Cheaper travel means more travel, and who’s not always trying to travel more? Experiences are priceless, and we’re invested in keeping your bank account rich while making your life even richer. So buckle up for an adventure, and come back with stories and Euros to spare.
Save More, Travel More
Saving money on the road is all good and dandy, but what about saving up for a trip in the first place? The Digit app makes saving effortless. It automatically pulls money from your checking account and deposits it into a separate F.D.I.C. insured savings account that Digit opens for you. You can text the app and ask it to save more or less depending on the month.
The best part? Digit’s algorithm promises not to let you overdraft—but just in case, it includes overdraft protection.
Coupons are great, but cash is better. Shop via the Ibotta app to score exclusive cashback rebates from your favorite shops and sites including Amazon, Apple Music, Lowe’s, Chevron and more! But more importantly, score 10% cashback from your friends at eBags. YEP! You can get a cash reward when you buy something from eBags such as the TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible. You’re welcome.
If you’re gone for a week or less (and not a VIP flyer), we suggest you only bring a carry-on to save money on baggage fees. Not convinced? Here’s a breakdown of checked-luggage fees: Alaska, Horizon, American, United, Frontier, Delta, and Virgin all charge $25 for your first checked-bag, while Spirit charges a whopping 45 bucks. Your affordable allies are JetBlue and Southwest, letting travelers check one or two bags for free.
Expert tip: We kind of specialize in the whole one-bag travel thing. Watch our How to Pack Like a Pro: One-Bag Travel edition.
Save on Sanity
Sometimes you have to spend a little to save a lot. Knowing where your suitcase is? Priceless. Or in this case, $5 for a lifetime of luggage-tracking. Meet the eBags Connected Luggage Tag. It has a QR code that connects to an app—so your personal information remains private, but once someone finds it, they can return it to you within a few taps. The tag’s cloud technology lets you update your contact info on the bag in real time, just in case you’re switching between SIM cards.
Expert tip: Another way to save your sanity while traveling is a little thing we like to call compartmentalization. If your bag is 7 pounds overweight, rather than deconstruct and then reconstruct your entire suitcase in public just yank out the shoe bag or easily remove one of your packing cubes. Problem solved. Sanity saved.
Food and travel are a match made in heaven—but a common misconception is that eating like a local means dining out. In reality, locals cook. They are people just like you and they cook delicious food at home too. So go to a local grocery store or a street market, a cultural experience in itself, and get to cooking!
If you don’t have access to a kitchen, there’s a good chance the store has a few ready-to-go meals far cheaper than you’d find in a restaurant. When it comes to decoding sugar VS salt in the aisles, rely on Google Translate to scan the packaging and translate it right before your eyes!
Stay in Touch on the Cheap
If you are an occasional traveler, being able to easily keep in touch with your friends and family at home is super important. You’ll also want to make local calls to restaurants, hotels, airlines and the like. We recommend you get a local SIM card—much cheaper than International fees from American carriers, and you’ll be able to text your new local friends. Or, if you have an Android, check out Project Fi by Google—which is just $20 per month for unlimited minutes and text, plus just $10 a month for a gigabyte of data.
Drive like a Local
If you don’t know by now, public transportation is a widely accepted form of travel when you are overseas, and a huge money saver! If you are more of a DIYer, use car-sharing services like ZipCar or Car2Go to save bigtime on car rentals. They’re especially great for day-trips, as you can pick them up from anywhere in a city, rather than strictly at the airport.
Yes, you can have your exotic food and eat it too. Trimming down will help you take-off way more often, with no reservations.
Annie’s based in Los Angeles but hails from Portland, Oregon. Sort of. She moved to six states by the time she reached middle school, and continues to move around the US and abroad – call her a nomad, but she prefers “Location ADHD.” After studying abroad in New Zealand, Annie circled the globe, graduated from USC, and circled the world once again. For one year she lived out of a backpack everywhere from The Philippines to Nepal to Slovenia to Norway. She’s a curry connoisseur and passionate explorer, taking the road less traveled, the “trail” covered in vines and swarmed in exotic bugs. Foreign lands feel like home, and Annie loves encouraging more and more people to utilize their passports and experience a new culture.