10 tips on how to save about 50% of money when planning a world trip
Updated: Sep 10
The last thing that my grandfather told me 10 days before he died was that he would have liked to have travelled more during his life and his last words for me were “travel a lot and travel cheap". Here, we will give you a couple of ways in which you can save while travelling. That's why here we want to show you 10 tips to save money for a world trip.
1. Plan, plan and plan
The most important thing to save about travelling might not sound the most sexy since it is planning. But planning a trip can be lots of fun! It gives you anticipation (Vorfreude, which is a beautiful German word) and it is definitely worth it. We are a couple of planners. Trixi is the ultimate planner. She is the person I know that can plan the best of everything. From having small details such as buying flowers to say goodbye to a person, to being able to pack everything you have in an apartment in a 1.5m3 tiny garage or to manage to eat and not throw anything of food from the fridge at all when leaving home for 6 months! And Èric is also a bit of a planner since he’s called “previsor” (forseer) by his best group of friends (Caldetes).
2. Use the advantage of travelling as a couple
Get the same price as in hostels without having to share toilets and showers with other people. By booking in advance you can get really good deals! We have experienced that booking 1 year in advance allows you to save up to 60% of the price than booking the week before or the same day. At least in Japan we booked a 3-star hotel in the center of Kyoto for 40€ the night during the high-season in October (where even the festival … is present). When we checked half a year later to add one more night the price was 95€. Probably when the date arrives this price will go up even higher above 100€, making a saving of at least 60%. The best thing is that even if you plan it before, you can still be flexible since the majority of hotels we booked 160/180 nights are with free cancellation! We recommend the hotel in Kyoto when traveling on a budget but in this coming post you will see our recommendations for each of the places we’ve been.
3. Compare prices everywhere.
One of the ways in which we save even more than this is by comparing different platforms. The majority of hotel bookings made in Europe are done via the big boss booking.com. Booking.com works like charm and we like it a lot. However, many times it doesn’t offer the cheapest price. In fact, we have observed that for hotels in Asia, other providers such as tui, expedia or agoda can offer a price up to 30% cheaper. Therefore, it’s totally worth it to spend a couple of minutes more checking for the other offers. e.g. compare against agoda.com, one of the main accommodation providers worldwide and in Asia, the website of the hotel itself, etc. Booking.com is still super useful for reviews. It’s like buying on Amazon vs comparing platforms via google shopping. One of the best ways to compare prices is using Google Maps itself and searching hotels around me / around the city where you want to go. This will give you the reviews of the hotels as well as the different prices at different websites.
4. Plan ahead for flights too
Going to Singapur with a direct flight from Germany for 270€? Yes it’s possible if you again book about 1 year in advance. Of course with the low-cost company of Singapore airlines: scoot. You can check another post we wrote about the experiences of flying with Scoot :D. But wait! Booking 1 year in advance for flights is not always the best. See the next section!
5. Use google flights for flights too
As with the hotels, google has an option that works like charm for comparing flights. It’s become in our opinion even better than skyscanner. Namely, Google is the king of data and has the data of all the flight companies per year. This means, you can search for a flight on certain dates and Google flights will tell you whether this price is low or high compared to what this flight usually costs during these dates and even during other dates. With a little bit of analysis and patience you can get really low prices. e.g. for our flight from Seoul, Korea to Chiang Mai, Thailand in the high season (during the festival of lights), we were finding prices of about 900€ with Seoul Airline. However, we found that this price was shown to be average to high. Checking the calendar year we found out that from November last year (2022) to June, there was a low cost company, Jeju Air, which was flying for about 200€ instead of 900€. So we decided to wait with a Google flight alert until Jeju offered the new fares for November again. This happened in June and we could book our flight saving 66% of the price (1200€ for both of us)! I didn’t manage to capture the situation back then but a similar situation is happening between March and April 2024 since Jeju Air hasn’t listed the summer prices of next year yet:
See this coming post for more details on how to create and use google alerts.
6. Get an eSIM valid in 130 countries instead of a SIM.
Obtaining a SIM card is tiring, you need to compare at each of the providers in the country, you need to change them and the plans are usually expensive for short terms. However, nowadays there is the possibility of getting an eSIM with most of the recent phones. eSIMs are virtual, you don’t need to change any physical slot. Moreover, there are super nice providers that get you an eSIM that works worldwide in 130 countries with calls, SMS and internet (20GB) included for 1 year for 70€. This basically covers all the countries we will be visiting. Other eSIMs providers give more internet but no calls so a combination of both eSIM plans is ideal if you travel as a couple. See more about the eSIMs in this post. There you can also find referral links to get a discount of 3€ with our referral code.
7. Get a good bank / card.
Nowadays, there is a huge competition in banking and card companies. This means there are very good deals. Try to find a bank that offers free withdrawals anywhere in the world. Ideally without limits. For example, the bank DKB offers this in Germany. N26 was also offering similar rates but now they charge a commission even if small (1.5%). You can also go for good cards. Some cards offer a cashback of even 3% and there is a combo (good combination) of cards in which you can get this cashback while not paying any commission outside when paying with card and even withdrawing 400€ a month outside for free. See this coming post for the summary of the banks / cards and the combination just mentioned.
8. Consolidate the plan
Once the plan is set up, write everything down on an Excel file to have an overview of the details of the costs per country. This helps you know when you need how much money, when you will be charged and how much you have already paid. It also allows you to share the details with the family so that they know where you will be staying in case anything happens.
9. Plan your move out ahead of time.
The best way to go on sabbatical while not spending a lot of money is to rent your apartment. Either by subletting it during the 6 months, as we did, or by subletting your apartment for a longer period of time if you’re the owner.
10. Enjoy the ride!
The last thing is to enjoy the ride since everything has already been planned carefully, you really don’t need to care so much about planning while travelling and can enjoy the full experience.
We hope this helps :) Don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter for more or leave a comment to let us know what you think ^^