OK, travelling isn’t the cheapest activity on earth, but some people take that fact to mean: “it has to be expensive.” This is not true! If you take a few small steps for keeping your expenses down, you’ll quickly come to see that you can reduce your costs by up to a quarter – and really, that’s without really trying! In so doing, you’ll be able to spend more of your money on the things that you like, and less on the things that you don’t. We take a look at some easy to follow rules below, which conveniently apply to most all destinations, too.
Go No Thrills
The majority of your holiday budget will be spent on getting to your destination. But of course, how much your travel costs can vary widely. If you have an eye on your budget, then opt to fly with a no-thrills airline, wherever possible. It would be nice to go with an upmarket airline, of course, but it’s an illogical added expense that you can comfortably live without. It’s also worthwhile sometimes checking whether flying is the best option, too. In some cases, it can be cheaper and not all that much longer to travel by bus or shared car ride.
Don’t Be At The Mercy of the Airports
Airports provide a valuable service, but boy do they like to remind you of it. Once you’ve passed security, you’ll find that, as if by miracle, the price of just about everything has shot up by astronomical amounts. If you’re a couple, it’s really not that unfeasible that you’ll spend the cost of a fancy dinner in the place you’re travelling to, just as you’re waiting for your flight. And the cost of parking your car? That can be eye-watering too. Fortunately, you have options to help keep the costs down. For your car, you can check out the options from Airport Parking Helper. When it comes to, you know, not starving when you’re at the airport, the solution is simple: take your own food through! You can’t take liquids through security, but most foods are fair game.
Getting Into the City
When you land, head right past the long line of people waiting for a taxi, and look for the public transport. In nearly all tourist destinations, taxis have a “flat rate” from the airport which is much more expensive than it should be. It’s a way for the government to make money of travellers, usually. The bus might be ever so slightly less convenient, but it’ll be a fraction of the cost. And there’s an added value to travelling this way, too – you’ll get to mix with the locals as soon as you’re off the plane. Really, the money that you would spend on a taxi is better spent elsewhere.
What Are You Paying For?
Aside from your flight, the thing that’ll end up costing you the most money is the accommodation. This can be somewhat frustrating, especially if you’re visiting a place where you know you’ll really only be using wherever you’ve booked to sleep. If you’re not going to be spending any time there, then why spend the bulk of your travel budget on accommodation? Spend it on bigger and better things! Now, we’re not suggesting that you buy a tent and pitch up in a city park, but that you don’t get too bogged down on finding the perfect place, which will cost you more money than you’d like to spend! Having said that, if you think you will spend enough time in your accommodation to justify a high price, then get a place with a kitchen – it’ll help you to save money on another big expense, food.
Where the Locals Eat
And talking of food, don’t fall into the trap of eating every dinner at a tourist trap restaurant. These places are overpriced, usually have low-quality food, and don’t over anything by way of local experience – you’ll be surrounded by people who aren’t from the place you’re visiting either. It’s much better to eat where the locals eat. A good rule of thumb is to find where the “tourist centre” is, and then walk five minutes in any direction. Those places will be populated by people who live there. Also, if you’re visiting a country where English is not the main language, and the menu is entirely (or primarily) in English, then you’re in an overpriced tourist zone!
You’ll want to spend some money on attractions when you’re travelling. After all, you can’t head away from home and not see anything new! But before you pay big dollar on gaining entry to these attractions, see if there’s a free time slot. Most museums and the like have days or evenings when the cost of entry is reduced or completely free.
Yet while you’ll want to visit some attractions, that doesn’t mean you have to visit all the attractions! If you don’t have a particular interest in, say, art, then visiting a single art gallery is likely to be enough. Instead, focus on the simple pleasures in life. You can gain a deep understanding of the city you’re visiting just by going for a walk through the park or around the neighbourhoods. And, of course, this won’t cost a penny.
Go Easy on the Souvenirs
The greatest thing you take away from your travels will be the memories, not the souvenirs! In fact, if you buy too many souvenirs, then you’ll only end up throwing some away a year down the line anyway – an expensive mistake to make! It’s better to buy one quality item rather than a handful of sub-par items.
Finally, think about how you’ll get around. Taxis are the most convenient, but you’ll rack up an expensive bill if you’re hailing a cab every time you need to go somewhere. Where possible, go for public transport. You’ll be effectively removing the “getting around” aspect of your budget, and you’ll still get to where you need to be….