Most people think that traveling means spending too much of their hard-earned money. However, that’s not always the case. Travelers can still save money by knowing effective guidelines on how to save money while traveling. Among the guidelines and one of the cheapest way to travel is to find something free. Yes, travelers may be able to get free items like food tasting, free souvenirs, etc. as long as they know how to communicate well with local people. Learn how as I will discuss below the 8 ways to save money on vacation.
Prepare Everything Ahead of Time
1. Plan the whole travel
The planning stage of every travel doesn’t stop just knowing where to go. Travelers must consider where to stay, what to visit, how to communicate with the locals, what to bring, etc. Even ways to save money on vacation must also be taken into consideration. Spending way too much of the budget might put a traveler into a financial problem at the end of the trip.
In recent interviews of other travelers, they even discussed the importance of planning even the clothes they will be wearing during the day. Then eventually mix and match all their clothes during the vacation. In this way, they can maximize their baggage capacity.
Planning the whole travel is indeed the most effective step on how to save money while traveling, Though planning a trip can be very time consuming, it’s absolutely worth the effort. There’s absolutely a high chance to find the cheapest way to travel to a particular place.
2. Bring enough toiletries
Toiletries can be easily found in local grocery stores. However, these items can be very expensive at times. Like for example, some parts in Europe sell 500 grams of laundry soap for about $10. While in the USA, a travel can buy more than 3 kilos of laundry soap for $10. The savings from toiletries maybe not that significant, but it can absolutely help a traveler to maximize his or her budget.
3. DIY travel itineraries
Travelers must create their own DIY travel itineraries rather than buying a tour in a travel agency. In this way, they can freely choose the itineraries based on their personal interest plus the best deals as well. For example, the cheapest way to travel with family members or friends is to find family or group deals for admissions.
It wouldn’t be easy to find places to travel, to look how much the admission fee will cost per visit, to learn the transportation means when getting there and a lot more. Despite tedious work, it’s absolutely worth it.
Though DIY can be one of the most dangerous and inconvenient ways to save money on vacation, this will give the most memorable part of the whole travel. Truly, it’s the adventure that all travelers are looking forward to every time they visit new places.
Try to be a Local
4. Eat street foods
Avoid eating in a high-end restaurant. Rather, try eating in eateries or try grabbing streets foods on the go. Try looking for authentic foods that will satisfy the cravings. Just make sure to find an establishment or a food cart with a clean area and decent looking server or cook. Eating street foods may not be the safest way, but definitely, the cheapest way to travel.
5. Talk to the locals
How to save money while traveling by simply talking to the locals? So easy! Be friendly to the locals. Learn even the basics of their language. Memorize simple greetings like Hi, Hello, Good Morning, Good Afternoon, etc. Saying these words with their own language will truly melt their hearts. It shows appreciation, excitement, respect and a lot more so better to learn the language. No need to worry about the pronunciation because most of them will correct it. Installing a language application on a phone comes very handy at all times.
During my visit to Alanya, Turkey, I’ve decided to buy their Shisha or Hookah as a souvenir. Luckily, I’ve found one souvenir shop selling it at a far lower price compared to his competitors. The seller was so friendly. We actually had a simple, yet quite a long conversation about things like the Perks of Working in a Cruise Line and a lot more. As he started to wrap my souvenir, I asked him if he could provide a box for it so it will be safe. He went upstairs and look for it, but instead of a box, he provided a wonderful hand-made wooden case. Take note, with no extra charge!
The same thing happened when I, together with my friends, dined in a restaurant somewhere in Kusadasi, Turkey. One of the four sons of the owner served us. Most of the time when we’re eating, we’re also chitchatting with this guy. Then just after we finished our meal and paid the bills, he offered a free Turkish tea for us. Though the tea was served in a shot glass, making the price negligible enough, we still appreciate his gesture. He also discussed their tea drinking habits and how their tea differs from other nations.
Even in one store in Vatican City, the lady offered a free souvenir t-shirt since I bought around 60 Euro worth of their souvenirs. Of course, we had a small conversation that’s why I’ve got a free shirt. So basically, being friend with the locals is the most effective and cheapest way to travel. Have in mind that the more discounts, the more savings.
6. Ride in Public Transportations
Always ride in public transportation to save money. As much as possible, try to avoid riding a cab. Since taking cabs can be very expensive as some drivers overcharging their passengers. Remember that cab drivers can easily be noticed if their rider is a local or a tourist. This only means that they will charge far beyond the actual amount if they’ve noticed that their passenger is a tourist.
The only problem in public transportation is the high possibility of getting lost. In some instances, signs are written in their own language without any English translation on it. So it’s really a good idea to have a foreign language application handy on a mobile phone. Overall, taking public transportation is one of the most effective ways to save money on vacation.
Have a Clear Distinction between Needs and Wants
7. Stick to the budget
Never ever go beyond the budget. Right before a traveler leave for vacation, a budget list on a daily basis must be written. This budget must include the admission fees (for tours), hotel fees, meal allowances, prepaid loads (such as internet and international phone calls), souvenir budgets and transportation allowances. Also add an extra allowance for other future expenses, such as shopping expenses for clothes. It is better to have an extra to avoid ruining the entire budget.
8. Buy one kind of souvenir
The cheapest way to travel without going beyond the budget is to stick in one kind of souvenir. The most common souvenir item is a magnet, but there are some other options too like t-shirts, caps, plates, spoons, etc. Make sure to stick in one kind so it will be easy to maintain the collection. Buying various kinds of souvenirs can be really expensive.
Based on my personal experience, I’ve collected so many kinds of stuff during my first few travels. My collections consist of magnets, miniature souvenirs, spoons and even local currencies. All of these collections of mine cost me hundreds of dollars. Later on, I’ve decided to lessen my collections to magnets, miniatures, and currencies. I was able to save lots of money during my next travels. So sticking into one kind of souvenir is one of the most effective ways to save money on vacation, which allows travelers to bring home all the memories of all their travel adventures.
*** These 8 tips on how to save money while traveling are just a few examples that every traveler can follow. It’s always been wise to find ways to save money on vacation and not only spend most of the time. ***