You have understood and used the tricks to find the cheap airline ticket deals and hotels for your next vacation. You’re all set and ready to fly. But how do you stick to your budget, spend money wisely once you get there and save money on the road? Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to save money on travel, food, transportation, currency, entertainment, and activities without sacrificing your vacation experience.
When you go on vacation, you want to splurge and you deserve to splurge. It’s a vacation after all. But by being smarter about how and where you spend your money, you’ll have more of it to spend on the things that matter, like extra activities or shopping opportunities you can’t get back home.
Save money on Food and Beverages
- Eat Street food – it gives you a taste of the local cuisine and also helps you save money on travel as street food is the cheapest in every country.
- Plan Your Meals – Figure out where you will be and eat before you actually go out. This is not just good for your wallet, but your stomach too since you will probably find economical restaurants that tastes great.
- Use bed & breakfast hotels – A simple free breakfast at the hotel can keep you energized till noon, in time for your lunch.
- Eat a heavy lunch – Fancy lunches are often much less expensive than dinners. If you eat a big breakfast, lunch and a light dinner, it’s also healthier.
- Save food for later – Use the good old doggy-bag technique to cut down on your food expenses and save money on travel.
- Use restaurant coupon codes – Look online for restaurants that offer introductory coupons, offers and discounts for their customers and dine your heart out.
- Try Grocery stores – Shopping for food at supermarkets, small groceries, farmers’ markets, even drug stores with pantry aisles, will save you loads of money on food. Fresh bread, a few slices of meat or cheese and a piece of fruit make for a wholly satisfactory meal and will set you back just a few dollars.
- Cook something up – Most hotels and hostels have kitchen facilities that you can use to cook your own meal instead of spending money at a restaurant.
- Refill water bottles – You need to stay hydrated when traveling and buying water every day gets expensive. Get a water bottle or reuse your plastic water bottle a few times to save money on travel. If you must consume bottled water, purchase it at a grocery store rather than from restaurants or street vendors, as it will be less expensive.
- Never Eat in a Tourist Area – Walk away from the crowds, you will realize the food is a lot better, flavorful and you’ll be paying the local price instead of the tourist price.
- Ask the Locals – Check with the locals on economical and authentic restaurants around. Never ask concierges for recommendations of places to eat as they tend to have a set list of pricey or touristy spots near the hotel that they suggest.
- Go Easy on Alcohol – The best way to keep on budget is to avoid overindulgence of alcoholic beverages. However, if you do plan to knock a few back, seek out happy hours or buy your booze where the locals do and have your drinks in your room before you go out.
- Carry a light snack – While traveling, always keep some food and water with you. This will stop you from paying exorbitant prices for food and water and save money on travel.
Save money on Transportation
- Take public transport – Do what the locals do and take the subway/metro trains or local buses and save money on travel. Avoid the private coaches, taxis, and tourist buses.
- Just Walk – Walk shorter distances, enjoy the views and burn some calories as well.
- Get Tourist cards – Local tourism offices (London, Paris, New York) sell cards which allow free entries for transportation, attractions, tours, museums and restaurants.
- Take a long night journey – If the travel is going to be long, consider traveling at night to save money on accommodation and many hours of time.
- Just Drive – Rent a cheap car to get a feel of the destination at your own pace than expensive short flights. Once you get there, having a car is also much easier than needing to take your bags everywhere.
- Try Ride-Sharing services – Get a ride with a local heading in your direction and all you have to do is share the cost of gas. Visit Liftshare (UK), Gumtree (UK/Australia/NZ), BlaBlaCar (Europe). Save money on travel by sharing a cab and indulge in entertaining conversations with locals.
Save money on ATM withdrawal, currency
- Bring enough local currency – Many exchange centers abroad have very bad exchange rates so its better to bring sufficient currency before arriving at your destination or carry USD and convert them at the airport on arrival for best rates.
- Avoid using Credit/Debit cards – During cash withdrawal at ATMs, most credit/debit cards charge 3 USD per transaction immaterial of the amount withdrawn. Don’t give banks your hard-earned money, save it for your trip. Also certain countries are infamous for their credit card duplication and fraud. Keep your cards safe and swipe only at bigger establishments.
- Use Travel Debit cards – Axis, Amex and HDFC Travel cards do not charge any fee for international transactions.
Save Money while staying Connected
- Avoid local Sim cards – Only buy one if you need to keep in touch with a lot of locals in the destination.
- Never make international calls from your Indian Sim card – Its too expensive, Try Skype or WhatsApp calling instead and save money on travel.
- Use Free Wifi – Most places like hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and cafes offer free wifi to their customers.
Other important tips
- Be wary of Scams – Use common sense and avoid getting cheated. Be wary of over friendly locals at tourist spots, taxi drivers, guides and shop keepers. Do your research before hand about potential scams in your destination.
- Bargain – At tourist spots most vendors sell merchandise at bloated rates, its perfectly normal to bargain and reach a mutually acceptable price. Only bargain if you are serious about making the purchase, it is considered an offense if you do not buy after agreeing to a price.
- Skip the Souvenirs – Don’t waste money on shot glasses, key chains, decorative spoons, and t-shirts. Instead, take lots of photos. It’s fun, cheap, and the fond memories will last a lot longer.
- Travel light – This will help you be very mobile, quick on your feet, flexible to take any transport and help you save money.
- Enjoy the Local Version – Many consumables are less expensive when it’s made in the country you are visiting. Consider trying their local beer, coffee or drink. You might be surprised at how great and cheap it really is.
- Avoid Travel Agents and just DIY – Never take a tour, a package or buy some service from a travel agent. You are always going to pay his margin, which could take precious money away from your budget. Reach the destination and you will always find the same tour at a cheaper rate. Its a lot more fun to DIY (Do It Yourself) and save money on travel.
- Use your Student Id – You will be surprised, most sites offer a very good discounts if a genuine student id is displayed.
- Use Free Museum days – Most of the popular museums including Louvre, Paris and Guggenheim, NYC have days reserved for Free visits.
- Talk to fellow travelers and locals – Everyone has interesting stories to share and some of them include some unbelievable tips. Learn from them.
- Research, Research and Research – Before departing from home, visit priceoftravel.com to find out rates for attractions, transportation, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, water and beer.
Take Vacations, You can always make Money, You can’t always make Memories.
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