Saving money and setting off on your adventure is a huge accomplishment. You've worked hard, been conscious with your outgoings and stuck to your plan. Don't let this all go out the window by wasting your hard earned cash. Your travels will go much further if you learn how to use your savings wisely.
To keep your travel costs down while on the road and to get the most time and experience out of your trip --- learn to live like a local. By learning the basic rules and tips on how to get by cheaper, all around the world, you will see how far your money can stretch you. By this, I don't mean being super tight with your cash or counting pennies! It's all about using some common knowledge and realising, you're not on holiday.
Below I've written some general rules that I always remember without question on my travels.
Walk, Cycle or Skate as much as you can and for as long as you feel safe. When you arrive in a new city, the best thing to do is wander or 'get lost' on purpose. Not only is it cost-effective but this is where you will see things most people don't and experience a place fully for yourself. (Take your hostel/guesthouse address card with you)
Use Public Buses, Trains & Water Taxi's when the place you want to go to next, is that bit further. Buses and shuttle boats used by the public are always very reasonable. Trains can be a little more but generally get you there faster. For Europe, check out the rail passes available and price the tickets you're planning on using in advance to save money.
A 'chicken bus' in Nicaragua! Decorated school buses brought from the states used in Central America for public service. They're the cheapest way to get around there!
If you need to use a Taxi, Tuk Tuk, Rickshaw or Motorbike Taxi, set a price first or request a Taxi to turn on their meter. Never just hop in before agreeing on a price, this gives the taxi driver the right to name any price he likes once he's taken you to your destination ---- something he will take great pleasure in doing!
Carsharing or Hitchhiking is regularly used in some countries! Find someone who is going on the same route as you through the app BlaBlaCar, request to car share with them then share the costs! It's an extremely well-received app and is perfectly safe. It connects locals with spare seats to tourists who need a ride as well as splitting the travel expenses.
Hitchhiking freely on the side of the road has to be more cautiously executed but, is more common than you would think in some places like Scotland, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Israel, Central America and New Zealand. Always be aware, use common sense and politely offer to chip in money once you've been given a ride.
Eat Street Food Everyday. It won't kill you! Don't worry about getting ill, the food is fresh, always delicious and made in front of you. It's the cheapest way to eat and lets you try local cuisine in the most traditional way. Head to the busy and bustling street stalls full of locals ---- they're popular for a reason!
Noodle Soup & Red Pork, at a street stall in Sukhothai
Find Hawker Centres and Food Markets. These are a collection of different market stalls packed together selling seriously cheap and delicious meals. The selection could be anything from interesting snacks to spicy soups to yummy desserts. You will love touring the stalls, testing out the different tastes and sampling the local delicacies. Some food markets are near quirky bars and are a great way to spend a fun food-filled evening. My favourites are the Maxwell Road Hawker Centre in Chinatown, Singapore and the Ratchada Rot Fai Night Market in Bangkok, Thailand.