Ways to save money while traveling

Jean Claude Reuille02-Oct-2020

Traveling can be very expensive but using the right strategies will reduce the cost to a great extent. The major part of the money goes on airfare and local transportation at the destination. Smaller expenses like meals at restaurants, café visits, souvenir shopping, etc., can add up to your budget. A balance needs to be maintained. Vacations are meant to be enjoyed but do not let your bank account be in shambles later.

You do not have to be rich for traveling but creative when it comes to saving money for travel. Travel is possible for low budget travelers as well. Each step is important to make sure that you save the most. Saving while traveling requires a lot of hard work and sacrifice, but if you do so, you will be able to save for your next vacation on your bucket list. 

Do your research beforehand and make some smart investments. 

You can follow the ultimate guide to travel frugality and explore the world on less budget and save money:

Organize a trip in the shoulder period

In the travel industry, the “shoulder period” refers to off-season/off-peak times. The period changes in different parts of the world, so research online deals on hotels and flights during this time. If you plan to book during this time, the airfare and hotels will be cheaper. You also do not face issues of being overbooked or hotels being sold out. The plus point is that you do not have to deal with large crowds at the attractions. Just make sure the attractions are open around this time. 

Compare the cost of different air carriers

While making a flight reservation, compare the fares of different airlines for the best deal. Usually mid-week, you may get cheaper fare as compared to weekends. We have observed that Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest days to fly. Round trip journeys cost less as compared to one-way so if it’s possible, then book a return journey. So you save big time on the airfare that is one of the major expenditures. If you are not on a tight schedule, then the flexibility in terms of the time of the day for flying, number of stops, or seat selection can save you a lot.  

Save on Accommodation

If staying in a city, we advise you to book your accommodation near a subway or bus stop to save on the cost of commuting. Staying in a central location will prove to be more expensive. What happens is you often pay for the location. It is a lot cheaper when you book a hotel away from the big tourist attractions. You can also stay in a hostel to have a memorable experience and to save money. 

If you traveling for a week or more than that, then opt for a room with a refrigerator/microwave as it will help you in reheating the leftovers. If possible, book with the kitchen area as well so that you can cook your meals with the local ingredients found in markets/supermarkets. This way you can save yourself from the exorbitant restaurant bills. Book a hotel room that includes breakfast in the tariff. 

Minimize alcohol consumption at bars

The cost of alcohol differs in different parts of the world. For example- In Vietnam, it may cost around $0.25 and in San Francisco, the beer may cost $10. If you consume alcohol every day, it can become a hefty part of the daily travel cost. However, if you are staying at a hostel and it allows drinking within the complex, like a rooftop or backyard, then you can purchase a six-pack or bottle of wine. If the state rules are ok with outdoor drinking, then you may purchase from the supermarket and enjoy it outdoors.  

Organize a trip to places where your home currency takes you farther

Figuring out the average price of travel in world cities can help you to determine what you would like to do if you are traveling for the long term. You can visit this website https://www.priceoftravel.com/ to compare the travel cost in various places. Sometimes you may not find it so clear. Example-The cost of Myanmar may cost $35 per person per day where you can stay in private rooms, eat at restaurants, and enjoy cocktails. 

Cut down on shopping 

If you want to save money while traveling, then you have to stop buying everything you see. On vacation, people buy a lot of souvenirs as a collection of the places they have traveled. Sometimes, the souvenirs get broken or they remain at someplace which you don’t even see in a long time. It is better not to weigh down your luggage. You can instead click some pictures and keep it as a memory. You will notice at the end of the trip; how much you have saved. 

Lookout for free activities

While you are traveling, do a little research and see the free activities going on in the area. You can go through the community calendars to see what all is going on in the area. To familiarize yourself with the place, you can do a self-guided walking tour. Some museums often have a “pay what you can” day once a week, and some also have discounted admission after a certain time of the day. 

Tour the city by foot/use mass transit

We advise you to explore the city by foot or take public transit when you travel. Do as the locals do. You can interact with the locals too. Exploring by foot also opens up the chances of discovering hidden gems. The places, where the distance is not walkable, go for mass transit. It is environment friendly and saves money too. In Europe, they have an amazing train and bus systems. Rest you can use the Google Maps for navigation. Some places have a tram pass that would save a lot. You do not need to pay overpriced taxi travel costs.


Minimize attractions with entrance fees

All around the globe, you will find attractions that cost money. Rather you can enjoy the neighborhood, parks, and cafes. This kind of enjoyment comes free. Check out no-cover museums. If you are in Europe, you can get a city card which gives access to free public transportation, free admission to local tourist attractions, and some good discounts on restaurants. You can research the tourism cards for each place beforehand. 

Connect with locals

Not only it is fun, but it also helps as they can take you to non-touristy neighborhoods or for local activities like a picnic. They can also guide you on how to commute cheaper and it is always good to know someone in an unknown place. It results in a meaningful experience as well. 

Purchase from local stores 

You can shop at farmer’s markets and local stores. It also allows you to taste the local cuisine without having to pay the restaurant bill. Like you can buy some local fish and cook in your kitchen area in the room. You can also check out the local food carts and night markets. You can get plenty of options in the form of locally-grown produce like Asian pears, chestnuts, pan-fried potatoes, pickles, etc.  

Use Credit Card

Whenever possible, use a credit card to get the best rate of the day and also to build points and miles. Like the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card does not have any foreign transaction fees. 

Get a Priority Pass

Invest in a Priority Pass that lets you save on airport lounges. You can enjoy the membership to access airline lounges around the world and do not pay overpriced airport food or WIFI. It gives you access to 850 plus airport lounges, the base tier being $99 for one year and $27 per lounge visit and the top tier being $399 for a year all-inclusive.

Carry snacks/water

If you’re traveling alone or with your family, you will be needing snacks. Do not spend money on silly snacks and instead when your kids ask for snacks, give them granola bars. Carry your water as there is no point splurging on these things. If you find something valuable, you can purchase that. 

Use points/miles

The points that you earn, you can redeem them to stay at some chain hotels, like Marriott and Hilton. They have a reward system and you can get free overnight stays. To build your points, use specific airlines. 

Do not eat in areas close to tourist destinations

If you walk some few blocks away from the hustle and bustle of the city, you can slash prices at the restaurants. One more tip is restaurants often offer lunch specials with inexpensive price, so you can buy extra food at lunch and save it for dinner later. 

Stick to your budget 

Create a budget and know when to splurge and when to save. Creating one helps you to keep yourself on track. 

Get an unlocked phone

Using an unlocked smartphone allows you to buy and use SIM cards in every country you visit, and that helps you to get local rates that are less than what the provider wants to charge you. Android phones can be unlocked at a cost under $200 which will comparatively lower than your roaming bill.

There are a lot of other ways to save money like you can join a local Facebook group alerting about travel deals, subscribe to email alerts for flight deals, like from https://www.secretflying.com/ or https://www.theflightdeal.com/. Whenever a deal pops up, they will send you an email. 

Some other tips include bringing your own airport snacks, take overnight trains and buses to save on a night’s worth of accommodation, do not over order when you eat out, use ride-sharing apps, hit up the morning markets, use apps to call and text back home, buy European train tickets from official national railway sites and not from third-party agencies who charge a commission, use an app like Trail Wallet to help you tracking the finances, withdraw money and do not exchange, pack light to avoid checking bags, take tips from travel bloggers, start a travel fund or buy travel insurance. 

Try these tips and your wallet will be happy and thank you!

Written by "Jean Claude Reuille" on 02-Oct-2020

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