Traveling can be expensive, so we plan extensively before the actual trip to make sure we can keep the costs down. We search for cheap airfare, affordable accommodations and even travel discounts.
But there are things you can do during your trip that can help you save money. Sure, you may have a budget, but wouldn’t it be great if you could stretch that further? Here’s some tips on how you can save up on money while you are on a trip.
1. Use public transportation
When going on trips to unfamiliar territory, the temptation to ride a cab or hire a car is strong. However, the costs can escalate especially if you’ll be doing a lot of traveling. Public transportation is the cheapest way to go, and all you have to do is take some time to understand how they work. Most countries have a train system in their major cities, complete with maps, fare details and other information to help you get going. There’s also the bus system as well as some unique and cheap transportation that you can avail of. Save the cabs for longer distances or emergencies.
While some folks are uncomfortable with the idea of negotiating or bargaining, you’ll find that there are places where haggling is a common practice — particularly in Asia. You can negotiate prices of items in markets or bazaars, especially if you buy in bulk. Some hotels even offer discounts for groups or longer stay. Note that these discounts may not be advertised, so you have to make the first move and ask about it. Throw that shyness (or pride) out the window and haggle for a good bargain.
3. Find a local host
Having someone who is a local helps keep the costs down in several ways. You have someone who can take you around and point out the places to go for affordable and delicious eats. You can also bunk with them for a fraction of a hotel’s cost. Some hosts don’t charge anything, but instead ask for simple tokens (one person I know asks for your country’s beer) or for you to reciprocate the favor should they visit your country.
4. Don’t buy souvenirs
While it’s nice to bring folks back home something from your travels, a trinket or two cuts deep into your budget, especially if everyone from the family to your gang to your co-workers are expecting it. Before you go, let them know that you can’t afford to buy them something because of your limited budget. If you feel the need to get something to take home, limit it to close family and friends. Consider getting something that is useful or edible and can be shared as a group.
5. Look for traveler discounts
Some hotels their guests offer discounts in restaurants, theme parks or other activities. If these are things that you already plan on doing, consider availing of these so you pay less. Do check out what is included in the package before you avail of it, as you might end up paying for something with limited offers. But it usually is a good deal. During my last trip to Singapore my friends and I snagged tickets to the Night Safari and Singapore Flyer, saving us around SGD 10 each. It may not seem like much but the savings were enough to buy me two full meals. Not bad.
Having a budget for each trip means that you are willing to spend it, but saving on expenses and still be able to do everything you wanted is a big achievement. Besides, what you were able to save now can be put towards your next trip. Win-win situation all around.[fblike style=”standard” float=”left” showfaces=”false” width=”450″ verb=”like” font=”arial”] [twitter style=”horizontal” float=”left”] [google_plusone size=”standard” float=”left” annotation=”none” language=”English (US)”]