When considering the price of hotels, tours, food and of course the actual cost of getting there, it is easy to think that it is too expensive to travel the world. However, there are many things you can do to cut down on your expenses while on holiday.
We sought out 6 top tips for saving money when travelling
1. Compare & Research
The Internet has made it a lot easier to plan and book a trip. With vast information available about holiday destinations online, you can easily research, plan and budget for your next trip. Doing thorough research about your destination is very beneficial since it can indicate expected costs, give good advice and help you choose sights to see or skip. The most important thing to research is your intended location and realise whether the general costs suits your budget. Take into account the exchange rate and what the basics might cost you. Of course, research also includes finding the best and most affordable flights, transport and accommodation. When planning your trip, you should use comparison websites to help you find the best deals.
2. Travel Economically
The first aspect where you can save money is your actual travel costs. Here you can save money by choosing flights or bus and train services that are budget-orientated. Also, by choosing an itinerary that is midweek rather than over weekends or on public holidays could save you money. You could opt for a less convenient route to your destination that might end up much cheaper. Likewise, get on the mailing list of airlines or travel agents to learn about travel-deals and special offers. Of course, once at your destination, save on travel costs by walking where possible and using the public transport system rather than a taxi service. Besides saving money, exploring on foot or travelling like the locals will provide a more authentic experience.
3. Eat Inexpensively
When on holiday, people tend to blow their budgets on food. The main reason why people spend too much money on their food is because they dine out—often three meals a day. One of the easiest ways to save money when travelling is to simply avoid dining out, or restrict it to once a day. An excellent solution is to choose accommodation that has cooking facilities or at least provides the basics such as a kettle, fridge and a microwave. Buying food at the local supermarket will definitely work out a lot cheaper than eating out. Another handy tip is to take some basics with you on holiday (if immigration permits). Things like biscuits and quick-cook oats sachets are easy to prepare and can fuel you when sight seeing. Of course, making your own food doesn’t mean you have to dine in since you can easily take a packed lunch with you on your day trip or even enjoy your dinner on the nearby plaza.
4. Sleep Cheap
Often, hotels are a travel expense that ruins your budget—and sometimes rips you off. Good accommodation is important but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Before you travel, consider how much time you will be spending in your hotel and think about what exactly you require at the hotel. Naturally there are cheap lodging options available such as hotels outside the CBD, hostels, bed and breakfasts or even just a room in a local’s home. You could also think about doing a house swap next time you travel or letting out your home while you are on holiday to help you out with your holiday finances.
5. Do discount sight seeing
Organised tours might seem like the most convenient option, but it might not be the most affordable. Weigh up all the options and think about what the tour offers, the costs involved and consider what you can do on your own. You might realise that sight seeing on your own works out cheaper, and offers greater freedom. These days there are many free guidebooks available so you can quite easily navigate and read up about sights on your own. If a guided tour is the best option, make sure to research what tour is the best value and remember that many tours are discounted when booked in advance.
6. Bargain & avoid over spending
When on holiday, it is easy to get carried away when purchasing things. If you are in a position to heckle down the price, whether it is at the local market or even in a family-owned business, there is no harm in trying to get a slight discount. It is also in your interest to avoid unnecessary expenses so try to not over tip, shop around for cheaper places to have a meal or a drink and make sure to plan and stick to an allowance for luxuries on your trip—whether it be clothing, a gadget or a duty free item. Also consider the logistics and think about where you can cut costs. Avoid expensive phone roaming and buy a local sim card if necessary and choose your travel insurance carefully as often insurance can be very pricy!
Eliza Tines works in PR for a fitness company. In order to finance her travels, she relies on a good return on equity from her savings account.