the world's smartest travel social network
You’ll finally have some time to relax and forget about your worries, and you're dreaming of your next trip to an exotic destination. The last thing you want to think about is your budget, but still, we all know that traveling can be expensive. If you’re reading this article, you’re trying to figure out strategies to see the world and enjoy your vacations without spending a fortune. And besides, who doesn’t like saving money? Especially when you can put that money to better use – like another vacation. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to cut costs on your next trip:
The first place to cut costs is with airline tickets. You can use sites like Skyscanner to look for the cheapest flights available. Airline fares can vary depending on the country from where you’re searching. The website will detect your IP address and show you different offers according to how much they think people from that particular country would be willing to pay. You can go around this by using a VPN and trying different IP addresses to make sure you get the best price.
You’ll also want to be flexible about your travel dates. For example, if you travel off-season you’ll save money not only on flights, but on accommodation as well. Another advantage is that you’ll be able to avoid the crowds when sightseeing.
In regards to flights, even one or two weeks' difference can result in significant savings. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are generally the cheapest days to fly, and it’s best to book your tickets somewhere between three weeks and four months before your trip. On many platforms you can set fare alerts, and you’ll get a notification when they drop.
If you travel often, we also recommend that you get a priority pass, which will help you save money at the airport. You’ll get access to lounges and nap rooms so you won’t have to pay an arm and a leg for a bottle of water and a sandwich. Another advantage is that since you have access to nap rooms, you can book flights with longer layovers that will help you save more money.
The currency exchange rates in airports tend to be higher than what you would get in the city. Maybe you’re thinking: But I need cash to leave the airport? There are a few ways you can get around this. You can exchange currency at your local bank before traveling. If this is not possible, you can also withdraw money from an ATM in the local currency. Although you may be charged a service fee, this is lower than the rates at the currency exchange booth. In some countries, for taxis and trains, you can use a credit card that doesn’t have international transaction fees.
The main point is that you should avoid exchanging money at the airport as much as possible. If you really have to, then exchange only the amount you need immediately because you’ll find better rates once you leave the airport.
When you’re traveling, a large portion of your budget will go on lodging. But you’re not going someplace to stay in your room, you’re there to see the sites and enjoy new experiences. If you’re going to stay in a hotel, which is usually the most expensive option, don’t get the best room. Since you’ll just be sleeping there, you don’t need that many luxuries. It’s the same with amenities. Are you really going to visit the gym in your hotel while on vacation?
If you’re traveling with your kids, staying in a hotel might not be the best idea, since the extra space you’ll need will be very expensive. In that case, we recommend you rent an apartment or join a home exchange program. It will be much cheaper, and since you’ll have a washing machine and a fully equipped kitchen, it will help you save even more money. Some people really don’t like to cook while on vacation, but fixing up some breakfast with things you bought at supermarket prices won’t take that much effort, and you don’t have to get up early to eat breakfast at your hotel.
If you don’t have kids, hostels are a great option. It’s not just because they’re very affordable, you’ll also have the chance to meet interesting people and make friends you can go on adventures with. Keep in mind that many hostels offer free accommodation and food if you help out at the reception desk.
In terms of location, if you stay somewhere farther away from the main tourist attractions, it tends to be cheaper, but you also have to consider transportation. You’ll want to check if there’s a subway or a bus to get to the city at an affordable rate, or you’ll have to take taxis or rent a car.
One obvious way to save money when traveling is to buy fewer things. If you’re one of those people who like to buy trinkets to remind them of places they’ve been, you probably know very well that they end up collecting dust on your bookshelves. On the other hand, most of us do like to go through our vacation photos to remember the good times. You have a phone with a camera - that's more than enough to get all the souvenirs you need. If you really want to take your travel photos to the next level, you can get a high-end camera. It will be a much better investment.
Another great way to save money is to use public transit as much as possible. Since we now have apps like Google Maps, you don’t have to be a local to figure out which bus to take to get to your destination. Taxis are very affordable in some countries, but if you’re going somewhere where this isn’t the case, we recommend that you opt for public transportation. You can even look online for multi-day passes to cut costs as much as possible. Walking is also an excellent way to explore a new city, especially with all the delicious restaurant meals you’ll enjoy since you’re learned so many ways to save money during your trips.