One of the most frequent questions I get asked is “how do you afford to travel so much?” Although I have been on a travel hiatus for personal reasons in the last year, I have not kicked the travel bug (and never will). Traveling DOESN’T have to be expensive! With careful planning and a bit of research, you can save a lot of money. Here are my top 8 tips for saving money while on vacation.
|Money Saving Tips|
1. Don’t eat in touristy areas
I can’t stress this enough. Of course restaurants are going to take advantage of you in the most touristy spots and charge you way more than you should pay. Walk a couple blocks away from the tourist spots or do research to see where locals eat. Speaking from personal experience, the food and service in tourist hot spots is usually of poor quality.
2. Go grocery shopping
When we were in Barcelona, my husband and I bought our breakfast and daily snacks at a grocery store near by. We saved so much money! We did the same when visiting Japan, South Korea, and Austria. There is no need to spend all of your money on food. You will also find all sorts of cool products you have never seen before and can try out more for less at a grocery store.
3. Use public transportation
A lot of cities I have visited had reliable and affordable public transportation. In Los Angeles I took a bus from LAX to Santa Monica for $1! It took an hour but I got to see different parts of LA, and didn’t have to spend a fortune on a taxi. Added bonus, there was free Wi-Fi! Do your research though, in some cities it might be sketchy to take public transit, especially at night.
4. Pick hotels away from the main tourist attractions
When we were in Barcelona, Milan and Vienna, we stayed in hotels that were on the subway line, but away from the tourist attractions. We saved so much by just being a couple of stops away from the city centers.
5. Compare prices of accommodations
A lot of people think that staying in a hostel is the only place to stay when on budget. This may be true for solo travelers, but traveling with at least one other person could help you lower the cost when getting a hotel room or AirBnB when the cost is split. A lot of hostels charge per person, so take a look at how much a hotel would cost. If the same, go with a hotel and get some proper sleep.
6. Bring a reusable water bottle
Not only is this friendly for your wallet, but the environment too. Always check to see if the local tap water is safe to drink, if so, fill up and save lots of money. In countries where bottled water is a must, buy large bottles and fill up your own. You will save a lot!
7. Don’t tip
Tipping isn’t always necessary. In a lot of countries it isn’t the norm. In some, like South Korea, it is considered offensive. Check to see if tipping is common before you go, and don’t feel obligated to tip if you had terrible customer service.
8. Get travel insurance
This might sound expensive, but it really isn’t. If something were to go horribly wrong while you are on vacation, the last thing you need to worry about is how you will pay for your medical bills. This can be especially expensive in countries like the US (I would never step foot there without it).
Do you have any money saving tips to share? Leave them in the comments below.