Managing your money well is key when it comes to making the most of your travels. Whilst there are certain factors that you can’t prevent, such as the exchange rates of currencies, or the standard prices of accommodation and food, there are still bargains to be found. These 8 tips can help you save a bit of cash, no matter where you are in the world.
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Being flexible with your travel dates can be one of the best ways to save money, not only on the upfront costs of flights but also on accommodation, and even food. Busier, touristic periods, such as the height of summer, or Christmas time, can cause prices to skyrocket across the board. Opting to explore during the low seasons will guarantee better deals from airlines, and quieter cities will mean a better chance of finding a table at affordable restaurants that aren’t fully booked. Make the most of holidaymaker hotspots without the hustle and bustle of high season crowds, and above all, without breaking the bank.
If you already have your eyes set on a destination, booking accommodation in advance can help you get the best deal possible. Although impulsively hopping from place to place may seem alluring to the more adventurous traveler, the costs of last-minute bookings, with limited options to choose from, can start to add up. To reduce spending even further, another alternative is to head off with a tent in tow and pre-book camping pitches. Depending on where you go, you could even opt-out of paying for the use of campsite amenities for a night or two and go wild camping. Remember to do your research on whether it’s permitted or not in your chosen location to avoid a hefty fine.
Stop paying through the nose for a sandwich and coffee to stave off hunger in an airport terminal by packing plenty of snacks for your travels. In the long run, you’ll save money at the airport itself, and post-flight. If you’re hungry enough upon arrival, you’ll most likely settle for the first restaurant you find, regardless of its prices. This is a great rule of thumb for daily outings too, where long days of walking can lead to tired, less-economically minded choices. For those on a really tight budget, stocking up on supplies in local supermarkets will mean you get to skip having to pay out for meals at restaurants completely.
Ask the locals
If you’re one of the many English teachers globetrotting during some time off, you’ll no doubt have discovered that your students’ recommendations of eateries and bars were usually spot on. Fluency in English is vital when it comes to becoming an English teacher. Fluency in the native language of your destination, or at least a basic level of communication, will mean you can find out about the best, affordable things to do from the locals themselves. Get off the beaten track and experience a new culture through the eyes of someone who lives there, and ditch the price tag of more touristic itineraries.
Set a daily budget
Having an idea of how much you would like to spend each day while traveling will make it easier to save. This budget can be set in advance, before setting off on your adventures, and you can base it around the average costs you’ll expect to encounter in whichever country you choose to holiday in. Bear in mind that budgets only work if you stick to them. Think back to what things you spent the most on when on previous trips, such as eating out, or souvenirs. Above all, be reasonable about what kind of trip you want, and how much you typically end up spending when you’re traveling, and factor that in when deciding on your total daily spending amount.
If you’re traveling by plane, you can cut costs by choosing not to buy hold luggage. This comes with the compromise of not being able to buy as much in terms of mementoes while you’re on holiday, immediately saving you some money. Although this may not be suitable for everyone, especially those taking longer trips, it’s a great solution for shorter weekend breaks where a bigger bag may not be necessary. For backpackers wanting to see as much of the world as they can for as little as they can, what better way to limit spending than knowing that what you’ll buy, you’ll have to lug with you to your next stop? Check out updatedideas.com for even more traveling tips to help you navigate your next adventure abroad smoothly.
Sightsee for free
Exploring new cities and cultures doesn’t have to cost a bomb. Invest in a guidebook before your trip, and spend your days on foot, sightseeing. Many European cities also boast museums that you can lose yourself in for the day, for free. Beyond museums and cultural days out, look into the nearby nature. So long as you have a decent pair of walking shoes, a long walk through surrounding hills, or forests, or along a river that winds through the city, will cost you nothing. Be sure to let others know where you’re headed if you are planning to do this alone, and always know the number for the local emergency services just in case.
If you’re dead set on bringing home a keepsake, don’t be afraid to haggle if that’s common practice in the country you find yourself in. Countries like India, Thailand and China, are known for haggling with tourists, especially in touristic hot spots, and vendors will no doubt expect a bit of back and forth when selling to you. Embrace the local customs and get the best deal you can to save a bit of spending money. The amount of discount you’ll be able to haggle for will depend entirely on the country itself and its practices, so read up on local customs before you leave.
Whether you’re traveling on a shoestring, or just want to spend sensibly while on holiday, these tips can help you cut costs in one way or another. Travel doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, and you may even come home with something to spare for your next adventure.