Traveling on a budget as a solo traveler is hard enough, so imagine doing that as a couple. That’s twice the amount of money you have to spend on airline tickets, food, and accommodation. Things can get really hard when you want to spend time as a couple. Luckily, when you know some little tricks and tips, traveling as a couple may even be more money-saving than paying for everything by yourself.
Couples should make time for themselves. They need to spend time together, talk with each other, and experience things. They have to go on adventures together. These things will strengthen their relationship and bond over time. So make it a point to plan for a couple’s vacation. Squeeze this in your schedule no matter what. Bonding over your favorite shows is good, but there is something truly special when you spend time exploring a new city and seeking adventures.
Stay at Hostels and Homestays
You don’t have to be in a five-star hotel when traveling. You’re only staying there for 10 hours max including sleeping and washing. Do you need to pay $300 a night or should you go for hostel rooms that charge only less than $35 a night? While you might think that two dorm beds are better than a private room, think and compute again. In some cases, small private rooms are cheaper compared to two dorm beds.
If you really want to save on the cost of your accommodations, choose a hostel that has a common comfort room. If you are not too sensitive about sharing restrooms with others, you’ll save a lot more cash. Private rooms with private restrooms are, of course, more expensive because of the maintenance cost.
Qualify for a Companion Pass
Check if you are already qualified for a companion pass. Many airlines offer this pass once you’ve accumulated enough miles. A companion pass lets you get your partner’s ticket at a lower cost. With some airlines, you will only need to pay the taxes and surcharges for the second ticket. If you are not a frequent flyer, another way to qualify for the companion pass is to sign up for that airline’s credit card and use it to purchase the tickets.
Share a Suitcase
It is tempting to overpack when traveling because you want to take as many changes of clothes as possible with you. Of course, you want to look good when taking all these photos. But traveling heavy also means that you have to pay for the extra baggage. Bring only what you need and maximize a single suitcase. Once you pack everything in one suitcase, you will only need to pay for one checked-in baggage. Your personal bag can go with you to the cabin.
You can also save on taxi fees when you travel light. Since your luggage is not heavy, you can take the train or the bus. You may even walk if the hostel you’re staying in is near the airport. Two or more luggage means you’ll need to tale the cab.
Maximize the Rewards Points
If you don’t already have a credit card for travel, sign up separately because you can get sign-up reward points up to 50,000 points. While it’s good to accumulate your purchases for higher rewards points, you cannot let go of the opportunity to earn sign-up rewards points each. But if you already have an existing card, you can add your partner as an authorized user so anything he/she buys abroad will add to your rewards points.
You can use these points in the future for dining in, retail discounts, and even free airline tickets. Now that airline companies are being generous with their rewards programs, it’s best to maximize the opportunity while you still can. Once travel restrictions ease, it’s quite possible that the influx of tourists will push ticket prices to the roof.
Be Careful with Your Food Expenses
Most couples have trouble reigning in their food expenses because they want to treat themselves to “something nice” during their travels. But if you keep on thinking that way, you will never save on your travel expenses. Choose when to treat yourselves and make sure that it’s worth the money. But when you eat in restaurants, make sure to go light on drinks (just buy from a convenience store and drink in your room) and share an entrée and appetizer because the servings are usually big anyway.
Traveling with your partner is something you’ll remember forever. You will take these memories with you when you grow old, whether or not you end up together. But remember that when it comes to having fun, money is not a primary requirement.
Bonnie is always on the road with some amazing adventures ahead. Her favorite continent is South America and she’s passionate about culture-focused traveling and ethical and sustainable tourism. During her time in university as a research assistant for a sociology professor, she realized she can’t fully understand cultures from a safe distance. She quit her job to become a full-time “voluntourist,” which brings her to places where she can immerse in local communities and support their causes. On top of writing, one of Bonnie’s priorities is offering women advice on how to stay safe while solo backpacking.