Is there anyone on this planet who doesn’t like to travel? Travel gives you the priceless experience that you would never get if you stayed only in one place. It helps you gain and nurture unique qualities that you wouldn’t even know you had if you didn’t leave your home and wonder the world.
Still, we are all much more relaxed on a vacation than in our own city. This sometimes makes us spend more money than we should. It leaves our wallets empty and makes us go through financial hardship at least until we receive the next wage.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. These are the eight tips to help you save money while traveling. Some of them are really smart, so read on.
Search for free activities
You don’t have to pay for everything you do. With just a bit of research, you can find numerous free activities in the place you are staying.
If you want to get the most out of free activities, check community calendar or do a self-guided walking tour to see some interesting events and get to know your destination better.
In addition, some museums, for instance, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, let you pay what you can for the ticket on all days or on certain days of the week. Some museums also have discounted admission at later hours during the day.
Carry snacks and water with you
It often happens that you get thirsty while walking around, especially if it is hot outside. If your three-year-old child gets thirsty, you have to give them some water to refresh themselves even if your only option is to buy a $5 bottle of water.
Local vendors can be really cunning, particularly in high-end destinations, and they would take your last cent if they could. However, you can prevent this by carrying bottles of water and snacks with you wherever you can. You can always refill the bottles, which will save you lots of money over the course of your vacation.
Be smart about your flights
If you can choose when you are going on a trip, by all means, do it. The key to finding cheaper tickets is being flexible about your flight. This means you should be flexible with the day you fly, the time of the day, as well as the number of stops and your seat selection.
Also, you will definitely find cheaper options if you can travel off-season, not only for your flight but for the accommodation as well.
Moreover, make sure you use your bonus points or miles you have earned with your credit card. This allows you to stay at top hotels for free or for just a fraction of the regular price.
Be smart about your accommodation
Instead of staying at a hotel, you can rent a place on Airbnb. Try renting an apartment instead of getting two rooms. You will save a significant amount of money when you rent an apartment or condo.
On the other hand, if you don’t want to pay for your accommodation at all, you can find a place to stay on Couchsurfing or you can choose a housesitting option.
Watch where you eat
You will find a lot of restaurants and fast food stands close to the top tourist attractions. And while the food may be delicious, these places are usually rather expensive.
If you want to save some money, don’t eat in areas near the most popular tourist attractions. Instead, try walking a few blocks and explore other options. They will usually have the food of the same quality, while the price will be considerably lower.
What you can also do is prepare your own food if you are staying at a house or apartment. You can have big breakfast and pack something for later during the day. Then, you can go to an affordable restaurant for dinner and enjoy yourself.
Create a budget
This is one of the most important tips on the list, if not the most important. Creating a budget is a staple of affordable vacations.
This doesn’t mean that you should be too frugal. Instead, you should draw a line between when to save and when to splurge. For example, if you save $50 carrying your own water, you can spend this money on eating out at fancy places.
The key is to stick to your budget ‒ look for ways to save money but also treat yourself from time to time.
When looking for souvenirs to buy, wait until you have seen different offers. Don’t buy them at the first place you find. Instead, shop around and you will surely find cheaper options.
This also goes for national attires. If you love collecting attires from different parts of the world, walk around until you find the best deal.
Not only is walking good for your health but for your wallet too. Try touring the city on foot instead of taking a tour bus, car or taxi.
If you don’t like walking or if the weather is too hot, you can always use public transport or Uber, both of which will be way cheaper than taking a taxi.
As you can see, saving money while traveling doesn’t mean that you have to be too frugal. After all, overthinking your budget is the last thing you want to do while on vacation.
Instead, follow the tips that we have listed and you will see how easy it is to save money even when you are far away from home. Avoid costly flights and accommodation, carry some water and food in your backpack and make sure you shop around for everything as this will help you find more affordable offers.
But the most important thing is to create a budget and stick to it. Then, when you manage to save some money on little things, you will be able to spend it on the things that matter even while still on vacation.