I love to travel but never got an opportunity to make more than week long trips. Last summer, we muttered up the courage to make the travel plans including a trip to North America, East coast.
As novice adventurers, we had no idea how to plan the whole trip or what to expect. But as we immersed ourselves into full fledged travel plans, we learned some important lessons about how to travel frugally as well as having fun.
I gathered a few travel tips on how to save money while traveling and would like to put everything at one place. I hope this will benefit anyone who is planning to travel this summer. These tips will come in handy for any time of the year vacation though.
So, here are 14 simple ways to save money while traveling.
- Keep a Budget. You generally know how long you will be gone and where you will be staying while traveling. Spent as much as you can in local currency cash. Find out the rate charges for credit cards, they may vary from country to country. Spending in cash will also help you control your expenses while traveling.
- Research your destination. You can find almost everything on the internet, including travel destinations and spots. Make good use of it to find free and inexpensive attractions.
- Pack light. Any frequent traveler will advice you to pack light. But sometimes we can forget that and go overboard. Even if you’re staying in the same hotel for three weeks, packing light can prevent headaches. Try to carry only the essentials. Use hotel toiletries instead of bringing your own. You save up on luggage space and money.
- Avoid peak season, if possible. Not only are tourist destinations less crowded, airline rates are also lower during off peak season.
- Weigh your luggage at home to avoid paying extra charges for overweight luggage.
- Manage your money wisely. Knowing what form of money you should be spending at each location may come in handy. When I first visited another country, I spent a lot on my credit card. Little did I know that I will be dinged with unnecessary fees. Visa charges a 1% overseas usage fee with credit card as well as debit card. From that trip onwards I made sure to review my account policies before making a trip.
- Eat cheap. I love trying new restaurants at new places, but after a first few trips, I realized we were spending way too much on eating out at these fancy restaurants. Once in a while should be ok, but for other days, you can hit the local markets and grocery stores. Pick light and easy meals and always be on the lookout for budget meals.
- Check out entrance-fee free entertainment like concerts, lights and music show, or go for nature trip.
- Bring a hidden body bag. It helps safeguard your passport and money. Prevention is still better than cure.
- Bring first aid or non prescriptive medicines for headache, colds, allergies, motion sickness, diarrhea and constipation.
- Use skype, Whatsapp or Viber to save up on your calls. Calls are free with free wi-fi for similar (skype to skype, whatsapp to whatsapp, viber to viber) accounts. You can buy prepaid local sim card.
- Buy your souvenirs from local markets instead of malls.
- Compare foreign exchange rates prior to trip.
- Relax. Don’t try to strictly stick to an agenda. You will find yourself stressing for no reason. Some places will be more interesting than you expected; others will be less so.
Recession is taking it’s toll and we have to be frugal if we are planning any out of routine plans, but that doesn’t mean we cannot travel and have some fun. We just have to be creative so we can reduce the costs to a minimum as well as have fun and enjoy the adventures.