Living like a local is the best way to travel — for your mind and wallet.
Whenever I travel to a new place, I aim to immerse myself into the culture as much as possible. Not only does this provide me with a more authentic experience, but it also saves a ton of money. And frankly, it’s more fun!
One of the best ways to live like a local – and take your money a whole lot further — is to forgo the large hotels and use much smaller accommodations such as Airbnbs and hostels. Throughout our trip, we used Airbnb probably 95 percent of the time. Ironically, it was cheaper for us to stay in an Airbnb than a hostel most the time, since with hostels, you usually pay per person. We also stayed outside of the city-center. This allowed for even more savings, especially in some of the more expensive areas, such as London and Zurich.
Another benefit to using Airbnb is that most listings come with a kitchen. This was a huge money-saver, as we cooked for ourselves a lot. One of the first things we’d do after settling into our new temporary home was head to the local market or grocery store. By finding a nice balance of eating the local cuisine and fixing meals ourselves, we had more of a budget to spend on actual experiences. When we did eat out though, we chose to do so with breakfast, as this meal is usually cheaper than lunch and dinner.