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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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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This post was written in collaboration with TINZ.