It’s probably the most common advice given, but still one of the best you can follow. The trick is to travel when fewer people are visiting the locations you want to visit. Hotel rates and expenses soar during the peak season.
Not only will you enjoy fewer crowds, but prices tend to drop dramatically during the shoulder and off-season. Save yourself a substantial amount of money and stress. You can also consider shortening your trip a little, and focus on the quality more than the quantity of the experience.
Think about sidestepping tourist meccas as well. For short trips, try to avoid going on weekends or during popular holidays.
Pick countries where you can get more out of your home currency to significantly lower your average daily spending.
For example, you could try South or Southeast Asian countries. You’ll enjoy amazing cultures, exotic local cuisines, spectacular landscapes, and lush sceneries without burning a hole in your pockets. It’s typically a third of the cost of spending your money in Japan. Visiting Eastern Europe would cost you only one-fourth of what you’ll pay in Switzerland or Norway.
Do the necessary research instead of going to a location blind. It’s crucial to plan ahead, set your priorities straight, and create a travel budget.
Ask yourself what you want out of your trip. Are you there for the local cuisine, comfortable accommodations, or popular activities? Then spend money on these priorities and save on less important things.
Some countries are more expensive than others. It’s best to skew your spending accordingly so you won’t run out of funds on your itinerary’s top locations. Always keep a close eye on your expenses, determine a reasonable daily cap, and stick to that limit.
Rather than carrying around heavy luggage, it’s better to get used to a carry-on bag to avoid overpacking. A good tip is to roll items such as clothing. Only carry the essential things that you need. The savings you’ll get from baggage fees would be significant.
Bringing a water container is better than buying water in small plastic bottles. The same goes for coffee. The costs can add up, especially if you’re a coffee lover since a cup can be more expensive in other countries. Having small instant coffee drink packets instead of ordering cups of Americano or espresso will save you money. It’s a good idea to skip drinks and dessert to keep the bills as low as possible when dining out.
Remember the old proverb, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do?” It remains relevant and still applies today, especially when you’re traveling abroad. Mingling with the locals is a cost-effective way of getting to know the local culture.
Avoid asking the concierge. Living like a local is the most authentic way to experience a country and can turn out to be a memorable adventure. You can try staying with a family, ride on the local transportation, and get tips from working-class people about the finest affordable places where you can eat. You can also ask them about notable spots that aren’t packed with tourists and the most practical routes to reach them.
It’s better to use credit cards but never rely on a single one when traveling. Have multiple credit and debit cards as a contingency should any be frozen, lost, stolen, or hacked.
It’s smart to set up an account with a new card beforehand that’s solely for traveling. You want to separate the bulk of your funds at home to protect them from the risk of fraud while you’re abroad. Make sure to use cards with zero foreign transaction fees and only transact with the local currency to avoid paying more for your purchases. Always keep in mind the currency conversion. If ATMs abroad give you a choice between the local and your home currency, always choose the local one.
Instead of booking a room in an expensive hotel, consider other options such as a highly rated hostel or a charming boutique hotel. Try to find out about their exclusions and inclusions, such as resort fees and breakfast. There’s also Booking.com and Airbnb with amenities included, and also try to find guest houses where you can negotiate a better deal in person. It can be very favorable to you during the off-season.
Typically, you can buy a local SIM card at the airport, and it would only set you back about $15. For example, a €10 Vodafone SIM in Spain will give you 15 GB for a month. You can also save from free video calls using Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and an affordable Skype phone plan. You don’t want to rack up hundreds of dollars in charges using your American phone for roaming calls.
Riding the local taxis is one of the top ways of getting scammed, especially if you’re a tourist unfamiliar with a place. Usually, it’s more expensive to go around in a cab than ridesharing. If it’s too far to walk, think twice before hailing a cab. Have at least one of the popular rideshare apps such as Uber, Cabify, or Lyft installed on your smartphone instead.
Sadly, companies have ways of taking advantage of you on the Internet, and those in the travel industry are no exceptions. Even Google collects data and tracks your online habits. If you want to get the best deals and the most savings, get rid of your online history and cookies before booking flights or reservations. By clearing your cache, you may look like a first-time traveler, prompting them to offer you lower prices. Take advantage of your browser’s incognito or privacy mode. A VPN could also help since booking in some countries costs less in others.
Then you will save money like a king!
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