Everyone should experience the freedom that comes with booking a solo trip to a far-off destination, but as much as I encourage travelers to see the world alone as much as possible, solo travel can do serious damage to your bank account due to just how much money you have to shell out at every turn.
Between companies charging solo travelers supplement fees to being on your own when it comes to transportation and accommodation costs, the amount of money that goes into traveling alone is enough to scare anyone from taking on a solo adventure. Keep these tips in mind to take the financial sting out of traveling alone.
Be Flexible About Where And When You Travel
A solo trip to Paris in the middle of July isn’t the best choice if you want to go to Europe without breaking the bank. If you keep and open mind about where you want to explore and an open schedule about when you travel, you’ll be able to find more deals then you ever imagine. Sure, seeing the City of Light in the middle of summer sounds like a dream, but I’ll take exploring Barcelona in November at a fraction of the price over Paris at the height of the summer travel season any time.
Take Advantage Of Freebies
In most cities, you’ll find free or donation-based activities if you know where to look. Do your research to discover which newspapers, websites and magazines the locals read, and spend timing making a list of the free museums, festivals, workshops and tours in the city you’re visiting. It may take some time to do the research, but it will be worth it when you’re exploring a new city without spending a dime.
Use Deal Sites
When I went to Johannesburg, I was thrilled to see so many deals on Groupon for tours, restaurants and activities that I would have never considered doing on my own. I took part in the Color Run and got a personal tour of the SAB World of Beer museum for a fraction of the regular price, and I’m now addicted to finding deals on Groupon or comparable websites for each new destination I visit.
Work For Lodging
No matter how many corners you try to cut, accommodations will eat through your travel budget in no time if you’re not careful. Finding a safe, comfortable place to stay is essential to enjoying a trip abroad but it can also feel like a waste of cash to spend money on a hotel room or Airbnb that you’re barely using while you explore a new place. If you plan to be in a particular destination for at least a few weeks and don’t mind doing a little work for your accommodations, organizations like Workaway allow you to trade your skills in exchange for a place to stay. Help a crew on a sailboat in Norway, pitch in at an eco-retreat in Belize or help out on a farm in the Himalayas for a few hours a day in exchange for comfortable accommodations and you keep the money you would have spent on a hotel in your pocket.