Being very passionate about travelling, we always made sure that we are taking out time from our busy lives and travel from past 10 years as a couple, and now as a family with one little toddler. The one notion we always carry is to Travel more and create best of memories to treasure. Like us, many of you might think to travel more but taking a step back thinking “we do not have enough money to spend on travel”.
Some people honestly think we are Tycoons of travel because we travel as much as we can. Does that mean you cannot travel if you aren’t millionaires? Nah!! Even we aren’t millionaires, we are “Budgeted travelers”. It’s all about making SMART CHOICES, CLEVER TRAVEL PLANS, CREATIVE STRATEGIES to save money as we go on travel almost whole the year.
So, Here we get you 13 expert budget travel tips that we have practiced since many years in our travelling journey and now we scribble them down with a wish that it will help you more to save money on your travel as well.
- Decide the Destination:
- Choose the destination as per your Budget – Some countries are beautiful during the winters, and some countries are beautiful during summers and then maybe you always like winters or summers destinations to travel. For example, if you want to travel in December, you will have to travel to tropics or places like Maldives. However, it could cost a lot more to travel in peak season and can crash your budget. So, make sure to check how much you would need to spend at your dream destination.
- Be sure you have an idea of what kind of travel you would like to do? You may like to do city travel or a beach travel or do you like to enjoy the food and culture of that place? All of this depends on where you want to travel.
- Plan the number of days you want to spend in the vacation. It will fairly give you an idea of how much money you will need.
- Research and see if you get some online deals to travel the destination you have decided, this might help in saving some money.
2. Travel off-season:
If you would like to have cheaper holiday, Travel during off season. Traveling during off-season has lots of benefits –
- It saves cost of your trip.
- less crowd
- Get best deals at hotel and attractions.
- Don’t forget about airlines, they offer deals too for you to save some money.
Off-season varies based on destination. Just make sure to do your research first before you go ahead for the bookings.
3. Decide when to travel:
- Decide when you want to travel – Now this can depend on your work, if you have kids, if they summer vacations or winter vacations, or when you can take off.
- Most of the times, we prefer to plan holiday at least 6 months before to travelling because last minute travels can be more expensive and bump into spending additionally money.
- It is good to be flexible with the dates to get the best & cheap flight prices, if your schedule permits.
4. Book Tickets:
- Now here you can save huge chunk of money. You need to start looking for prices of your tickets to your destinations.
- Sometimes certain places are way cheaper than other places because of ON and OFF seasons. While checking for flight prices, we would suggest open all the different airlines & check for all those deals and promo codes on the flight tickets booking which will lead you to get the huge discounts on the flight tickets.
- Start looking the ticket prices at least 6 months in advance, and if you are completely clueless about your travel then we would suggest you book your tickets, at least 3 months in advance, especially in summers, when you know everyone is travelling due to vacation period.
- We have experienced that booking flight directly from the airline website will defiantly save some money than booking through other travel websites where they charge extra fees. You can also use calendar function on Google flights to see the best rates for that month and book accordingly.
5. Book Accommodation Directly:
- It is advisable to check the official website of hotel you would like to stay to see if you can find the booking at the lesser rate. Some websites take a service fee on top of your stay fee and others don’t show you the final price with taxes.
- We prefer to stay in the heart of city so that commuting to the places of interest is easy and cheap as you may just walk towards it from your hotel than booking the transport for yourself which might cost you some additional bucks
- It is better idea to stay in a “ALL inclusive plan “ as well through which you will have your food and drinks covered at the resort.
- We make sure to read reviews of the hotels on trip advisor before booking to get the sense of the ambiance & atmosphere of the stay.
- Don’t just go and book the hotel. Guys, you must read reviews.
- What we like the most about trip advisor is when you click on the “Traveler photos”. You get to see the photos that travelers have put of that property. It shows the how well the property is maintained.
6. Plan your Itinerary:
- Start planning your itinerary as soon as your destination is decided.
- The way we like to travel is to plan each single day of our vacation. First, to plan how many days it is possible for us to travel. We also get home sick after a week so kind of try to keep it 7- 10 days or even like 3-4 days.
- The best way we follow is, we study about the things to do in that city and decide which ones we want to go to & note them down.
- We prefer to take print of those places and see which ones are the closer to each other and then combine them into one day. So that we are not wasting time in travelling in the city up and down.
- It is advisable to pre-book the tickets if you plan to visit any attraction you want to go to, may be like day tours so that you can get the cheaper deals online than you go in book standing in queue.
7. Use Public Transport:
- Use public transport as much as you can that means metro, tube, bus etc.
- Along with being extremely economical, not only you going to save a lot of money, but also you get chance to mingle with local people & see the local culture which is also a huge part of travelling.
- Save money and see a destination in a new way by taking advantage of the public transportation system.
- Cabs and charter buses can charge 10 times the amount to cover the same distance as a regular city bus or underground, so give up your personal space for the safe of your bank account.
8. Use GPS:
- Did you know that your GPS works on your phone regardless if you have phone connection or internet? It’s just maps which needs connection to load.
- If you want to use maps, but don’t want to pay for international data or Sim card , you just have to load up the map of where you want to go whenever you have internet at where ever you are on your phone beforehand.
- Make sure you zoom in and see the street names and roads going in and out and then that map is saved on your phone memory.
- When you are out exploring, all you got to do is check your GPS marker, it will tell you where exactly you are on the map & GPS marker will keep moving to tell you where you must head for the location.
9. Eat like a Local not like a tourist:
- We usually book the hotel with “Bed and Breakfast” option so that we don’t skip the delicious free breakfast in the hotel.
- Carry one microwave bowl or a Dish & a spoon when you travel and cook “Ready to eat” snacks in the kitchenette in microwave for dinner rather than spending money in the expensive restaurants.
- Always keep filling snacks on hand like nuts, granola bars, or dried fruit to keep you full.
- One of the other advice would be to enquire with the concierge if there are any coupons or deals available for nearby restaurants. If not, ask if they can recommend affordable options.
- You can also check with locals about the best places to grab an affordable bite.
- You must avoid room services as it might charge some extra bucks for this.
- If you have kids travelling with you, it is great idea to pack handy snacks for them.
- Additionally, we always carry re-usable water bottles which you can fill up as n when needed. It will also save some money of yours.
10. Utilize Free WIFI Or Buy a Local Sim:
- It is expensive to use International data and you might end up spending lot of money paying the bills once you are back. So, what do you do if you need to use the internet. Guys, Free WIFI!!
- When we do booking of accommodation for our vacations, one of the first things we look for is free WIFI to be in touch with our family and friends while we are away from home.
- These days almost all stations, food chains, local park, attractions provide FREE WIFI, make use of it. Phone calls or SMS can be converted to whatsapp video calls or Skype.
- Having said that, you can make most use of the free WIFI, be smart and safe enough not to do any bank transactions using public WIFI. Make sure you set up your phone’s security using apps like NORTON etc.
- It is also advisable to buy a local sim card with data, this is usually cheaper than the international roaming on your sim card.
- Leave your shopping for the last day, as by then you know how much you should spend on shopping.
- Plan to do Shopping for souvenirs, clothes etc. where the locals shop.
- Speak to locals and get an idea of weekend markets and outlet stores from where you can buy the stuff a bit cheaper than getting into malls and pay much more than needed.
- Don’t be hard on buying stuff always, remember, It’s OK not to buy anything. Travelling is more about memories than shopping.
12. Pay Local:
- We prefer to carry local currency of the destination we are travelling or some dollars as lot of countries accept dollars currency.
- Once you reach at the destination try to look for the nearest bank to exchange the currency via Debit card/ Cash in the local currency.
- Avoid exchanging currency at the airports which might hit you double the charges with the conversion rates.
- Avoid using ATM machines at the travel destinations. Because you lose all those service charges, conversion rates etc.
- You can also use Prepaid travel money cards (multiple currency cards), which can save you on transaction fees and conversion rates.
13. Prefer Group tours:
- Sometimes group tours are awesome way to travel because they are easy , you just show up and everything is organized for you.
- Research before booking the tours to see which ones are meeting your expectations and budgets.
- Some tours provide everything like your accommodation, food, sightseeing ,on other hand, some tours just take you to point A to Point B like hop on – hop off buses in the city. So, if you are travelling Solo, it could get you more expensive than doing a group tour because you may end up paying for everything even for the transportation of yourself.
- If you book in a group tour, you are really going to save a huge chunk of amount, because the tour operators organize everything for you, Of course, depending on the region you are travelling to.
- Before you decide on the group tour, calculate the amount you would spend going on a group tour and calculate the amount you would spend travelling by yourself and make a wise choice.
Don’t think you are financially broken anymore, Gear up to travel to your dream destination with in the budget. We hope you found this post helpful! Do you have any great tips to save money on travel? Share your hacks/tips in the comments.
Till then plan, save, travel more and create memories.