Money Saving Hacks for Travelers
I’m a budget-conscious traveler and I know there are a bunch of folks like me out there. Who wouldn’t want to save an extra buck when possible? In this piece, I have compiled a list of money saving tips that would help bring down the travel budget tenfold. So, let’s dive in!
We all know traveling equals spending and having the cheapest and most convenient payment methods will come in handy. Finding a debit card with travel-specific (cashback, accessible withdrawals, etc) benefits will come a long way. I was shocked that not so many people don’t have a multi-currency account or a debit card linked to it.
With a multi-currency account, one can make purchases without having to convert savings. Sure it sounds like no big deal, but when in a foreign country, the conversion rates are most likely higher than usual. Furthermore, what would I do with the remaining currency when heading back home? A debit card linked to a multi-currency account will come a long way especially if I won’t be visiting the same country in the near future.
Hotel prices tend to vary mainly because of location. Big cities with tourist attractions have the most expensive hotels because their niche market is tourists! An easy way to cut costs is to choose a place away from the city. A place I could just travel back to after sightseeing my favorite destinations. I only use hotels for sleeping – I just can’t afford to waste my vacation in a hotel the whole day.
This sounds cliche but it is surprising to see just how many people travel during the off-season. Not everyone has the time to travel off-season and that is why the peak periods will generally be more expensive. Travelling off-season means fewer people and reduced prices in most attractions as a way to promote local tourism. Just make sure the places are open.
Traveling without a budget opens doors to a spending spree. Come up with a list of what’s important and also set aside some money to splurge. Make decisions like eating at the best restaurant on the last day of vacation, renting apartments instead of hotels., etc, and stick to it. Having a budget will help enjoy the trip and come back home without regretting overspending. Do not fall for all those special offers that can sometimes entice you into buying things you may not really need. And if it’s something you do need, then look for cashback deals and discounts (learn more about where to find them) that could help you save some bucks the next time you go shopping.
I remember while hiking in Austria, I spent almost 50 bucks on snacks just because there was no other option. If there are kids, remember to carry enough snacks as it will be super expensive buying snacks and biting on site. Bottled water is also another hidden cost that I hardly realize. Take advantage of the water provided at the hotel. Just make sure it is safe to use.
Local stores and farmers markets usually reduce their prices as dusk approaches. I’d take advantage of this and head to shop for groceries if staying in a rented apartment. Shopping at local stores also allows one to taste the local cuisine and understand the culture of that particular place. A local, home-cooked cuisine would definitely taste better than a badly done KFC-style fries (just saying).
Most of the destinations/attractions have an entrance fee/parking fee, or other minor expenses. If I were to visit three attractions in a day, I’d be spending a lot of change on entrance fees alone!. So, while planning trips, make sure the time coincides with the city’s free events and activities. The city calendar will have all this information usually at the city’s official website.
Now, when it comes to booking flights, a lot of questions come to mind. Mind a long layover? How many stops am I comfortable with? Would I fancy unpopular seat selections? These questions should guide one to choose the most affordable flight with, of course, a couple of compromises.
Also, remember that booking the cheapest, no-frill flight is not always a wise decision. Cheap flights will have certain restrictions that can ruin the whole trip. For instance, such flights have extra charges to luggage past a certain minimum weight. Someone stashed with essentials might opt for a decent flight with a baggage inclusive cost.