Traveling is so much fun. You get to make so many memories, connect with new people, rekindle relationships, and a break from the monotonous life. But with vacation comes the budgeting. Nothing is for free, and if you don’t plan your holiday before then, you end up spending unnecessary money. With little creativity and strategy, you can save lots of money.
Some places conduct events, workshops, and activities for free. You have to research what activities are happening near the area you are staying in. Look for Facebook groups where they promote such an event. You can also look at their community calendars, which will also give you detailed information with timings and location of the event happening. Often at museums, they organize a “pay what you can” day once a week. Instead of hiring a guided tour, do your research and explore yourself. Use sites like Rough Guides, Smarter Travel that show a different perspective of traveling with a personal touch. These sites show you the city from a different perspective that tour guides won’t tell you or show you. Each country and city has many things that don’t cost you a dime, take advantage of those things. Most cities have walking tours for free that is worth joining.
Instead of booking yourself a hotel accommodation, book for places that allow you to cook your meals. Room service can be expensive, and ordering a cup of coffee or tea to your room is spending money. Instead, you can prepare your breakfast and lunch, eat-in, store the leftovers in the fridge and have a fancy dinner. Stay at Airbnb or Bed-and-breakfast that offers complimentary breakfast, has all the necessary amenities for cooking, and will give you a local experience. This way, you make sure that you eat healthily and balance it with splurging in the evenings. For a unique experience, book places like Canopy Under the Stars that offer you a splendid experience, it’s affordable and much cheaper than a hotel. Rooms which are a little far from the city and main attractions are cheaper. So, if you are traveling in a group, you can split the fare of the place and cab.
It is tempting to see the fancy cafes and restaurants you pass by while traveling. Especially if you are on vacation with kids, it will drive you crazy in buying them all kinds of fancy snacks. So, in this case, be smart and carry your snacks. Whenever you or your kids get the need for fuel, grab your granola bars, cookies, or nuts. Also, bring your own water. Buying bottled water now and then it is expensive and a lot of plastic too. This way, you save spending money on silly snacks and do your bit for the environment too.
Taking cabs to reach from one place to another every day adds up to one significant amount. So, the first step towards saving on transportation is to choose a location where public transport is easily accessible. If you are staying at the central location, the subway, bus, or train should be a walkable distance. Many cities have the facility of renting a cycle or bike, which is also very affordable. Places like Paris, Berlin, and London where it’s very sophisticated, remember to split the fare if you are taking a cab with your fellow traveler.
Traveling off-season will get you guaranteed cheap flights and hotels. It is more fun because the places would be less crowded, and you will get your choice of seats on flights. The tourist attractions would be less crowded, and sometimes they are cheaper at these times. During the peak season, they keep their rates high. The only thing you will have to research is whether the tourist spots open or not.
Have a budget for traveling. So, when you decide on a destination, you know how much you can splurge. Also, when you finalize on a destination, be flexible with the dates. Book a date which is cheaper than the rest. Generally, the rates are higher on weekends than on weekdays. Based on your budget, book your rooms, flights, and shopping. It is a great way to keep things on track.
Everyone likes to shop when on vacation, something locals, like a souvenir. And sometimes you get carried away with some sales or discount and end up spending all the money. When you go out for shopping, buy things which you won’t find back home, and you really need it. Also, look for its price online because sometimes it is cheaper and on discount online. Some tourist destinations have stores lined up with the same kind of stuff. So, check out a few stores to compare the prices before you make the final purchase.
Being on vacation doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Cook your own food if you are staying in like an apartment. So, for cooking, buy food from the farmer’s market, which is much cheaper than a supermarket rate. Also, this will give you an idea of their local cuisine, and you get to taste them without visiting fancy restaurants. Buy some local veggies and fish and cook it with your partner in your apartment.
Traveling is always fun because of the surprises it holds for you. Don’t stress too much about the perfection of the trip, instead plan to use the above tips, and you are going to make lots of memories. Be prepared for any additional expenses by keeping some extra cash. In case you are planning for a road trip, then install roof racks on your vehicle to have enough space for carrying your luggage.