Everyone wants to save money while traveling – to stretch their proverbial dollar – and there are some easy ways to do that. Just that these tips to save money or having a cheap vacation are so simple that they miss our attention.
Check out our list of 13 amazing tips on how to save money while traveling:
1. Save money on your flight tickets
The first thing about your travel is buying the air tickets – I never buy from an aggregator. I buy directly from the airline’s website because that helps me save on the aggregator’s commission. Also, I buy my tickets very early – at least two months in advance because it helps me get a good deal. Before buying my tickets, I also check if there are any coupon codes available. Going for connecting flights (I know sometimes they really suck!) will also help you save on your traveling costs. Flying in and out of the same airport will also help you save costs. In fact, booking tickets on budget airlines such as Norwegian Air, WOW and Air Asia also helps reduce costs.
2. Use a local SIM
One of the things I hate about traveling is the huge mobile bill I have to pay once I am back to my base. This huge bill is because of predetermined packages most of us end up taking not knowing that this is a great way to save money while traveling. All you have to do to save money is to take a local sim. Do note that your phone may be locked, in which case try out services such as Unlockunit.com.
3. Interact with the locals
Make a habit of interacting with the locals in the place of your travel. This can fetch you lot of information on how to improve your travel and yet save money. Locals always know the best place to eat, travel to or buy. They also know how to get the best price thus helping you save money during your travel.
4. Eat what is available now, season-wise
Once you speak to the locals you will also know what is the current season for, in terms of vegetables, fruits etc. Ordering seasonal food ensures it will be cheap, thus helping you save money. Do note that there is a big difference between eating frugal and what I am suggesting – eating seasonal. The other advantage of eating seasonal is that you get a taste of the country in all its glory.
5. Never eat in a tourist area
It is easier isn’t it? To see the tourist attraction and when you are tired, just head into a restaurant and have a drink and some food – it is for this convenience that these eating joints near tourist areas are at least 25-50% costlier. All you have to do is get back into your transport and head out a few kilometers away from the attraction and you will be able to save on your traveling cost.
6. Don’t over tip
A lot of us over tip because we don’t do our homework and find out in advance the right amount to tip. Also, in some countries tip is included in the bill as “Service charge” – look out for this in the bill you get. In such cases, you don’t need to tip thus ending up saving your money.
7. Travel to cheaper countries
Travelling is fun. In fact destination doesn’t mean much if you love travelling and that is why we recommend travelling to cheaper countries as a means to saving travel money. If you travel to countries with great exchange rate you can save a lot – countries such as Belarus, Slovakia, India, Turkey, Greece, Peru, Hungary, Vietnam etc.
8. Don’t pay for that “free breakfast”
While booking your accommodation, don’t fall for the “Free Breakfast” for there is nothing called free in life. When you opt for an accommodation, which has free breakfast, or you add free breakfast to your stay bill – that’s really a lot of money. I recommend you just walk out of your hotel and look around for a great place to eat. There almost always is. Of course, if it is the only hotel in the middle of the desert or sea, go ahead and book that free breakfast. While on the subject of eating, go for a heavy lunch – that’s always cheaper.
9. Use as many coupon codes as possible
If you think using coupon codes is beneath you, then you shouldn’t even be reading this article. If not, then let me assure you that coupon code can help you save a lot of money while traveling. Before you book your flight, train and bus tickets or before you finalize your accommodation find out if there are any coupon codes available for the services. I generally Google for ‘Coupon code
10. Choose your transport right
If time isn’t the limiting factor you can cut down your traveling costs drastically if you choose a bus over a flight. Since you have time on your hands, you can book a bus for the evening and sleep all the way to your destination. Bus tickets are at least five times cheaper than air tickets.
11. Clear your cookies before making a purchase
Travel websites or e-commerce websites from where you buy your travel things from have become smarter in recent times. They store cookies in your laptop/desktop to help customize your shopping experience. While these cookies help keep the items in your shopping kart, show you items you may be interested in etc, the same cookies also help the website understand the tickets you are interested in, or the item you are keen about. Thus the websites increase the prices, thus forcing you to buy at a higher price. The way to cheat this is to clear your cookies before buying. Then, you end up as a new user and the websites don’t know your level of interest. This is a great tip to help you save money while traveling.
12. Stay in cheaper places
If you are visiting Paris, you can save a lot of accommodation money by staying just outside of Paris. All you will have to do is spend 30-45 minutes of travelling by car or local transport whenever you want to explore Paris. If you are travelling to Europe, we also recommend home exchanges. Besides, always check out airbnb.com before booking your stay if you want to keep your accommodation costs low. Some of the other alternatives are: Couchsurfing.com, Servas.org, and hospitalityclub.org
13:. Carry a reusable water bottle
Many of us end us spending a lot of money on drinking water, without realizing that we could have quenched our thirst in a much cheaper way. Always carry a reusable water bottle and fill it fully before you head out on your travel. Wherever you see public and hygienic water dispensers, re-fill it. Hope you liked our tips on how to save money while traveling. If you have some more tips for our readers, please leave them in the comments section.