Travelling abroad can certainly be exciting, but it doesn’t come cheap. Thankfully, these 8 travel tips will help you cut down on costs so you can spend your hard-earned money on what really matters.
While the worldwide quarantine has certainly taken its toll on all of us, there’s one industry, in particular, that’s been profoundly affected by this ongoing situation: the travel industry.
After months of being locked down in our home turfs, it’s unsurprising that so many are currently suffering from a bad case of wanderlust. Instead of bemoaning the circumstances in which we all now find ourselves, we should instead use this time to strategise how we’d like to plan out our next travel plans (whenever they may be!).
Here are eight smart money-saving travel tips that you can apply once travel picks up again (after all, you shouldn’t have to break the bank to enjoy the world)!
Have flexible travel plans
When deciding on the date of your travel, you need to be flexible. The reason for this is that the price of a flight will differ dramatically depending on the time and date.
For example, if you have a specific day in mind when you want to travel, you’ll have to settle for whatever price you may find. By not being too specific, you significantly increase your chances of finding a cheaper deal, saving you a fair chunk of coin for your long-awaited holiday.
Also, when possible, try and avoid choosing flights that are during the weekend. They’re almost certainly going to be more expensive as that’s when most people are free to fly.
A subset of being flexible with your travel plans would be to try and travel off-season. If you plan to go during the summer or a seasonal holiday, the prices will undoubtedly go through the roof. The reason for this is that many others will be competing for those very same travel dates and experiences, driving up the price of everything from your hotel stay to your flights significantly.
Instead, try and travel when you know that not a lot of people are going. For example, in the US, early December is commonly regarded as being a ‘dead zone’ by the industry, as it’s sandwiched between two peak holiday seasons – Thanksgiving and Christmas. Southeast Asia, on the other hand, is usually packed with travellers escaping their hometown winters from November to February, making it an exceptionally expensive time to visit. If you’re looking to vacation there on a budget, try going during the rainy season, which differs from country to country.
Take public transportation
Using public transport in an unfamiliar country can certainly be scary, but it’s a cheap and convenient way to get around when you’re abroad. On top of that, it’s also more environmentally friendly and allows you to experience the city like a local.
Book vacation rentals instead of hotels
Hotels are by far the most expensive accommodation option available to you when you travel. Next time, why not look for vacation rentals instead? These can be especially ideal when travelling in large groups or with family, and almost always work out to be considerably cheaper than their posher (and more cramped) counterparts.
On top of that, vacation rentals not only have bigger accommodations, but they also provide more privacy than a hotel room and usually include a kitchen, which can be especially useful when travelling with kids.
Avoid checked baggage fees
As much as possible, you should avoid bringing checked luggage with you, as it’s not only time-consuming but can be costly, as well.
Depending on the airline, checked baggage fees usually aren’t mandatory. However, extra charges do occur on occasions where your bag exceeds the airline’s stipulated carry-on limits. Therefore, it’s advisable that before every flight, you brush up on (and stick to!) your allocated baggage allowance so as to avoid any additional costs, as these can get quite hefty!
Save on your foreign currency exchange
Instead of doing it overseas, it’s always better to withdraw money before you travel. That way, you avoid any additional charges that come with withdrawing from a foreign bank.
Oh, and remember: never, ever, ever, ever exchange currency at the airport. While it may be convenient, it’ll also be costly. So instead, make sure that you plan ahead and shop around at home for the best deal.
Eat like a local
Local cuisine is likely to be cheaper than if you eat at a restaurant. Eating like a local also allows you to know more about your destination’s culture while saving a fair bit of money.
Check out free attractions
You can have fun in another country without having to spend a lot of money if you know where to look. All you need to do is check out the free attractions near you.
Some examples of free attractions include:
• Museums and art galleries
• National parks
• Historic sites and statues
• Churches and cathedrals
• Local beaches
Let’s face it, travel is expensive. However, it doesn’t have to be bank-breaking expensive for you so long as you strategise beforehand.
With these eight money-saving travel tips, you can have fun without having to spend too much. Try these tips out once the travel industry picks up again and enjoy your trip, even on a limited budget.