I'm sure I'm not the only one who prefers to be frugal while traveling. I try to cut corners while traveling if I can so that I can enjoy spending more on the things I truly want to spend money on. Sometimes, it's not always the best options but I can now say I've tried them but might use alternative budget options in the future. Here are 5 uncommon things I've done while traveling to save money:
1. Slept in my Car
I didn't get the best sleep that night. My husband and I shared a Mini Cooper and decided to drive from Germany to Normandy, France at the last minute. Since other costs of our trip would be pricey, we decided to drive through the night until one of us became too tired to drive. I drove until midnight and decided to pull over at a rest plaza after crossing the border to get some rest. It was raining and cold that night but I had to crack the window open so that it wasn't so stuffy in the car. After I got about 5 hours of sleep, I woke up to a wet blanket from the rain pouring through the window. I might reconsider this option in the future. And might consider buying a bigger car.
2. Slept in an Airport Overnight
This usually happens when I take early Ryanair flights that depart as early as 6:00AM, which is quite normal for budget airlines such as this one. I was already in London when I realized my flight back home would leave so early and there wouldn't be any trains to get me from Kingston to Liverpool Street to Stansted Airport before then. So instead I took one of the last trains the night before and ended up at the airport around midnight. I had a few hours to kill so I used my carry-on as a "pillow" and my coat as a blanket to get some sleep. Sleeping on a bulky and overstuffed suitcase wasn't as comfortable as I thought but it worked well as I was actually early for the flight unlike many of my almost missed flights.
3. Ate Lunchables for Meals
We bought Lunchables for our roadtrip to Normandy and honestly, it was an awesome choice! Those things run for about a dollar each on sale so we bought a variety of them and ate them while we were driving. We didn't bother stopping at a fancy restaurant since we were short on time and money. I was delighted to feed my husband his cold pizza while he drove and I even spilled the pizza sauce on his sweater. Those moments made our trip special ;)
4. Slept in a Hostel
Sleeping in a hostel is not as uncommon as the others may be but this was probably the best option as I stayed in a one as cheap as $17 a night! Some people may have the misconception that hostels are frowned upon for young solo travelers but it was quite fun! A bed is a bed really, and I would take that over sleeping in my tiny car or in the airport again. Most hostels have great events and meet ups for young travelers and it's a great way to share your experiences with people around the world.
5. Booked Overnight Bus Trips to Avoid Paying for a Hotel
Sleeping on a bus doesn't seem too bad for many people. But when I "sleep" on a bus, I can't have anyone sitting next to me. I also need a pillow and earbuds or else I'm staying up the entire bus trip which won't make it worth it if I'm cranky all day. Luckily, I had both seats to myself since the bus wasn't overcrowded, free wifi, and even an outlet to charge my phone. My long overnight bus trip from Germany to Denmark worked out pretty well since it left in the late afternoon and arrived in the early morning. I was able to get enough sleep and had a pep in my step the next day knowing that I didn't pay for any sleeping arrangements!
Tell me how have you saved on your trips? Could they have been worse than sleeping in a tiny car?