Most people have developed a mindset that travel is expensive. But they do not realize that you can enjoy a comfortable getaway without spending much. What most of us rely upon are the magazine adverts and the TV commercials that mostly feature those expensive travels. You need to break away from that and see things from a different angle. It is logical to argue that those vacation destinations and hotels that advertise are usually high-end. Thus, they have to be expensive because they target only those with deeper pockets. You don’t have to deprive yourself a charming holiday once in a while even if you are on a shoestring budget. No need to break the bank. You don’t have to spend a truckload of cash on a tour to have a memorable experience.
Going for a vacation has numerous benefits, but there are two main ones:
- It improves in physical development- a visit involves undertaking a lot of activities like walking for long hours during hikes and climbing the mountain with backpacks. All these help you stay fit and develop stamina. Exercise makes you sweat and burn calories, and you remain healthy.
- It helps the brain to develop better- the brain cells require refreshing to improve your thinking. Taking a break from whatever you do and visiting new places gives you the opportunity to interact with many people. It helps you gather new ideas, new ways of doing things. If you are in the creative profession, the benefits are vast.
There following are simple ways to cut the expenses while on vacation and still enjoy like everyone else:
1. Travel Off-Season
There are holiday seasons when most of the household go on vacation. It means that there will be an increase in the number of travelers. It makes sense to conclude that these are the period when the flight tickets are damn expensive. If your pocket cannot allow, you better organize your travel later when the season is over. Summer and during any holidays are the highest seasons. Consider having your tour during the spring or fall. That way, you benefit from discounted flight tickets. And that is not all; the tourist destinations will have fewer people. So the entry ticket to these points will come at throw away prices. The hostels and the hotels will be cheaper too!
2. Set Your Daily Spending Limit
You are on a budget, right? Then you need to create a budget so you can track your spending. Ensure that you stick to the budget. To cut your spending, eat cheap food along the way. You may find a restaurant where food is cheap and become a frequent visitor there. Also, cut any spending that is unnecessary. If you get tempted to spend more than you have planned, then you risk the worst experience in a foreign land.
3. Stay In a Hostel
Restaurants are usually incredibly expensive. In fact, the worst fear of most travelers is footing the hotel bill. What they do not know is that you do not have to spend a fortune for accommodation. The best alternative to a restaurant is to find a hostel. Hostels are ideal for tourists who do not have a lot of money to spend. In the hostels, they have shared as well as private rooms that are affordable. You also get to interact with the people you meet there who might become your friends throughout of your stay.
4. Travel around Home
If your budget is too tight that it cannot allow you to take a flight to an overseas country, then you may consider taking a tour just to a neighboring state. There are plenty of tourist attractions that you probably have no clue they exist. You can also derive pleasure from such visits.
5. Consider Lunch Specials
If you decide to stay in a hotel, then there is an intelligent way of cutting your expenses on meals. On most occasions, lunch meals are usually cheaper than dinner. Breakfast meals are too expensive. So, take your breakfast from a café few meters from the hotel. Take a heavy lunch at the restaurant. It is usually cheaper than any other meal, and the quality is the same. Eat a lighter super and save a small amount of money. Not only is cheaper but it is also healthier.
6. Book a Flight In Advance
Planning your vacation early is paramount. You have time to look for more reasonable deal and book earlier. If you rush to book the last few days, then you risk paying a higher amount. The best way would be to book two months in advance. Booking earlier comes with great discounts as opposed to booking the last few days.
7. Avoid Tourist Spots
Sellers at tourist destinations such as restaurants, museums and such are notorious for charging premium prices for their goods and services. To save yourself from the exploitation, it won’t hurt to enjoy the scenic but later take a walk to those places in the locality that have cheaper stuff.
8. Be Flexible With Travel Days
You happen to have bought a one-way ticket. During the day when you plan to take a flight back home, the airlines are charging double. Make sure you program is not rigid. That way you can squeeze a day or two awaiting the airfare to go down. You could even benefit an excellent deal from them. This would only apply when you do not have a tight schedule.
9. Cook Your Meals
The locals know that you are a tourist. There are hotels and restaurants designed to rip off the foreigners in every manner by selling them items at very high prices. But you can avoid that. Book a hostel with communal facilities and prepare your food. That turns out to be an incredibly cheap way of eating quality for less.
10. Try the Grocery Store Instead of Expensive Hotels
Do not limit or deny yourself the pleasure of walking around to interact with the locals. You don’t have to buy expensive meals at expensive tourist restaurant and hotels. You can find snack and water are cheaper in groceries than in hotels. Take a walk to the grocery every morning before leaving for the daily itinerary. You may be surprised to make a delicious meal. Go there and bargain a few items.
11. Don’t Eat In Tourist Areas
If you’ve been on an international trip before, you will agree that tourist-frequented areas have the most expensive stuff. Most tourists do not mind spending a lot on vacations. Most of them are ignorant of the actual local prices of the food. From food to the minutest thing that one would require, all are sold at premium prices.
The places are packed to capacity. Probably that is the reason they charge insane prices for every item or service you seek. Dare to find out more from the joints that do not necessarily attend to tourist away from the tourist hotspots. The chances are that meals are cheaper there than at the tourist areas.
12. Take Tour
There may ways you can enjoy without paying anything. For example, if you stay close to an ancient town, just take a walk around. Just wander around and admire what you can see. That is the best way to spend a dull afternoon. You may find a few parks that you can stop by. Make sure you know every part of the neighborhood and the streets before you leave. That might be the only opportunity you’ll ever have plus it is all free of charge.
13. Book a Bundle
Booking a flight together with the flight is usually cheaper as it earns you a discount. That is a nice way of spending less.
14. Do As the Locals Do
Stop being a tourist and go where the locals are. Take the food from the local hotels. You can even take a local beer. It is usually cheaper than in hotels where everything is overpriced. You will even make friends and enjoy more.
15. Take Public Transport
Booking private taxis and buses can cost a lot. Just do what the locals are doing. You will catch a bus where you pay less. After all, the aim is just to get to your destination. It doesn’t lower your standards.
16. Chat With Locals
When on your tour, it pays to speak to a few locals and create a friendship. They know a lot and will be eager to show you around. You will get to know joints where you can spend money on food and save a few bucks.
17. Carry a Reusable Water Bottle
As you pack for your international trip, one of the essential personal items you should not forget is a reusable water bottle. Apart from keeping you hydrated when walking under the scorching sun, you no longer need to buy bottles of water each day. Though you will save just a little, it’s worth it. If accumulated over a week, it makes more sense. In fact, if you stay in a hostel or hotel room, you only need to refill it with water before leaving to explore.
18. Small-Sized Car
Usually, the size of a rental car determines how much you have to pay. If you prefer renting a private car or taxi, go for the one that is small in size as it is usually cheaper than big-sized vehicles. It also consumes less fuel.
19. Group Discounts
Staying in a hostel means meeting and making many friends. A restaurant does not provide such an opportunity as everybody is in their rooms and it is not easy to meet. You could convince a few of your new friends to attend an event as a group so you can enjoy a discount. Going there as an individual can cost you a lot of money. That is a smart way of enjoying even when you do not have much money.
20. Apartment Rentals
If you have traveled together with your family, it would cost you a fortune to pay for a restaurant. There are always apartments meant for visitors. These would be the best for a group. There, you can do everything from cooking to washing, which lowers your expenses substantially.
21. Take a Walk
Save the money on the taxis to a place that can take you a few minutes to walk. The aim here is to spend as little as possible while still getting an excellent experience. Walking even gives you a perfect opportunity to know the neighborhood well. You even enjoy the nature. It is good for your health too. So, take a walk.
22. Driving Is Not Bad
An international driving license is a requirement if you plan to drive in your destination country. Instead of taking expensive taxis and coaches, you could rent a small car that can accommodate everyone if you have friends accompanying you. You only need to fuel it and taking tours to new places without any reservation. With a rental car, driving to different tourist points will not be a big deal. You will have more efficiency since you do not need to lay in hope expecting to catch a taxi back on a bad day.
23. Get a Friend to Host You
Do you have friends in your destination country? Then you are lucky if you can convince them to let you stay there for a few days. You benefit a free meal, or maybe you could help share the cost. Either way, you stand to benefit. You can save a lot since you no longer need to dine and sleep at expensive hotels.
24. Free Museum Days
There are many deals that you can enjoy without actually paying a dime. If you have a tourism card, then, you are luckier. You have allowed in for free. Even if you do not have the card, you can find out from the locals if there are days that the museums offer free entry. Grab that once in a lifetime opportunity and enjoy. You do not have to pay for something you can have for free. Furthermore, you are on a budget and need to maximize the use of every penny that you have on you.
25. Age, Student or Membership Discount
Most tourist points have discounts for various groups of people. For example, a theme park or a museum might give a discount to children of a certain age limit. Students might enjoy a discount if you have your student card with you. So be sure not to leave your ID and any other membership card that you think can earn free entry or a discount.
26. Use Credit Card without Foreign Transaction Fees
Most of the credit card companies charge an extra fee for withdrawing cash from ATMs that are off the network. The transaction ranges from 1-3% of the total amount. But other companies provide credit cards whose international transaction fee is waived. Be sure to get such a card before taking your flight. With the card, you withdraw cash from any ATM with the regular transaction fees and in the local currency. If you do not, you risk withdrawing at an extra fee, which is not economical. Even worse, the currency exchange bureaus are there to charge insane rates from currency exchange. Ensure that you have some foreign currency with you when landing to avoid taking a move that would hurt you financially.
27. Check Your Cell Phone Plan
Cellular plans are meant for domestic use. Using them beyond the border will cost you a lot of money. Roaming charges are usually higher than normal. You may need to contact your carrier for the best way to lower the cost. Some of the carriers often provide an affordable international plan. So, be sure not to take that flight before you know if your carrier has such a plan.
To have a fascinating experience on a tour, you do not need to have at ton of cash. All you need is creativity. Think of smart ways you could cut your expenses and you will enjoy beautiful sceneries while spending a fraction of the regular prices. Now, have no excuse not to plan an international vacation with all the money-saving tips above.