Welcome to Save Your Bucks and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 money-saving travel tips. Are you a fan of our money-saving articles? Be sure to subscribe to Save Your Bucks and join our Facebook community for people like you who want to Save, Make and Invest Money.
For this list, we’re looking at tips and tricks that will help save you money on your next vacation.
1. Shop Around for Flights
I live in the Atlanta, Georgia area and Delta has a huge hub here. What is the largest airline flying out of your airport? I don’t know about you, but my natural reaction is to check Delta for flights and forget it. This has proven over and over to be a mistake if you really want to save money on airline flights.
This piece of advice cannot be overstated. While it’s easy to settle for the first flight you come across, you’ll save a lot more money if you take some time to examine your other options. Nowadays, there are hundreds of different apps and comparison websites that make it quick and easy to shop for flights, allowing you to find the best deals in a matter of minutes. And remember sometimes, even when flying, there’s over one route to your destination, so be sure to weigh all of your options first.
Our favorite resource for travel is still Booking.com
We have found it to consistently offer the best deals on all our airline and travel needs.
2. Always Pack Snacks
We’ve all browsed the airport shops for a last-minute snack only to discover that they’re charging 10 bucks for a bag of chips. To avoid the pitfalls of overpriced snacks, be it at an airport hotel or museum swing by a corner store before starting your day.
Their prices will usually be much cheaper and you can stock up on an array of different treats that will not only save you money but will also keep you on the go. Having a snack on hand is the perfect remedy for that mid-afternoon crash you’re certain to get after walking around a foreign city for six hours in the sun.
3. Understand Your Credit Card Terms When Traveling Abroad
You must know in advance how you’re going to pay for things. While you should always have some local currency on hand, your credit card will more than likely be doing the brunt of the work. You must understand how it works while traveling.
Before leaving for your trip check to see if your card charges a foreign transaction fee. Most cards do, but some don’t and this can save you a lot of money in the long run. Obviously, it is prudent to plan on using a card that has no foreign transaction fees. It’s also important that you don’t allow merchants to convert sales into the currency of your home country as the rates will often be inflated.
This is a money-saving tip that many neglect when traveling.
4. Use Apps
Once upon a time, travelers had to purchase maps, visit travel agents and talk to other people to find out where the best local eateries were. Man, the nineties were a tough time to be alive.
Nowadays, technology has not only made traveling easier, but it’s also made it cheaper with thousands of valuable, money-saving, apps only a click away. Tourists can now download maps, translation tools and guidebooks for free, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You can now browse flight and hotel apps for up to the minute notifications on deals that are being offered. Just make sure you remember to pack your phone charger.
5. Choose a Less Popular Country City for Your Vacations
One of the easiest ways to save money while traveling is to visit a less popular country or city. Many eastern European countries are considerably cheaper than their western counterparts while still being able to offer exceptional views, fun attractions, and loads of historical monuments. Similarly, the amount of money it costs to visit a particular city is usually tied to how popular that city is.
Liverpool may not be as flashy as London, but you can bet your bottom dollar it’s cheaper. Notoriously expensive countries like Australia and Japan can be visited on a budget as long as you don’t spend too much time in their largest cities.
6. Ravel During the Low Season
While spending a weekend in Manhattan during the Christmas holiday sounds terrific. It may not be the wisest choice if you’re trying to cut costs. One of the best ways to travel on a budget is to visit popular locations during their low seasons. The south of France might be a touch chillier in October, but you’ll likely find better deals than if you visit in July. Similarly, countries like Greece and Croatia have reduced their prices during the off-season as a way of increasing tourism.
7. Plan on Hitting up Free Attractions
As the old saying goes, free is always better. Most countries are loaded with free attractions. All you have to do is look, for example, many cities will offer free admittance to museums or art galleries depending on what day of the week it is, while others will put on free festivals, that will only cost you part of your schedule, and if you’re a student, don’t forget to bring your student Id card. It’ll often allow you to receive reduced fees and sometimes free admittance. Planning your trip around free attractions is a wonderful way to save money when traveling.
8. Eat Like a Local
If you travel to countries as gastronomically, enlightened as France and Italy only to eat at McDonald’s, you’re missing out and probably spending more than you think. We think that fast food is a cheaper alternative to local eateries, but you can get an authentic rice bowl from a Thai street vendor for less than a dollar and the taste will blow your mind.
Similarly, hundreds of different mom-and-pop restaurants in every country use local foods instead of pricing imported goods, meaning the food is fresh, authentic, and cheap or you can always hit up the local supermarket and make your own meal.
9. Walk or Take Public Transit
Walking is a wonderful way to cut costs, the way to see more while traveling is to walk or take public transportation. Many cities offer day passes that give you access to their transit network for a relatively low price. The last time we were in Las Vegas on business, we purchased a 3-day public transit pass and rode the Monorail from venue to venue, it was much less stressful and we enjoyed the views.
Riding the bus is also a great way to experience a city like a local that won’t hurt your wallet. If walking is more your speed, then you’re in luck. It costs absolutely nothing and it is the single greatest way to soak up the culture of any city. Lather on some sunscreen grabbed some water and hit the streets. There will be sights, sounds and smells galore.
10. User Apartment or Home Rentals
Welcome to the 21st century where hotels are out and home rentals are in. If you want to save a ton of money, live in a fully furnished home or apartment and feel like a local renting is your best option. While a week-long hotel rental will likely cost you upwards of $1,000.
Sites like Airbnb and Craig’s list offer bargain prices for unique rental properties all over the world. Browse through hundreds of different listings and choose what’s right for you. You’ll deal directly with the homeowner who will be available every step of the way to troubleshoot any issues you may encounter. Rentals are the ultimate money-saving travel tip.
At the time of this writing, I am getting ready to spend a few days in Orlando on business. I thought I would do a quick check on Craigs List for Vacation Rentals to see what I might find. This is newly furnished and has a private pool, for $85! Looks like I have a plan!
There is a good chance that if you have read this article, you have probably already seen the Travel Agent Revenge at some point. If not, YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST SEE IT!
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