Traveling for leisure is among the topmost hobbies worldwide. However, a lot of us are deterred from travel due to high costs involved.
Understandably, traveling to a distant location and staying in hotels, lodges, guest-houses or hostels is expensive.
Add to that costs involved in the sightseeing, local transportation, food and beverages and of course, shopping for souvenirs.
However, traveling need not burn a hole in your pocket or cost a mini fortune. Millions of people of all ages travel within or outside their country every month.
Whether you are Travelling alone or with your family or friends, It is always required to plan a stress–free vacation.But planning a trip can sometimes be an overwhelming and time-consuming task.
So in such situation Travel companies can be used to ease your work and can save a lot of time. They do so despite having limited budgets
Here are 10 ways that can help you save money while traveling and yet make your holiday very enjoyable.
Tested & Proven Ways to Save While Traveling
Thanks to the Internet, there are various ways and means to save money while traveling. Here we discuss 10 such ways in brief.
1) Advance Booking
Regardless whether you are traveling by air, sea, road or rail, book your tickets well in advance. This means, at least 60 to 90 days before your date of travel.
Airlines, cruise companies, railway networks and bus operators offer excellent early bird discounts for people who book confirmed seats in advance.
If lucky, you can get an airline ticket at about 30 percent the cost of regular airfare, if you book early.
However, term and conditions apply to such heavily rebated tickets. Hence, you may not be able to cancel or reschedule your travel.
To avoid such situations, plan your travel well in advance and adhere to the dates.
2) Budget Accommodation
Another major expense involved in travel is accommodation away from home. Nowadays, major international hotel chains like Accor Group offer hotels that suit every budget.
For example, Accor’s budget hotels like Formula-1 and Ibis offer excellent hotel rooms at throwaway prices.
The earlier you book, cheaper the stay. If you are on a shoestring budget, register as a member of Hostelling International.
As a member of HI, you can stay at budget hostels in almost every country around the world as well as major destinations in your homeland. Look for bed-and-breakfast accommodations, since they work cheaper.
3) Sightseeing Tours
Most people believe that sightseeing tours are expensive. This is a sheer myth. Sightseeing tours of a city’s attractions are usually done on buses.
These sightseeing tours allow you to visit a maximum number of major tourist attractions within a span of eight to 10 hours.
Usually, a tour guide will brief you and other tourists about the attraction and you get ample time to take pictures as cherished memories of the travel.
On the other hand, trying to visit tourist attractions yourself can prove extremely expensive. It involves you riding different buses or trains and buying tickets, where required.
4) Local Food
Majority of travelers are wary about consuming local food. Instead, they patronize restaurants where they get meals that suit their native palates and tastes.
Further, you may also be wary of street-side food due to fear of infections. This is another myth that you need to bust.
Restaurants that serve your native cuisine in a distant place are invariably expensive. This is because food from your region is considered rare and hence commands a higher price.
Also, procuring raw materials is expensive, which forces restaurants to up their menu prices. Instead, try local food.
Tasting local food imparts an added thrill to your travel and saves a lot of money since such restaurants are patronized by locals. Stiff competition among local restaurants means low prices.
Street-side food, when cooked before you and consumed warm is free of disease-causing pathogens simply because microbes cannot survive the heat.
Hence, you save a lot and enjoy your holidays by slightly altering your food habits.
5) Cash over Cards
Understandably, we live in an era where plastic currencies like credit and debit cards are accepted widely by all retail outlets.
However, withdrawing cash in a foreign country with a debit card issued by your home bank attracts exorbitant fees. T, the same holds true for credit cards used in a foreign country. The best way to save money while traveling is to reduce cash withdrawal and use of credit cards.
Instead, carry sufficient local and foreign currency notes. Fluctuating currency exchange prices provide some level of buffer against buying and selling rates.
Additionally, having limited cash means you are forced to live within a stipulated budget. Also, leave large amounts of cash for safekeeping with the hotel wherever possible or open a local bank account which is available for tourists.
Deposit your cash in this local account since withdrawals do not attract stiff bank charges.
6) Local Transport Passes
You may have to travel on local transport from your hotel to various places during your stay. Buying a short-term pass saves a lot of hassle and money.
Further, it works much cheaper than traveling on cabs. At most places, you can buy passes that are valid for 24 hours, three days, a week, fortnight or a month for local transport such as bus, train, and trams, where available.
These passes also allow you to visit off-beat places in the city you have traveled and experience sights, sounds and flavors of the place without burning a hole in your pocket.
Sometimes, hotels and accommodation facilities at a destination may not permit you to wash clothes except innerwear.
In such cases, try and find a Laundromat.
A Laundromat is a public facility where you pay to use a washing machine. They are known by different names in various countries.
Washing clothes at Laundromats save you precious money that otherwise would be spent on expensive laundry services provided by hotels or those outside.
The service is available at most major tourist destinations around the world, especially at locations that cater to budget travelers. Carry a travel iron for your clothes.
8) Local Mobile Number
Surely you would love to call relatives and friends while on travel. Carrying your home mobile number is fine if you can afford the blasphemous rates levied by service providers for network roaming.
Instead, buy a local mobile number, which is available fairly easily for tourists in most countries.
Such mobile numbers allow you to make phone calls cheap and receive free since network roaming is not required.
Alternatively, use public phones by buying prepaid calling cards. Using a local mobile number of landline calling card helps save a lot of money on phone calls you will make during travel.
9) Shop Locally
A great way to save money while traveling is to shop locally. This means, avoiding stores in areas that are frequented by large numbers of tourists.
Retailers in tourist areas tend to charge considerably more for their wares since they believe that visitors are unaware of local prices or are willing to pay extra.
Instead, shop in areas that are away from tourist haunts since rates will be invariably cheaper. Also, look for handicraft emporia and other stores operated by governments, Non-Government Organizations, and cooperatives.
Here you will find excellent souvenirs of superior quality at very affordable rates. You can save as much as 30 percent by buying at these outlets instead of patronizing those in tourist areas.
10) Use Coupons
An excellent example of saving money while traveling is visiting Orlando, Florida, the city famous for its theme parks such as Disney, Universal, and Warner Bros, among others.
Though this city attracts millions of visitors from the US and other countries, myriad coupons that allow tourists to save money on everything from coffee and donuts to hotel accommodation, meals, transport, booze and entry tickets to attractions are available online.
Look for websites that offer coupons to get attractive discounts at the destination. Coupons in Orlando, for example, offer discounts between five and 10 percent on dining, free rides for kids on city buses and other benefits which help you save money.
Beware of Special Offers
Very often, perfectly legitimate businesses make special offers to tourists such as stay for two nights to get the third free at the hotel. You may be tempted to avail these offers. Before opting for any special offer, read the fine print carefully. There are countless incidences where unsuspecting tourists have ended up paying higher than the regular price by availing of bogus special offers.
There are a few more ways to save money while traveling. One is by saving bills of every purchase, including accommodation, food and shopping at the destination.
Some countries refund Value Added Tax to foreign tourists for purchases made during the visit. Such VAT returns have to be filed upon returning to your homeland.
The money you get may not be very considerable but it helps get back some part of your spend. Remember, people from all walks of life and varying budgets are bitten by the travel bug.
They travel despite having limited resources and enjoy their trips to the fullest.
They acquaint themselves with how to access various facilities at the destination for cheap. Hence, you too can do some research on the Internet to learn how to save money while traveling.