Travelling is one of those things that we all want to do but feel like we don’t have enough money to do. So I’m here to tell you about all the ways you can save money in the planning stages of your travels.
Have you ever scrolled through Instagram and seen all the amazing landmarks and locations that people are lucky enough to visit, knowing in your heart that they cost an arm and a leg?
With a few little tricks here and there, you can save money while planning your travels and be on your way to a new destination having spent, well, less than an arm and a leg.
With these easy tips, you can have peace of mind knowing that you saved as much money as you could on the basic travel necessities, leaving much more money for yourself to splurge while on vacation.
Compare Flight Prices on Comparison Websites
Flight prices fluctuate a lot depending on when you’re looking at them. The prices also depend on when you’re planning on going on your trip as peak season prices can be as much as double the price of the non-peak season.
You may also want to keep your travel dates flexible in case there are cheaper tickets.
Book Hotels Through Centralised Booking Sites
The prices of hotels and accommodation through centralised booking sites like Booking.com are often discounted and much cheaper than the prices offered through the respective hotels’ sites.
However, be warned as they aren’t always guaranteed to be a better deal.
Booking sites are usually great for last-minute bookings, non-cancellable reservations or when they have deals going on, but not that great for normal hotel bookings.
Do read the fine print and make sure that you aren’t paying any hidden fees before you hand over your money.
Another great option for booking hotels is through the InterContinental Hotels Group.
They own several brands including InterContinental, Regent Hotels, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Staybridge Suites across nearly 100 countries.
With them, you can guarantee that there’ll be an accommodation option for you in any country you travel to.
Book Vacation Rentals Instead of Hotels
They are usually rented out as entire apartments or houses and are perfect for those who want to stay in a more homely environment.
It’s also a great option for those who enjoy cooking for themselves rather than going out to eat every meal.
HomeAway is a subsidiary of Expedia that offers more than 2,000,000 vacation rentals in 190 countries.
If you feel like being adventurous and want a vacation that you’ll never forget, you can choose to stay in a range of accommodation types including cabins, condos, castles, villas, barns, and farmhouses.
Exchange Your Money Prior to Leaving on Your Trip
Generally, you can get better rates if you get foreign currency from your local bank or credit union before you leave for your trip. They usually offer the best exchange rates and won’t stack on too many extra fees.
For some countries, you can also choose to bring your own currency and exchange it into foreign currency once you’ve arrived at your destination.
However, if you choose to exchange it at the airport, you run the risk of dealing with less favourable exchange rates and higher fees.
The bonus is that it’s extremely convenient if you forget to exchange your money beforehand or run out of local currency.
If you decide to use your credit card overseas, make sure that you check if your credit card company will charge you any foreign transaction fees.
It’s also a good idea to inform your bank that you’ll be travelling overseas so that they won’t freeze or lock your account under the assumption that you are the victim of credit card fraud.
If your bank does charge relatively high foreign transaction fees, you may want to apply for a credit card with no foreign transaction fees as well as a debit card that does not have a surcharge on ATM withdrawals in other countries.
Using a credit card rather than carrying a wad of cash is generally safer in the event of pickpocketing or thieves.
Make a Budget
Budgeting is a surefire way to make sure that you don’t spend more money than you have available.
It can be easy to assume that you have more money than you actually do and making a budget can serve as a reality check as well as an indication of the amount of money you have allocated for each type of expense.
If you take a limited amount of cash on your trip, having a budget is a great way to make sure that you don’t accidentally run out and end up having to use your credit card after all.
Budgeting is also a great way to prevent too many impulse purchases, as you might end up buying things that you regret and have no way of returning or having to pay for overweight baggage because you bought way too much.
Find Coupons and Deals
If you know that you’ll be visiting popular tourist attractions, attending a popular event or eating at any famous restaurants, then there’s a good bet that you’ll be able to find a good deal or coupon on Groupon.
Additionally, if you sign up for Groupon Select for only $4.99/month, you can get an extra 25% off restaurants, spas, yoga, bowling and any other local businesses near you.
If you enjoy concerts and live shows, then you can also get an additional 10% off tickets and events.
Know Your Travel Routes Beforehand
Do some quality research and find local apps that help you with transport so that you won’t end up spending a large chunk of your money on taxis.
Many countries have their own versions of uber or public transport that are much cheaper than taking a taxi everywhere.
Travelling around with locals is a great way to heighten your experience and learn more about the local culture, and you have ample opportunity to strike up a conversation and learn more about the country.
Have an Idea About Product and Service Prices Before You Arrive
Merchants and sellers in overseas countries, especially those that are popular tourist destinations, know that travellers are gullible.
If they see that you aren’t local, they might try to hike up the price by a lot and the amount you end up paying will depend on how knowledgeable you are about the prices in the country.
Don’t be shy about haggling to save more money.
In many countries, especially at markets, sellers expect their customers to haggle and so increase their prices by a large margin beforehand.
You could end up spending a lot more money than you should if you don’t try haggling to bring the price down.
Have Entertainment Downloaded on Your Device
Entertainment such as in-room movies in hotels often come with a fee, so if you’re planning on spending a few nights in on your trip, download movies onto the device you’ll be bringing.
This also doubles as a way to pass time if you will be spending hours on a plane or bus with nothing to do.
If you enjoy reading, it’s a good idea to buy ebooks and download them to your device prior to leaving.
If you’re travelling to a foreign country, there’s a good chance that the books in bookstores may not stock books popular in your country or they might even be in a different language.