When traveling, one of the biggest expenses is usually accommodations.
If you’re backpacking in Europe, you’ll likely find that hotels are out your price range—even budget ones usually cost at least $70 per night. Hostels could fit your budget better, but their prices vary greatly, with the minimum usually about $20 per night.
Fortunately, savvy travelers can find lodging that’s cheaper than this—or even free! As long as you do your research, maintain an open mind, and stay safety-conscious, you can stretch your cash by staying with locals. Here are different ways to do it.
It’s easy to get confused while traveling—and it’s even easier for any “mistakes” you make to result in a fee or ticket of some kind.
Luckily, you can easily avoid many of these hidden costs if you look up rules, customs, and common fees for each city you’re traveling to, as well as for each company or bank you’re utilizing.
Check out three fees I’ve personally run into—and tips for how to avoid each.
With graduation season in full swing and the summer fast upon us, young travelers (including yours truly) are taking off for adventures all over the globe.
Inexperienced travelers should prepare for all kinds of situations. However, an entire industry exists to sell over-prepared and overcautious people “specialized” travel goods, like cushy eye masks and single-use laundry detergent sheets.
These products are definitely helpful—but they’re also definitely overpriced. Fortunately, for those traveling on a budget, you can make your own versions of these items. Here are three I didn’t leave home without.
Two summers ago, I went on a 7-week Euro trip. I spent lots of time meticulously prepping for my adventure, as I was determined to pack efficiently on a small budget while still being fashionable.
However, this was my first big trip, and as I traveled, I realized I had gone wrong in more ways than one. I’m now getting ready to travel again for several months, and this time, I’ve learned from my costlier mistakes. If you’re planning a big trip, you can benefit from these four lessons too.
Buying prepackaged guacamole or a jar of pickles may be easy and fast. However, the time and effort to make these yourself is totally worth the savings—plus, homemade varieties are almost always more delicious than their store-bought counterparts.
Here are my five favorite DIY condiments that are tastier and cheaper to make at home.
Inexperienced cooks are often inclined to buy the easiest cuts of meat to deal with. Boneless, skinless chicken breast is a great ingredient for minimal prep work and fast cooking times, but it’s also the priciest chicken in the store (and not just because bone-in adds to the weight without adding to the meat). As with any prepared, or partially- prepared food, the store charges for a convenience factor.
Boston’s Haymarket is, without a doubt, the best place to purchase cheap produce in the entire city.
As someone who is very budget-conscious, I am embarrassed to say I had never been to the Haymarket until this past weekend. I’ve always known about it, and people have recommended it to me dozens of times, but I didn’t think it could possibly be worth a special trip to the city.
How wrong I was!
Pretty much everything is cheaper in bulk. Unfortunately, when you buy produce in bulk, it often goes bad before you eat it all.
I frequently buy large amounts of fresh food that’s supposed to keep well—like apples, potatoes, and onions. But, inevitably, I find a few rotten surprises a month or so later.
Lately, I’ve been making a conscious effort to avoid food waste. And thanks to intensive Internet research, I’ve learned ways to help avoid moldy strawberries, wilted lettuce, shriveled onions, and the spoiling of these other common produce items.
One of my best tricks for cutting down on meal costs is to go meat-free. For me, this is easy, because I was raised on a vegetarian diet. (My parents were young and didn’t have much cash, which my dad says is one reason he stopped eating meat.)
However, I know a lot of people cringe at eating vegetarian, thinking it won’t fill them up or taste good. So, I’ve come up with four protein-packed meat alternatives and ideas for what to do with them. These foods not only are inexpensive, but they’re also delicious.
Ramen is the epitome of broke food. And while that’s great if you’re pinching pennies, it’s less good for you in a couple other ways. First, ramen isn’t the most nutritious choice (surprise!). Second, eating ramen over and over gets boring—which could lead to a budget-busting takeout night.
Fortunately, it’s easy to spruce up your noodles. Here are three of my favorite cheap recipes for adding protein (to fill me up nutritiously) and flavor (besides the salty MSG-filled seasoning packet) to my ramen.