Save on Travel – Travel can suck a lot out of your finance. Months-long savings could be gone in one fell swoop in several days’ vacations. Don’t worry, a lot of people have made costly mistakes in travels. But avoiding it is not as difficult as one might think. How can you save on travel?
Can’t stress enough on the importance of planning. Even if you consider yourself as a spontaneous person who “figures it out as you go” planning ahead would still benefit you greatly. Most of our thoughts and behaviors are dictated by habits and tendencies. Those things when gone without a check, would only breed impulsivity, and this is especially true during travels. The lack of information would possibly lose you a valuable time as well. This is applicable to all aspects of travel. Therefore, get your pen and paper, or your note apps, whichever method of writing you prefer, and get down to researching and planning before your travel!
Save on Travel: Cut Expenses on Food!
Cut on the Dining Out!
Food can easily become the biggest expense if you’re not careful, and this is especially true if you eat out every time you go for a meal, and even more if you go to fancy places. So to save on travel, cut on the dining out! It does not mean you can’t eat out and have fun at all. Reserve your money for special occasions on your travel.
Bring Your Own Snacks
It’s a good idea to bring snacks with you. Traveling often drain more energy from us compared to our average daily lives. Snacking on fruits such as apples and bananas isn’t just delicious, but they also sate some of your hunger until the next meal time arrives, even if you eat only one fruit. They make excellent, healthy travel food. Make sure to take trips to the local supermarkets or even to the traditional markets to get your fruits, and maybe even other ingredients.
It’s an obvious way to save money on your travel. It might not be the most convenient of methods, but it does not have to be a chore as well. There’s simply an unlimited range of meals that you can cook that’s fairly quick, easy, and healthy. Spare some time during the night to prepare your food. In the morning, you might be well too lazy to cook since you’ll be too impatient and ready to burst out of the day to take on the day’s adventure. Even a simple thing such as cooking your own toast (especially if you don’t stay at a hotel and don’t get free breakfast) would already benefit you. You can even prepare the food for lunch, or some stuffing as snacks!
Eat like a local!
First and foremost, in order to eat like a local, you must know what you want to eat. It won’t do just with just having a vague idea about the food. If you have a vague idea on what you want to eat and simply come into a place plastered with, for example, “Authentic Indian Food” on the restaurant banner, you might just end up going to a pricey, touristy place where the food prices have been “adjusted” for tourists.
Locals typically won’t spend a ton of money in one sitting just for a meal. The experience of eating like a local is one that is authentic, but not the kind of “authentic” luxury places advertised. A quick search would reveal plenty of information you need on the type of food you’re interested in. Make sure to do your research and find out how much a particular type of meal cost. Researching is the fool-proof way to save on travel.
Everyone is impulsive. Remember that planning is key to help control this.
Location, location, location.
More than anything, sometimes even price, this is the one thing that you should never overlook. If you already have an itinerary noted down, good. It’s time to work with your itinerary to determine where it’s best for you to stay. Make sure that you’re not saving on accommodation only to splurge on transportation because you end up staying too far from your intended place.
Take notice if the location of your accommodation is convenient for you. You might even want to note down certain things to make your everyday lives easier. For example, is there a convenience store near your staying place? Is there a supermarket, or a traditional market? Is it close to the subways or railways? It’s important to have these general ideas that will indirectly help you save on travel.
Couchsurfing is also a great way to meet travel companions, especially if you’re traveling solo. A lot of people meet their travel buddies through Couchsurfing. If you decide to couchsurf, you’re expected to interact with your hosts, share your experience, and most of all you’re expected to spend some time with them. It’s built with a community in mind. Therefore you need to remember that couch surfing isn’t intended for just people begging for a place to stay for free. Just don’t be that kind of traveler, especially in a place where travel itself is still a luxury to many people. You’re also not expected to stay for a prolonged period of time unless of course, your host allows you to. So it’s definitely not the best way if it’s solely to save on travel.
Couchsurfing is built with the community of travelers in mind; so while a free place to stay is great, make sure you’re actually up for it.
Transportation depends highly on where you’re traveling to. It depends on the country, and even each area in the same country could be very different. Some places have great public transportation facilities, and some places don’t. Make sure to find out as much as possible about the place you’re visiting. Narrow down your research and find out not just about the country, but the area as well. Some places have country-specific apps that locals use every day for transportation, and knowing what they are is extremely useful to save on travel. For example, there’s a Grab app that’s popular in Southeast Asia, then there’s GO-JEK app, one of the most used transportation app in Indonesia. Make sure to do your research.
Walking long distances is feasible in some countries, and it could help you save on travel. Less money for transport! However, it’s also difficult to simply navigate a pedestrian sidewalk in some places. Lack of pedestrian facilities in some countries or areas caused this. This also affects the transport option for taking a bike. So once again, make sure to plan ahead. Knowing these bits of things would save you from a headache.
Rent vehicles. It’s a good option for long-term stays, those that last for over a week. It would prove to be much cheaper compared to multiple taxi rides every time you want to go somewhere. Whether you’re renting cars or scooters, make sure you bring your driver’s license.
Transportation is highly unique to each place. Some places have country-specific apps that locals use every day for transportation. Make good use of it.
Things To Do
Beware tourist traps!
Avoid tourist traps at all costs. Visit free attractions, and don’t pay for entrance fee; simply don’t go to places that require you to pay just to have a look. Some places charge you simply to get a view of the cityscape, a popular example of this is the Tokyo Skytree. Unless it’s absolutely important for you to get that specific view (if you’re a photographer, for example) then paying for things like this is just not worth it. Sometimes tourist traps aren’t obvious and you only know once you fell into one. The only way to decrease your chance of getting into a tourist trap is by researching the place you’re visiting.
You’re your own tour organizer.
Don’t book “experiences” or “excursions”. These things are often just overpriced packages that you can absolutely enjoy better yourself with your own pace and experiences customized by yourself. Save on travel by doing your very own research and planning your own journey.
Shopping. Don’t ever shop at touristy places, unless you can’t help it. Even things like food can skyrocket in price at these places. It’s also good to consider shopping at secondhand stores. Japan, for example, has excellent secondhand chain stores that house quality items. This is also highly dependent on the country/location you’re visiting. Things like buying souvenirs would be easier in your pocket if you shop where the local’s shop.