Five Essential Tips for Low Cost Travel

Five Essential Tips for Low Cost Travel

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Jetting off on holiday in the coming months? Taking a vacation can be one of the most exciting periods of anyone’s year – but the costs do tend to rack up. Travel isn’t cheap, and neither is the cost of living in most countries. Here are five essential tips to help you keep your costs as low as possible, so you can enjoy your vacation without breaking the bank!

Avoid Tourist Areas

Unfortunately, most tourists are seen as marks for touts and other scammers when they’re in an area which lots of people frequent. Pickpockets are on the look out for an easy target, and prices of everything from taxis to menus can miraculously double when people notice you are a tourist.  Keep a close eye on your belongings, and try to ask prices from locals so you know how much things ‘should’ cost to stop you getting ripped off. Aside from being singled out in this way, prices in these tourist hot-spots are steeper than anywhere else. Food stalls often double their costs, while admission to these places are also a small fortune.

Tourists are usually easy to spot!  Photo credit via Flickr by zoetnet

If you have your heart set on visiting one of these places, do so – they are usually popular for a reason after all. But just make sure to be prepared, take everything you need with you, including water, and remember to eat before or after going there. Your wallet will thank you afterwards.

 READ MORE: Tips to Beat the Pickpockets 

Travel in down periods

Use your head and think about when people are likely to be travelling. For example, prices will naturally rise during summer months, or any period when children aren’t attending school. There may also be large events or festivals going on in the location you’re headed to which cause prices to be ramped up.

Optimum time for travel often falls around May and September – before summer prices, and while kids are still not free to travel. There’s a good chance in this time the weather will also remain relatively hot.  If you can be flexible on your travel dates by just a few days you can make a huge difference to your budget.  When you check flight prices use a tool like Skyscanner’s monthly view to see if flights are cheaper around similar dates.

Haggle

Haggle to get the best price in local markets
Haggle to get the best price in local markets

When you are shopping for gifts & souvenirs, don’t accept the first price you’re offered by market vendors. Make sure you always haggle down and get a more acceptable value for the item you’re trying to purchase. TINZ provide intrepid holidaymakers with a fantastic list of haggling tips and advice, which could make a massive difference to your final sales price.

Some of their top tips include:

  • Starting high as you can
  • Shopping around for a bit first
  • Keeping a strong poker face
  • Knowing when to walk away

Follow this advice and you’ll experience far greater success than you might have anticipated when you next haggle, saving you a bunch of cash.

Plan Ahead

Planning ahead can have a major impact on your financial situation when abroad. If you have the forethought to think about what you want to do prior to travel, you can set a rough budget in your mind. Hotels and transport prices can usually be checked in advance so you know how much they are likely to be.  Try using online planning tools to help you keep to a basic plan, and make it far easier to keep your spending in check.

Eat Street Food

Street food is cheap and tasty!
Street food is cheap and tasty!

The food you find in market stalls will almost always be cheaper than that which is peddled in restaurants in surrounding areas. If you’re worried about health factors, check to see which stall the locals are buying from. This will be a good indicator of where the tried and trusted options are.  As the saying goes; there is safety in numbers so you know where is a good spot, where the food is freshly made & hasn’t been sitting out too long.  If you see the police eating a food stand that is also a good sign – no one wants to make the police sick, so their food should be spot on!

Have these tips helped you when it comes to saving money on future trips? Make sure to keep them in mind when you head out on your travels.

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Tips for low cost travel

This post was written in collaboration with TINZ.

 

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11 thoughts on “Five Essential Tips for Low Cost Travel

  1. Being a frequent traveler, these days I don’t travel in the peak season. Shoulder season is my favorite and I run away from touristy places. They are so damn expensive. And yes, I do plan in advance.

  2. I love planning ahead. Makes my trip all the more exciting. Also going local, i meant eating local food, buying local and staying in local community homestays can make your travel cheaper and you smarter!

  3. Good tips! It helps to blend in a little. Not dress so outlandishly different from the locals, and try to pick up a few words in the local language. You won’t stand out as much as a vulnerable tourist that way.

  4. It is a wonderful post and we too follow most of these. Booking tickets in advance and choosing Airbnb or local accommodation helps to save a lot during travels. Local foods are always great to try and using public commuting services too helps for low cost travels.

  5. That is a most excellent suggestion you made to eat where the police eat, although it did make me giggle as I only ever see police eating fast food like Maccas. Haha!
    And its my poker face that kills me every time I try to haggle. So don’t have much success with that. But I figure practise makes perfect, so maybe Ill master it. 🙂

  6. I love traveling in the off season – this is my favourite tip of all! Everytime I hear someone complain that they didn’t like a destination or that they found it overpriced, it was always in the peak season. Low season = low prices = low crowds. It’s the way to go!

  7. The only thing I don’t do on this list is haggling but that’s mainly due to the fact that I try and avoid buying more things! Great list on tried and tested ways to save money when travelling.

  8. Love this post, such great budget tips – I totally agree on avoiding touristy areas – there are so many natural parks, gardens, lookouts, museums and markets are free of charge or simply require a nominal fee. And avoiding the touristy areas allows you to see the true culture and beauty of a destination by walking the streets and living like a local.

  9. That’s a cool list. Here are a few more.
    1. Stay in hostels
    2. Use public transport
    3. Try alternate airports. As the closest may be the most expensive
    4. Use large transactions on ATMs
    5. Don’t let travel points guide your travel plans

  10. In many countries, gifts and souvenir shops give commission to tour guides out of sale proceeds which’ll be added already in price. So don’t go with guides.
    And no matter street foods don’t come clean in many cases, eating at street saves quite a lot.

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