Are you planning a budget for your next overseas holiday? Your inspiring adventure doesn’t have to break the bank. Check out seven secret money saving travel tips, to keep your wallet happy and your finances under control.
When you’ve invested time and effort in a travel budget, you want it to stretch as far as possible. Thinking outside the box can make all the difference in securing the best prices, so you keep your hard-earned cash for the holiday you deserve.
1. Fly indirect and at the cheapest times
We’re bombarded by flight deals in the media and sometimes they’re spot on. However, clever advertising often means we spontaneously book, without doing further research. Before you do, search for flights from weekday to weekday, rather than on the weekends.
Fly indirect and enjoy a stopover, as these flights are generally cheaper. Check alternative arrival airports in outlying suburbs, as the cost of a train or bus to your final destination might be worth the lower flight price.
2. Eliminate baggage fees
We’ve all either experienced, or observed someone frantically rearranging a suitcase at the airport to avoid exorbitant fees – especially on the way home. Avoid this by wearing the heaviest items, like jackets and boots, on the plane. Invest in a suitable carry-on bag for books, souvenirs and extras. Always weigh each piece of luggage, before you leave home.
Pre-book Adventure Activities
3. Pre-book transport, attractions and adventure activities
Most major attractions and activity companies have online booking systems with great discounts for pre-bought tickets. Plus, these often allow you to avoid the dreaded queues, when you get there. If you’re considering train or bus travel, research the country’s public transport system, as you can buy all-inclusive tickets before you arrive, like an Oyster Card in London.
Airbnb is fast overtaking hotels, with cheaper deals on units, villas and studio rooms within the owner’s property.
4. Try different accommodation
A fabulous hotel is just what you need to fully relax on holidays. However, alternatives can be just as good. Airbnb is fast overtaking hotels, with cheaper deals on units, villas and studio rooms within the owner’s property. This way you can self-cater, which is especially useful with kids. Many apartments are just as central as hotels, with pools, entertainment areas and added luxuries.
5. Download travel apps
Forget about buying, or packing maps, guide or phrase books when you can download apps to find the best deals at your destination and stay informed. Examples include Citymapper, which offers journey planner details across 30 cities worldwide, a free language learner app called Duolingo and XE Currency to stay up to date on the latest rates.
Withdrawing money overseas can incur a lot of charges. The best way to avoid them, is to research how much cash you’ll need for a certain amount of time and withdraw it in a large sum. Be aware that exchange rates are often more expensive at airports, so exchange your currency at a reputable bank instead.
Eat Like a Local
7. Eat like a local
Now to the fun part! Though it’s tempting to head to the touristic ‘eat streets’, eating like a local opens your tastebuds to new sensations. The best part is, local restaurants, markets or street stalls are generally great-value for money. If you’re concerned about hygiene, such as in Bali or India, ask at your hotel or a tourist information centre for recommendations.
The number one sign of a great local restaurant, is happy clientele spilling out onto the street. Go in, enjoy and know that you’ll save loads on food, which is without a doubt the top money saving secret of the travel experts.
Nicole Leigh West
Nicole Leigh West is the author of fiction novel, 'The Gypsy Trail' and an internationally recognised travel and lifestyle writer.
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