Book your flight months out
Flights will be significantly cheaper if you book them months in advance (duh). Plus, your bank account will be so horrifically low you’ll think twice before hopping in a cab, clicking the banner ad to learn more about unlimited music on Pandora, or buying a green swizzle chair from FAB.com.
Only be an alcoholic at home
I’m not going to tell you to stop drinking all together, because seriously — you just spent your life savings on a plane ticket to Sri Lanka. You need a drink. But have you ever stopped to think how that $8 glass of wine you’re drinking came from a $9 bottle? Learn to enjoy getting inebriated at home (besides hey! My bedroom is right here!) or at least resist the urge to drop mad money on tequila shots and craft beer during a night out. Do it in the comfort of your own home instead, where buying a six pack will be a little cheaper and a bottle of Jose can go a long way.
Pray none of your friends are getting married
And if they are, politely decline and send a friendly e-card wishing them a happily ever after. If it’s a close friend? Buy them a small plot of land in Kentucky.
Learn to cook
Shut it, Seamless. Cook your own meals and save some money while you’re at it. Just fry some eggs, throw in canned black beans and salsa, toast some bread, and you’re good to go. Need something more fancy? One cup of cooked quinoa can feed you for a century, and even a fresh filet of sole from the grocery store will cost you less than a salad you can buy at the airport.
Starve at the airport
Speaking of, don’t buy food at the airport. A bag of Chex Mix is $7.99 and a bottle of water upwards of $4. And unless the airline offers free booze, the kick off to your vacation doesn’t mean the in-flight $7 Heineken Light is worth it. Just pop another Ambien and wait it out.
Stay in hostels
Even though hostels can be a huge pain in the ass (I have to go on the top bunk? Do you promise to lock the room up so my shit doesn’t get stolen? You call that a pillow?) they are significantly cheaper than any private hotel room. Traveling with a S.O. you’ll want to have sexual relations with? Think back to how you made it work with forced triples in college.
Eat the local food
Cheap street food? Totally safe. That gourmet plate whipped up behind closed doors at a restaurant? You can’t even see where it’s coming from.
Take public transportation
Cabs may be super convenient, especially if you have no idea where you’re going and don’t want to be cramped on a hot bus and stared at for your pale skin and urge to whip out your phone every two minutes to take a picture of every weird ass billboard on the street. But! Taking a bus is usually loads cheaper than any cab. Plus, it makes you feel less like a tourist and more like one of them.
Don’t get your wallet stolen
This will save you a lot of money.
Buy souvenirs at the end
I know it’s day two and that bracelet looks really cool and you want to buy a shirt for your sister and maybe even that pretty hand-painted ceramic bowl and hip looking bag so you can show off to all your friends, indirectly, how well-traveled you are. But chances are you’ll probably be ripped off until you have a better sense of how much things should cost. So save the gift search until the end of the trip. Plus, that means less shit to carry throughout your travels.