocery shop rather than eating out, you can save hundreds of dollars.
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Offer your skills Believe it or not, there are some people who eat for free in our touristy town by exchanging a couple hours of live music for a plate of food. Contact a bar or restaurant a few days before your trip and see if they’ll trade you food for musical ability. The worst that can happen is that they’ll say no.
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Eat local If you want to eat out but eat cheap, don’t go for the expensive places around major attractions. Drive a bit to find hole-in-the-wall local places, where you’re sure to find lower prices and better food.
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Avoid tourist traps A theme park dedicated entirely to water buffalo might be cool, but why not go see them in the wild for yourself? There are a million and one “must-see” theme parks, tours, and experiences that will do a number on your bank account. Skip the lines, tourists, and bills.
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Build your own adventure Travel brochures tell you about all the cool tours you can go on, but often, you can go on your own version of the same tour. Gather a list of things you’d like to see, then make them happen on your own without the crowds.
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Explore nature Nature is free! You can go on a hike or relax on the beach without spending a dime.
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Ask a local Locals know the best places to go and the cheapest ways to get there. Ask around, and you’ll find plenty of awesome adventures that the rest of the travelers know nothing about.
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