Like most travellers, we worked and saved for the obligatory year or so in order to travel to a distant land.
So after saving for a year and being oh so careful with our spending, we step foot in a beautiful place where yet again you have to be oh so careful with our spending. It's like a never-ending circle of being stingy. Once you arrive at your final destination, like us, you’re probably trying to make is last as long as possible.
After travelling around South East Asia for a few months, we began to be much more savvy in a new country. Here's a few money saving tips we’ve learnt so far.
Know the value of a service or product
Once you know the value of a service or product, in theory, you should be less likely to be ripped off. It will still happen but hopefully not as much. We almost paid £4 for a kilo in bananas in Vietnam - oops.
As well as learning the value, the key thing is to not compare it to your own currency. If something is cheap for England that doesn’t necessarily make it a good deal. Obviously this depends on your travel budget and if a £20 room is totally affordable for you then you’re saving money compared to England but if you’re more budget and looking to spend £5 (max) a night on accommodation, it’s time to get savvy.
Use your skills to your advantage
Whilst travelling, you should definitely use your skills to your advantage and wiggle your way into some free accommodation and food. As two photographers travelling with all our own equipment, we had the ability to offer up our services to hostels and hotels we stayed at. In exchange for some interior photography or perhaps a promotional video we had the opportunity to stay and eat at places which would have initially been way out of our price range.
This isn't only restricted to video and photography, any social media guru's or coders for example could have the opportunity to exchange their services for a free stay and perhaps even get paid.
The last tip is the most obvious. There is an abundance of volunteering opportunities not only in South East Asia but all around the world. We've recently been using the website Workaway which helps to connect volunteers with willing hosts.
As well as the copious English teaching volunteer opportunities available, there's also building, farm work and more creative art projects and assistance needed with technology, social media, PR and marketing.
One thing to watch out for in general with volunteering is to make sure you're not being asked too much of, if you're completely over-qualified for a position, remember your value.
Happy cheap travels!