How savvy globetrotters save thousands on travel

Putting in the groundwork for an overseas trip is labour-intensive. You have to plan every detail from multiple flights with time differences in mind down to the very last T-shirt in your suitcase.

For these reasons and more, it’s easy to blow your holiday budget on the cost of conveniences and tourists traps while you’re there.

Fear not! Below we break down how experienced globetrotters manage to take Instagram-worthy trips on a shoestring budget.

1. They keep their options open.

Paris may be the most romantic city in the world, but it’s pricey too. Sensible globetrotters are not hung up on luxury destinations, but rather where the Aussie dollar can take them. Take a leaf out of their book by picking places to match the economic climate.

At the time of writing, a fairly strong Australian exchange rate at 74 cents against the US would equal a cost-effective trip to the states. Your travel money would also be well spent in nearby countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Bali or New Zealand. But don’t ignore Western Europe altogether. Pick off-peak season to visit the other side of the globe for cheaper flights and accommodation.

2. They don’t skimp on travel insurance.

Holidays don’t always go to plan so it’s best to be prepared. It may be a surprise, but travel insurance can cost as little as a dollar per day if you shop around! That’s why thrifty globetrotters don’t skimp on their travel insurance policy. Here are some tips:

  • Read the fine print. Many travel insurance policies cover medical expenses up to an unlimited amount, but check the fine print for exclusions if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
  • Beware the add-on trap. As one Mozo writer found, add-on airline insurance is usually pricier than from other standalone insurance providers, so compare your options before ticking that box at the online check out.
  • Don’t double up. Another thing to be careful of is doubling up on travel insurance, as your rewards card or travel credit cards may already have you covered.

3. They swap hotels for AirBnB.

Wise globetrotters are not a fan of hotels. In fact, they prefer to spend their money on adventures. That doesn’t have to equal scrimping on dingy dormitories or camping in the woods. The accommodation industry has expanded to include AirBnB, couchsurfing and house swapping in the last few years, so be sure to give them a try for a lot less than your average hotel. You’re also more likely to get insider travel tips from your AirBnB hosts than the hotel receptionist, which brings us to another way canny globetrotters save money while travelling...

4. They embrace local living.

Holidays are about experiencing the rich tapestry of other cultures, which can be had by living like a local. Not only does this save the clever globetrotter money, but make for a more enjoyable trip too. Worldly globetrotters will take advantage of farmers markets for lunches and enjoy street food for dinner where they can.

Next time you’re on vacay, look out for gold coin donation walking tours or hire a bicycle while stopping at sights along the way.

5. They avoid travel money rip offs.

With the countless travel money options available, you could be forgiven for picking the bank you’re most familiar with. But putting the suave globetrotter hat on will get you more bang for your buck. Things to consider when comparing prepaid travel cards, travel credit cards and travel debit cards are overseas ATM fees and foreign exchange rates. The frugal globetrotter will never exchange money at the airport or withdraw money from an ATM with any old Aussie debit card.

Would you count yourself as a savvy globetrotter? Tell us why with a comment below.