23 Best Money Saving Travel Pro Tips
Have you decided to take a trip? Bravo! You’ve scaled the hurdle of indecision or finally saved a bit of money and found time in your busy schedule to make the much-needed voyage. Now you want to lockdown a fail-proof and cost-effective plan for your trip. What are some of the best budget-friendly plans for travel? Before You Travel:
1. Plan ahead. Whether it is booking plane tickets or a hotel stay, there are many deals to take advantage of, most of which have early deadlines. If you start early, you can find discount rates for individuals and groups, especially during Summer or other periods that feature high-volume of traffic. In your search, pay attention to reviews through services like Trip Advisor, but don’t rely too much on them as reviews can be bought, or may not reflect upgrades made to the hotel or other venue.
2. Create a budget you plan to adhere strictly to. You have saved for this adventure, but hopefully your budget doesn’t cover all your savings or cause you to overspend. A budget is important to keep you on track. We know there may be unplanned expenses, though, so make allowance for some discretionary spending.
3. Sort out Money Matters. Will you be relying on ATM cards or mobile banking? Whatever the case, always have a backup plan and be prepared for additional ATM fees. It may be necessary to bring an additional credit card and probably leave it in your luggage in case your wallet gets missing or stolen, but let it be just what it was intended to be—a backup.
4. Choose the appropriate Season. Most people will prefer to travel during offseason when fares and expenses will be low. However, depending on your preferences and what you want to do during your travels, the appropriate season to travel may not be what is most advised. Although off-season can guarantee the relative solitude that some travelers desire, and more importantly is generally budget-friendly.
5. Choose flexible flying options. Whether you choose high season or off season to travel, you should schedule your travels for low traffic or off-peak days and times. Also, if you book connecting flights instead of direct flights you are sure to save some money in airfare. Is there a bus or train route that could justify saving on direct flights? Any opportunity to save money is a good one, except you’re hard pressed for time, which can be avoided if you plan ahead. What’s more, you can use the stop between flights to prepare for your next adventure.
6. Know your hotel options. Remember to make use of points or travel and miles in booking hotels or guesthouses. Hotels often offer deals on their websites or through other travel and booking sites. Compare the offerings of hotels, motels and guesthouses or bed and breakfasts to see what you are comfortable with. Find deals for temporary housing options that offer some free services like Wi-Fi or find ones located near libraries and restaurants where you can access those services, because you will need them to contact family when you’ve landed or to finish and send off that email.
7. Transportation. If you’re working on a strict budget, you may want to consider buying a bus pass or use ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft (or local options). Taxis are usually a more expensive option, so plan to avoid using one except it is absolutely necessary. Whatever you choose, you want to prepare an itinerary ahead of time, so you know your routes and plan the options (and costs) for traveling back and forth.
8. Make copies of your passport and other documents. Save digital copies to your email or phone for easy access in case your passport and wallet get missing. You’ll be amazed how often that can happen. You do not want to be stuck in a different country, no matter how enjoyable the adventure. 9. Get the necessary vaccinations. Find out what vaccinations are needed and take them. If you have kids, there’s always a chance of a scraped knee, so carry a first aid kit with sanitizer, sunscreen, ointments and band-aids for minor cuts or scrapes. This may save an expensive trip to the hospital.
10. Invest in good walking shoes. You are certain to go on tours or walks around the city or country, so bring along some sturdy walking shoes to protect your feet. There are usually stores to purchase walking shoes, but there are no guarantees they will be budget friendly.
11. Have an extra charger to juice up your devices. Hotels and many public places may have extra chargers and charging ports, but you don’t want to be standing in line waiting to charge and miss a call, a bus, or a good photo opportunity.
12. Pack light. Except your travels involve formal events, you should bring along casual clothing or clothing fit for the weather. For instance, if traveling to a tropical location, you need to pack more of shorts and shirts. After You Arrive
13. Be open to trying new food. Food is an important part of peoples’ culture so you’d want to fully experience the local culture.
14. Network with Locals. before and after arriving. Use safe apps like Meetup to find groups and meet new people. Be open to meeting people, that’s a major part of your adventure. Ask them about local laws and norms. This will help you to be respectful. Also, while you’re at it, learn a few words of the local language. Locals are always excited to teach you the language. Struggling with that Spanish or French class? Who better to learn from than a native speaker!
15. Use reliable Channels. Ask officials like hotel staff for information. You’re less likely to go wrong or miss your way using their advice.
16. Attractions and Sight-seeing: book activities ahead of time, look for free activities like free walking tours. They give you an opportunity to learn about the city you’re visiting and ask questions to satisfy your curiosity. Ask the hotel staff and the locals for such opportunities. When you find them, select one and go. It gives you an opportunity to meet other travelers and makes it easier to get in those steps. Although, who’s counting calories on an adventure?
17. Use a map. Maps can be very helpful, particularly if you’re driving. However, don’t panic if you decide to ditch the map for some spontaneity and veer off course. It may add extra gas costs to your travel, but what’s a trip without a little unplanned adventure? Just take care and be sure such detours are safe.
18. Think safety! Carry a lock for your bags and lock up your bags while you’re out of the hotel. Pack a flashlight, especially if you’re travelling to a country that experiences frequent interrupted power. Even when travelling to a destination with reliable electricity, pack a flashlight; you never know when you’re going to need it.
19. Food: Research the best places to eat. Book a room with a refrigerator and food. Never eat at a tourist attraction because you can expect the prices to be sky-high. Plan for your biggest meal to be lunch as expensive restaurants often offer discounts on lunch. In some instances, you can even expect to pay as low as half the listed price.
20. Pack daily provisions of snacks and water. If you’re doing any form of hiking or touring on foot, such as walking the great wall of China, you will need some fuel to keep you going. Pack light, but prepare to have enough water for you and your party.
21. Maximize your time. Research about your intended destinations so you can prepare to maximize your time there by seeing all the fun spots. It’s no use returning from a trip and realizing you were minutes away from an attraction you would have loved to see.
22. Free Wi-Fi. Make use of free Wi-Fi wherever you can find it when you’re out and about, but take precaution to avoid identity theft.
23. Learn to haggle at the local markets. Except you’re absolutely fine with paying the ‘tourist price’ for items, be prepared to haggle and negotiate in order to get a good bargain. However, remember you prepared for contingencies so be prepared to sometime shell out a bit more for the experience of a lifetime.
Finally, be patient and have fun! New places often mean new cultures, new attitudes and new requirements. Be patient enough to learn and accommodate them. When you feel stressed call home, go out by the sea or to the mountains (if they have them), take photos of spectacular sights; of and with people (with their permission, of course!). A picture is well worth a thousand words and loved ones left back home will want to experience a taste of it with you. If you have the means, make videos as well as those help us relive our experiences when the adventure has ended