An extended or long distance trip can cost big bucks. You’ve got to spend on flights, hotels, insurance, shots, medication, gear and numerous other expenses that add up quickly. Here are a few tips to help save on travel costs:
Hostel and Club Memberships
Some memberships such as the ISC cards and HI Hostel memberships can save money on hostel stays and even on tours. Ask about additional discounts for longer stays and look into other travelers clubs such as the South American Explorers Club.You can usually buy HI memberships at participating hostels, but ISIC cards should be bought before your trip at your local student travel center such as Travel Cuts. Make sure you mention any memberships before making hostel bookings and always inquire about student discounts at museums and when buying bus, train and plane tickets.
Some hotel booking websites such as hotels.com offer loyalty programs, where you can earn free nights after booking 10 or more nights at participating hotels.
Check out savings passes offered by airlines for multiple flights. Sometimes you can get stop-over’s added for little additional cost and the airlines may offer multi-stop passes.
In South America LAN Airlines offers a South American Explorer Pass (includes Easter Island) which allows 3 or more flights around the continent for a largely discounted rate off individual flights.
Other airlines such as TAM Brazilian Airlines also offer internal country passes which can be great for getting around large countries where long-distance bus fares might be comparable to flight costs.
Airpasses usually have to be bought while in your home country and often have date restrictions or need each flight to be booked at the time of purchase. Check all the restrictions and call around the find the best deal.
Online stores like lonelyplanet.com and amazon.com often have promotions with much bigger savings than in physical stores. Check back often and sign up the e-newsletter to hear about sales. Make sure you order books well in advance and order enough to qualify for free shipping discounts, which many store offer.
Also check with local used book stores. While country or city guides may be out of date, dictionaries and phrasebooks don’t need to be the most recent addition to be useful and you will save buying used.