Learning to save money while you travel is an extremely useful skill. Why? Because you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t want to (or have to) travel the world. Especially at a time like this, when Covid-19 has rocked all of our lives, it’s much harder to think about how we could travel. With an increase in unemployment – and the added risk of catching a disease – it may not be feasible to splurge on luxuries like travelling for the purpose of vacation. Alas, our wanderlust won’t quench itself: but neither will paying our utility bills! It truly is a hard bargain to drive. But what if we told you that it wouldn’t be so hard to get on that plane and still be guilt-free? Read on to know more about how you can save money while you travel!
1. Do Your Research
The first step to save money while you travel is to do your research. Often times you are in a place which you don’t know about – which the locals are aware of. It’s important to understand that all the people of a different country are of an extremely hospitable, you may be at the receiving end of a bad bargain. More often than not, this is the case. Many places restaurants and tourist spots charge extra and tend to overcharge foreigners: But you can avoid this. By checking out the industry rates for the activities you plan to do: as well as taxi or transport rates, and even food fares, you are less susceptible to being fooled. Another tip is to make photo sure you know common ways that foreigners tend to lose out, so that you can be aware and not make the same mistake.
2. Look for Free Activities
There’s so much you can do on a minimal budget. If you look around your own country, you will find many things that one could do without spending too much money – so to save money when you travel to someone else’s country shouldn’t be that hard. In fact, there are a lot of activities free of charge – which one would never think of as being a valuable life experience. Sometimes it is the things that we take for granted that offer the most in terms of enrichment. One such example are walking tours. spending some time to explore the surroundings by foot is a good way to spend time and familiarise yourself with the area. while doing so, you are still being exposed to many aspects of local culture and way of life which you may never have thought of if you were speeding by in a car. Oftentimes, there are also many community activities that are free or low-budget. These help you save money and enjoy your stay at the same time. Pro Tip: make sure you go at the time of local festivals or events so that you can get special offers!
3. Service Apartments, Hostels and Airbnb Are Your Friends
Did you know that hotels are not the only way to find accommodation? Many other underrated options – such as service apartments or hostels – offer cheap accommodation with more facilities available. Yes, you may comprise on the comfort of having your own private suite and hotel staff at your beck and call, but think about it: How much time will you be spending in your room anyway? With a packed tourist schedule, you probably won’t be needing all the facilities you will be paying for. Therefore, to save money when you travel, you must not just go for a cheaper hotel room: but look for other stay options instead. Here’s a tip: even if you choose a hotel, don’t go for the best room they have. Opt for establishments which have microwaves, a fridge or a kitchen area that are attached. These come in extremely handy especially when restaurant food is overpriced or unhealthy. Remember to be cautious to not go towards other unhealthy options such as convenience store food – which may also be readily available, and can be cooked easily at your place.
4. Choose Your Location Wisely
The location of your stay is also extremely important. Each of us tend to have our own tourist schedules, packed with activities that we wish to do: and it is common knowledge that we’ll have to spend a bit to reach there. Transport costs can often add up to be a big hit to your wallet, so make sure that you are staying in a location central to what your desired activities are. Or alternatively, check out public transport options – such as bus and subway routes – and plan your stay accordingly. Another tip is to note how close is the nearest farmers market or local store is: Shopping for Essentials here is much cheaper and you can save money when you travel as well.
5. Go Off-Season
Here, off-season refers to the non-tourist time of year. Often, this refers to the times where holidays are not around the corner, and people are busy doing other activities. At this time, flight tickets and hotel activities are generally cheaper. Crowds are also less, which means that you will have more personalized time scouring the places you wish – without being interrupted by the busy bustling of other folk enjoying the same activity. Another advantage of less crowding is that you have lower chances of catching an airborne disease (*ahem* Covid-19 *ahem*) – More safety and more satisfaction! Another Pro tip: Always go for shops that are further away from tourist spots, as the ones close by are generally pricier.
6. Flight Tips
There are many ways that we can save on flight expenses – and we’re here to show you some of them! One step is to book at least two months before your travel. Flights get more expensive as you go towards your date. Another tip is to be flexible with your flights – certain airlines have flight deals on certain days of the week, and capitalising on this is a good way to save money while you travel. These two tips go hand-in-hand! It is also easier to be more price oriented if you book way in advance, and let price determine the day of your flight so that you get the best deal.
Remember to bring your own snacks and water as well (but not too much water, as you may not be allowed with it on the flight! ) This way, you can save on in-flight meals. If you are not picky on seating, you can save on booking your preferred one as well! Try to go earlier to the airport so that you get a good seat anyway. The last tip is to try to fly less – which means that instead of packing your vacation with lots of flights, do one or two nearby destinations, and do them well. Choose your destinations carefully – as even if you want to go all the way across the world, you may be spending a truckload of money just to fund flight + boarding charges. If you choose nearby destinations, you can do much more with the same amount of money! So be practical.
7. SIM Cards and Forex
We might think that every foreign travel requires us to get a sim card. However this is hardly the case. For extremely short trips where you can manage with internet connection and Wi-Fi, you really don’t need a physical SIM. Therefore choose wisely as you can save money on this. We recommend Visa2Fly‘s services for all your SIM card woes – click the hyperlink to visit our page!
As for credit cards and foreign exchange, it is better to carry the hard cash with you. This is because many banks abroad will charge Credit Card exchange fees, that cost you way more than they should. You will definitely be paying more than you receive in cash at the ATM booth – so why not just get your own cash at home before you travel? Changing currency in your own country is better.
To conclude, there is a fine balance between budget travel and cheap travel. Trying to enjoy whilst saving vs. splurging on the unnecessary is a choice we often have to make in life – even if we are not travelling. The trick here lies in satiating both cravings – make sure you spend at least one day in a very good restaurant, or in a place which you really don’t mind spending on. This way, you won’t come out of the trip feeling unsatisfied, and you’ll still have money to spare!
The next step in your travel journey would be visa services – which we @ Visa2Fly can help you with! Travel insurance and SIM cards are also our forte, so hit us up to know more. If you like our blogs, make sure to check out the ones on Hostels vs. Hotels and Long-Haul Flight Tips – who knows, they might come in useful for your next trip! Happy travelling~~