As you all know, I’m all about saving money while traveling. Not counting the price of our airbnb and train ticket, I was actually able to get by on 100€ for 5 days in Prague – which even included picking up some bits and bobs for friends and some items to test out and share with you guys on LFB. Not one to keep travel secrets to myself, I thought I would share with you guys 5 more tips for saving money while traveling:
Enjoying a packed breakfast by the water in Prague
Prepare breakfast and split the costs
One of my favorite ways to save a bit of money when traveling and not staying at a hotel/b&b/motel that includes a complementary breakfast is to make my own. We did just that during our trip to Prague. It actually worked out great, as our group tally came to 5. Not only did we cut down on costs for breakfasts (preparing your own meals is almost always more cost-effective than eating out), we were able to split costs almost evenly throughout the 5 days – meaning each of us essentially only paid for groceries once.
Preparing things on your own also allows everyone to easily stick to whatever dietary preferences they may have, which came in handy as we were a group of 3 plant-based eaters and 2 omnivores. I kept things relatively light but filling enough to get my through hours of sight-seeing with soy yogurt and fruit as well as some bread with vegan butter and cucumbers.
Pack a travel thermos & snacks
I also brought along a travel thermos with me throughout the day, which came in handy since the weather in Prague was still relatively cool on most of our days (and actually kept my tea surprisingly hot for a good few hours!). Doing so also allowed me to save a bit of money during our many cafe breaks throughout the day. While everyone else enjoyed their latte macchiatos and coffees from Costa, I was just happily sipping away on my (FREE!) tea. We also packed some snacks throughout the week for a mid-day pick-me-up, which saved time AND money.
So I don’t know about you guys, but even if I were to be in a relationship at the moment, I would probably still be on tinder. Now I’m not personally looking to have a polyamorous relationship (although if you are, power to you!), but I am always looking to make new friends. That’s right, you heard me, I’m one of those people who uses tinder as a friendship-making app.
Tinder in this regard is particularly awesome when traveling. In Prague, I met up with a guy who was happy to take a foreigner around for a few hours and teach them more about Prague. I probably learned more about the city and the Czech Republic from a historical and cultural perspective in those few hours than I did on the entire trip. The coolest part about hanging with locals is also that you save valuable amounts of time NOT walking around aimlessly with your nose in a map (or iphone a la google maps) only to double back and realize that the two places you wanted to visit were literally a street length apart. You can also always return the favor when your newfound friend makes it over to your neck of the woods by showing them around and inviting them out for a beer!
Note: Now I know we are all adults here, and have relatively good heads on our shoulders, but I feel like I should still put some kind of disclaimer here: Now based on my experiences, think we tend to be too mistrustful of strangers, but that doesn’t mean that shit doesn’t go bad once in a while. Always use discretion when meeting new people you have never met before! No one wants a carefree holiday to turn into an episode of Dateline. If you do plan on meeting up with a local, do so in a public place with your friends around and make sure that the local is aware that your friends will be picking you up as well. If you get the feeling that things are going well, you can always change up your plans (but let your friends know!)
Also, honesty is the best policy. Just up for making new friends and learning more about wherever you are? Be upfront and transparent from the start and make it clear that you are simply looking to learn a little bit more about the new city you currently find yourself in so that your new male tour guide is on the same page as you. This will save you from any uncomfortable misunderstandings later. However, if you are looking for a romantic european weekend fling, go for it! Again, just use your own common sense.
Know where the free wifi is
Now I am not a big fan of giant chains and would much rather live in some blissful universe full of fair-trade coffee and happy cage-less animals running around until the end of their happy days, but even those of us who are very politically and ethically minded know that fair-trade coffee is generally 3x as much as what you might find at Dunkin’ Donuts. While it is important to live by your convictions, we are also limited by the amount of money on our own pay checks, so go ahead and pop into your local fast-food chain while traveling and use their free internet. On more than one occasion, we did just that and popped into Maccy D’s and Costa to make full use of the free wifi.
And hey, if you really want to stick it to the man, just pop into chains in very touristy areas, where no one will really be the wiser if you just slide into a booth and take full advantage of the free internet without buying anything. If you can’t really get on board with this idea, small fries only cost 35 Czech crown (1.29€) in Prague.
Put your blogging skills to work!
If you are a blogger and/or active on social media sites like instagram and twitter, traveling is a great opportunity to connect with different companies in new places. If you are confident in your numbers and have a media kit, do some research before arriving in at your destination and find out which cafes, or tourist attractions may be interested in working with you! Not every city or location is knowledgable about blogs, but reaching out to local businesses can never hurt. Hannah and I reached out to a few places in Prague and managed to score a free ticket to the Old Town Hall Tower and ate a lovely meal at Coffee Room as well.*
*This post seems to be full of all kinds of disclaimers, but I do want to mention one here. The aim of blogging should NOT be to get free things. However, if you treat your blog like a business and put in many hours of hard work each day into producing incredible content, and are able to connect with companies you really feel as if you can stand behind ethically, I personally think that is a great thing. Being given opportunities means that you are able to experience wonderful things that will make great content for your blog and social media channels. It also gives you a chance to spread the word about incredible places and businesses that you truly support.
My own convictions are very important to me and are the backbone of LFB as well. Conscious Lifestyle is all about making considered choices. I never engage in partnerships with companies that I would not privately support. However, I think that having an audience is a fantastic way for bloggers to promote businesses both small and large who are educational and/or paving the way for ethical and environmentally conscious production.
Photography: Rae Tashman