My favorite travel resources for the budget savvy traveler

I feel like whenever I travel there is a battle between wanting to experience all of the things while still saving all of the money.

Trips and adventures are a good way to go broke if you’re not careful—between trying new cuisines, spending money on experiences, and having the general ‘treat yo’self’ mentality of vacation, it can get a bit pricey.

I try to save money where I can without missing out, and here are my favorite travel resources I have used to make my vacations awesome without breaking the bank.

Skyscanner

skyscannertravelresources

I’ve talked about Skyscanner in the past, and I won’t use any other platform to book my airline tickets. Skyscanner let’s you input your travel dates (or travel month if you’re flexible on when you’ll go) and you can see how much each airline costs on those dates.

Plus! They share a ton of travel tips on their website and I feel like I’m constantly learning something new.

If you’re looking to book trips on the go (or dream up your next vacation during your commute!) download the Skyscanner app here.

Airbnb

airbnbtravelresources

We’ve all heard of Airbnb on every travel resource post ever at this point, but still some people remain skeptics. I know, the idea of staying in someone’s home, a stranger’s home, may seem intimidating or even a bit icky, but I personally have never had a bad Airbnb experience and I think a lot of that has to do with being vigilant with my research before booking.

Next week I’ll be posting an entire guide to using Airbnb, but in the meantime here are a few things to consider:

  • When in doubt, stay with a super host. These are the people who have gotten so many good reviews that they get a special emblem on their profile saying they’re trustworthy and awesome.
  • Read the reviews. If I’m staying with someone (as opposed to having the space to myself), I have a stipulation that they need to have 5+ positive reviews from women and if there are any negative reviews saying they were creepy or made even one woman uncomfortable I won’t book. Sure, that reviewer may have been sensitive or dramatic, but it’s not worth the risk when there are so many airbnb’s with great reviews.
  • When in doubt, message the host. You can message the host and ask questions before booking. If you’re wondering how much privacy you’ll have or if they will want to hang out or give you space—ask! It’s better to know before you book.

Walc

This app gives you walking directions to wherever you want to go without using the sometimes confusing “South on fourth” or “Continue until you hit fifth and run left.” Instead, Walc’s directions are based on easy to spot landmarks which makes navigation so much easier. Especially after you just got out of the subway and can hardly discern up from down.

The app is currently in beta mode, but it works great!

Duolingo

duolingotravelresources

I’m planning my first ever trip abroad in September (!!!) and have been brushing up on my Spanish skills with Duolingo in preparation.

It’s always a good idea to at least know the basics of the country you’re traveling to (both for cultural and practical reasons) and Duolingo is my favorite language learning platform.

They offer a ton of different languages and you get to dive right in and actually start learning the language rather than repeating the boring conjugation and sentence structure lectures you slept through in high school.

Happy Cow

It’s not quite a travel resource, but I’m sneaking this one in for all of my veg friends. It can be hard to find accommodating restaurants when you’re a traveling vegan or vegetarian, but Happy Cow is here to help. They cover thousands of cities around the world, and give you access to the menu’s of veg friendly restaurants.

Hotel Tonight

hoteltonighttravelresources

I used Hotel Tonight for the first time this past Spring when I visited Chicago with Tracey and Desiree and I’m obsessed.

It’s an app that only lets you book about a week in advance to fill up empty hotel rooms at a discount. The three of us were able to stay in a V fancy suite in Chicago with rooftop access for just over $100/night (aka less than half of the usual room.)

Pssst! Want $25 off your first booking? Use code “MOTIMM” the first time you use Hotel Tonight.

Workaway

This is one that’s been on my bucket list for years. If you’re looking for longer term travel plans and want to save (or even make!) some money while you’re adventuring, Workaway will set you up with people who will feed and board you for free in exchange for a few hours of work a day.

Some of the arrangements require more work than others, and some are certainly more appealing than others, but there is truly something for everyone. Whether you want to nanny, work in a garden, herd cows, or just keep elderly folk company, there is a listing for you.

Have you used workaway to travel? Email me at morgan@mostlymorgan.com if you want to be featured in an upcoming blog post!

VRBO

vrbotravelresources

I’ve never booked with VRBO, but my dad has for family vacations and we’ve had nothing but great experiences. I’m talking beautiful 3 bedroom houses a block away from Florida beaches for hundreds less than it’d cost to stay in a cramped hotel room.

Airbnb is always my goto when I’m booking, but I love staying int VRBO bookings with my family!

 

What are your favorite travel resources? 

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  • I’m traveling to Eastern Europe in a month and Airbnb is how we booked our rooms for super cheap and I’m so excited because it lets you experience some of the culture too.

    Google translate is another one that I will not travel without! It allows you to translate words without needing a data connection, so if you need to translate something on a menu or speak to someone at a store it helps you out!

    Where is your international trip going to be?? Hope it’s a blast!!

    Cassie

    • Oh my gosh, that is so exciting! I’ve always wanted to visit Eastern Europe, that’s where my grandma’s family is from!

      I love Google Translate! Even when it’s not perfect it gets close enough that you can figure it out.

      I’m going to Argentina and Uruguay! I’m very excited! 😀

      • Oh awesome! What part? I’ll be in Poland, Austria, Czech Republic, and Germany.

        Awesome! I love South America. It’ll be a blast! Can’t wait to see some posts on it!

  • Great tips! I’m spending 3 weeks traveling around south-east Asia next month with a friend and I’m sure Happy Cow will be super helpful so thanks for sharing!

    While we were planning our trip, we also looked at Agoda.com and when it’s paired with Ebates, it’s the perfect way to find highly rated but affordable hostels and hotels while getting cashback!

    Hope your trip in September is amazing, can’t wait to read about it 🙂

    Priya
    http://priyasudendra.com

    • Oh my gosh, how fun! That is so exciting, South-East Asia is on my bucket list!

      I’ve never heard Agoda, I’ll have to add that to my list, thank you so much!

  • Melissa Ann Ruiz

    I love DuoLingo! This is the first time I’ve seen someone refer to it as a travel resource but you are totally right. I’ve used to prepare for a trip to France.

    Another great way to save money on travel is to park at offsite airport parking lots vs the lots at the airport. Depending on the market, the rates can be up to $35 a day and if you’ve got a week long trip, that adds up quickly! A good one is http://www.cheapairportparking.org.

    Mel