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Budget Transport Tips

Whether it’s eating out for next to nothing or how to haggle their way to a real bargain in a market, no one knows how to save money on their travels better than an experienced backpacker...

We asked HostelBookers' newsletter subscribers for their top budget transport tips, and the following is our a collection of travelers’ tips and money-saving devices on how to get around the world as cheaply (and safely) as possible!

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"Overland travel is cheap and frequent in South America by bus or coach. There are even luxury coaches which cost a fraction of what you would pay in the UK and travel the length of the continent. I would recommend coach travel as a budget alternative to flying and you even get to see the countryside on the way!"

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"Avoid expensive supplements on night trains by choosing a route which offers normal seating as well as couchettes: the seats are rarely booked out so there’s plenty of space to stretch out in the compartment anyway."

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"Check all budget airlines and search engines. It’s amazing how prices can vary. Also, take advantage of city passes/bus passes, as well as traveling outside peak times - prices rocket during public holidays in particular."

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"Take the public bus, it takes longer but it’s worth it. Conversations with the locals make it a great experience; you learn a lot more of the culture you want to see and understand."

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"Travel during off seasons is cheaper. Also, watch for all airline specials but grab them quickly as most don’t stay around for long. I always use public transportation when traveling – it is much cheaper than renting a car. Also, ask at information desks in airports for maps and cheap alternatives to reach your destination versus using a cab."

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"Before traveling by taxi in a less developed country, ask local professional types what they usually pay for a trip from point A to point B. Without this info, drivers may very well convince you to pay foreign tourist rates that are much higher."

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"Get together with a group of people you meet at the hostel and hire a car for the day to do some sightseeing."

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"When travelling by train in Asia always get a night sleeper. You will have to get the train regardless so going at night means you save on a night’s accommodation in a hostel, plus the sleepers are not much more expensive than seats."

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"Buy a travel card or a multi journey bus/subway ticket so that travel around the city costs less."

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"I try to book my flights as early as possible."

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"Try hitchhiking if you know the area is safe and you are going with a friend."

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"Buses, like Greyhound, may be the thriftiest option, but Amtrak has a nice senior discount and can be more scenic because it travels away from where there are any roads ( like the route from Denver to Glenwood Springs in Colorado) and there’s more room to move around in a train on long trips which keeps one’s leg circulation going."

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"City passes are another way to look around the city without spending a lot as majority of them let you use public transport and include free or discounted entries to attractions, plus even some other benefits. There's also the top saver pass - The Euro Rail Pass! It is amazing - buy it online and it’s even cheaper."

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"Make more friends and stay with them to enjoy walking around the city and exploring, instead of taking a cab."

Have we missed any crucial budget transport tips? Let us know

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