Do Not Let Your Overseas Holiday Break the Bank- 5 Handy Tips for You
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You need not put off travelling worried that it will break the bank. There are several things that you can do to travel cheap, safe and in relative comfort.
Though destination vacations are expensive, you can save a few thousand dollars if you plan your trip off-season. But this is not possible if you want to take part in seasonal activities like the festival in Edinburg, or the Prom in London.
Seasoned travelers have come up with several tricks and tips that help them save money while traveling. No matter whether you are a gap year rookie, a solo traveler or a young family with kids, the tried and tested hacks are for everyone.
Planning in advance is of crucial importance. Zero in on the location; decide on when you plan to make the trip, and of what duration it will be. If you are traveling to more than two countries, you need to get your logistics right, as well as flesh out a comprehensive itinerary, which covers all that it should. Save up for the trip in advance, and ensure you use all the tools available to create a perfect travel budget.
In addition to the basics here are a few money-saving tips for you.
Plan in Advance
Traveling is expensive especially so if you are going abroad with family. But smart financial planning is all that is required to make it possible to take off on a holiday every year.
Set a budget and work towards attaining the magical figure. Monthly savings will help you reach your goal.
You can also put your skills to good use and take up weekend jobs where you can earn handy dollars. Organize garage or yard sales to make money out of things you do not need any more. Save up on credit card points and use them at the right time.
Monitor your high-spending occasions like Christmas, anniversaries and birthdays, and try to control expenses. Bulk buying of gifts, shopping during off-season period when prices are low, making smart use of coupons and free samples, and recycling or re-gifting gifts you received and have not used are all ideas that can help you save dollars.
Teach your children the basics of frugality and saving for a common goal.
Choose Locations Wisely
You can enjoy a vacation in Bali at $5000 or $50,000. How much your vacation costs depends on the choices you make.
There are several cities and countries around the world that will give a bigger bang for your buck than say, an expensive London or Zurich.
Browse the Web and compare foreign exchange rates in your favorite spots. There are several destinations that offer year-round budget options including Canada, Slovenia, Peru, Hungary and the Dominican Republic. The Caribbean Islands, Mexico and the South America offer great holiday options even during off-season summer months.
Also another point to note is that secondary destinations or tourist spots located close to star attractions in countries like Thailand and Singapore offer pretty much similar experiences as their more famous neighboring counterparts. This also holds same for hotel rates. You can skip the pricey hotels in your holiday destination and stay in a town next door that will have far cheaper hotels. A 45-minute drive is the only price you need to pay for the dollars you save.
Choose Cheap Transportation
Expensive taxi rides can quickly jack up your holiday expenses. Public transport can be slow, but in most cases they are the easier, more accessible and cheaper option.
Railway and metro passes can make commuting easy in cities. Bus rides, subways and trams can give you a unique peak into local culture and everyday life.
If you are planning to visit several spots near where you stay, then car rentals can make daily trips convenient and enjoyable. They also give you the option to plan visits to your liking as opposed to planned bus tours and hotel-sponsored trips.
You can rent the vehicle on a daily basis or for multiple days. When traveling with family this works out cheaper than buying rail passes for each member. Do ensure you insurance and relevant papers are in order.
Carry Your Money Safely
It is important that you carry cash, debit and credit cards with you. Debit cards are cheaper and convenient than traveler’s checks. They do carry transaction charges but if you make larger and fewer withdrawals, they more than pay for themselves.
Money exchange centers do not always have the best exchange rates. A few minutes on Google will help you find the best options in the countries you visit. Also check rates at airports and ATMs because they usually have fair rates and the chances of getting ripped off are few.
Stash your cash in multiple spots and wear a money belt to store bigger bills that you do not need. Ideally, your passport and other important papers need to be put in a water-proof baggie and stashed into the belt.
Carry change in your pockets so that you do not have to pull out a wad of cash to tip a waiter. Also while out souvenir shopping, cash comes most handy to drive a hard bargain. Quaint craft shops and specialty stores located in off-beat locations are also not likely to be comfortable with credit card transactions.
Eat Local and Seasonal
Many a time tourists prefer to dine at restaurants that are ‘tourist’ favorites. A lack of English menu or English-speaking waiters should not prevent you from savoring local delights and tasting local flavors.
Choose restaurants and street-side eateries that are packed with locals and have long waiting lines. They will surely serve fresh, lip-smacking and authentic local fare. Also make it a point to try out seasonal favorites, chef’s recommendations and daily specials.
If restaurants are expensive in your destination try cooking on your own. Grocery shopping at foreign markets, unfamiliar cookware and new ingredients can make it an experience of a lifetime. Skip costly breakfasts from hotel and head to popular local cafes for cheaper and tastier food.
For all the frugality do spend on a formal lunch or dinner. They may be expensive but you would definitely treasure the experience and the pampering.
Another health tip is to keep dinner light so that you spend less, and also remain fit and healthy to start the next day early.
If you do not travel you miss out on living a life. So do not count the dollars, just get started with planning your holiday right now.