We all love to travel. It gives us such a thrill and it gives us a reason to see the exciting in the mundane, the extraordinary in everyday things and the excitement in new things and new places. However, travel does cost money. Although you do not necessarily have to spend an arm and a leg on travels, it will still cost you some money. So, it is important that you know how to stretch your travel budget to the max.
You want to make sure that your money lasts during the whole duration of your trip without preventing you from enjoying. We all know it is not fun when money is the determining factor of what we can and cannot do. Check these tips on how to the most of your money while on vacation.
Save on flights and transportation costs
Planning your trip ahead of time, at least 6 months in advance, will help you take advantage of all the promos available. How do you know exactly when are the sales happening? Well, do what I did, sign up for newsletters and get updates via Facebook and Twitter. Most deals are entirely based on availability and since most people like to travel on the weekend, you will find the cheapest airfare deals on weekdays. If a nonstop flight is too expensive, you might want to check on stopovers are cheaper.
Another way of saving money on transportation is to travel at night. Travelling at night is the unpopular option so it is cheaper and it also helps you save on accommodations. Most red-eye flights are some of the cheapest options to go from one place to another.
Choose accommodations with a kitchen
Choosing your accommodation is an important thing so regardless if it is a hostel or an apartment rental, you need to find an accommodation that has access to a kitchen. This is one of the best ways to save money on food while traveling, especially if you are traveling for the long term. The option to cook also gives you a unique opportunity to enjoy the destination’s cuisine and also interact with the locals when you go to the farmer’s market to get your supplies.
However, this does not mean that you should just forget trying the local cuisine. You can save on breakfast but you can splurge on the local food during lunch and dinner. There are various affordable fixed price buffets everywhere so take advantage of them. You can also check various websites that offer special discounts in your destinations.
Get off the beaten path
When it comes to being on a budget but still being able to eat well, you should never be afraid to get off the beaten path. The rule of thumb is where are fewer tourists, there are more affordable prices. You will be able to cut your food costs in half if you are willing to move away from the crowds. Affordable food is just a little off the beaten path so be a little adventurous and stretch your budget. Keep your eyes open for local crowds, especially younger people. Where the locals go, you should too.
Don’t be afraid to try street food
Street food is one of the things I look forward to when I travel. It is one of the best ways to experience the local cuisine and interact with people. In Asia, Europe and the Southeast Asia, street food is prevalent and delicious. You can east amazingly good food at just the fraction of the cost when you go to restaurants and fine dining places.
Use public transportation
Using the public transportation in your destination is not only an adventurous and memorable experience, it is also a good way to save money. If you do your research well, there are various cheaper alternatives like buses or trains. If you are staying in one place for a few days, you might also want to look into multi-trip discounts. Nowadays, there are numerous railways and metros which offer unlimited passes for a day or a week or certain periods. If your destination for the day is not that far away, you can consider walking or getting a bike. You get to save money and exercise at the same time.
Don’t be afraid to haggle
Do not be afraid to haggle! You can get free upgrades or a free breakfast if you are willing to ask. Sometimes smaller hotel chains are more than willing to give free upgrades.
Take as much holiday at one time as you’re allowed
The airfare is likely to take a big chunk of your budget if you are going on a long-haul trip. So, it only makes sense to take one longer trip rather than travel on several short trips. However, this can be a bit of a challenge for people whose companies do not allow them to take their holidays in one lump.
If your company does not allow such a thing, you can always incorporate public holidays such as Christmas or Easter but it is necessary to book early to avoid exorbitant prices during peak season. Plan your holidays well so that you can make the most out of them.
Keep track of your spending
Bring a small notebook and list down your expenses, daily. Write down everything you spend money on, be it food, transportation, laundry and other things. Even the little ones which you feel will not hurt your budget must also be listed. Knowing exactly where your money goes will make you more aware of your spending so that you know what to cut down on. Remember that excessive partying and alcohol, as well as unnecessary shopping can hurt your budget. a
Maximizing your budget for travel can help you enjoy travel more because not only does it force you to think creatively, it also means that you get to have more interaction with the locals and with the money you have saved, you just might be able to add one more destination to your list.