Signing up for email alerts that tell you whenever flight prices drop is one way to save on your travel. It requires minimal effort to make those few clicks, and the savings can be in the hundreds. Easy-peasy! But some globetrotters take penny-pinching to a whole new level, especially once they hit the road.
In a thread posted to the Solo Travel section on Reddit, users got real about some of the silliest and most frugal things they’ve done in order to save a couple bucks while exploring the world.
For many, that hard-earned travel fund is better spent on cheap beers beside the beach with new friends than on something like a pricey hotel just to wait out a layover for the night.
“Spending nights in a airport/bus/train station so as to not book a hotel. It works if you sprinkle in a real bed every once and a while,” wrote one Redditor. Not a bad idea to try this once in a blue moon, but frequent sleeps on a strange bus station floor sounds nightmarish, especially when an inexpensive bed in a hostel can be found so easily.
Avoiding hotels to save seemed to be a common theme. Another Redditor opted to use a local gym instead of a hotel during a layover, which cost him just $10 for a hot shower and bit of relaxation:
One Redditor even broke the law to avoid overspending: “I forged my visa to get into Vietnam so that I wouldn’t have to buy another $150 plane ticket a day later. Maybe not my brightest move.” Um, prison to save $150? No, thank you.
Others had simple, much safer hacks, like choosing to walk instead of hailing a taxi. In addition to cutting costs, walking really is the very best way to get to know a city. “I don’t take Taxis. ever. I walk or use the tube/subway. Meaning I’ll walk miles every day,” said one Redditor.
Food was another area where users tried to cut down on expenses. Some lived on strict diets of rice and beans (and even travelled with their own rice cookers!), while others befriended locals and had free, home-cooked meals with their host families:
Getting free meals at the expense of a family is something we definitely wouldn’t recommend, but befriending and creating memorable relationships with the locals is.
If you’re travelling solo, as all of these folks were, or even with a laidback partner, most of the hacks actually sound pretty useful and easy to do. But if you’re on a family vacation with grandma or have your kids with you, sleeping on the airport floor might not be so easy. Sometimes, spending money to reduce stress and make everyone comfortable is the only way to travel.