Ever noticed how hard it is to stick to a budget, especially when on vacation? Despite all your financial planning before the holiday, you end up spending way more than you had initially planned to. When you get back home, you’re confronted with an astronomically high credit card bill and all the stress you left at the sunny beach comes crashing back.
Well, you can save while on your vacation and still have a great time. Here are the top 10 tips that will help you save money on holiday and get you closer to living locally.
1. Travel During the Low Season
The cheapest time to travel to any destination is when other people are not visiting—that is during the low season. For people without kids, the best time to go on vacation is during the school season. When the kids are in school, most parents won’t travel, leaving all the beaches and magnificent sites to you.
If you’re a parent, traveling on school days can be problematic. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy low season discounts. Some tourist destinations have periods when the tourist traffic is low. You can take advantage of this and enjoy the low accommodation and activity prices.
2. Look for a Destination with a Lower Exchange Rate
If you’re looking to travel abroad, one of the easiest ways to save money on vacation is to look for destinations whose local currencies are weaker in relative comparison with the Australian Dollar. Look to visit countries that are experiencing monetary or economic instability. However, don’t trade off your safety to save a few bucks.
In some instances, a weak currency may mean there is an underlying problem. This can either be cartel wars or political instability. As a bargain-hunting traveler, areas whose currency devaluation is as a result of bad economic policies may be better than areas where political violence is the cause of the weak currency. The Greek economic crisis is a good example where tourists took advantage of the plummeting costs of travel to visit Athens and other historical cities.
3. Research and Book in Incognito Mode
The internet is both your friend and enemy when looking to save money on vacation. We make most of our bookings online, and corporations are actively trying to study our habits.
When researching and booking travel destinations, either clear the cookies on your browser or use incognito mode. Employing any of these measures reduces travel sites ability to track your web activity. This makes it hard for them to predict your plans and raise their prices based on your plans.
Unfortunately, this is not a full-proof plan, as some travel agencies have sophisticated tools that track prospects during late stages of booking. Using incognito mode or clearing your browser cookies may not be enough to keep you anonymous. However, combining this technique with other strategies on this list can help improve your anonymity and give you an advantage over travel companies.
4. Negotiate for Rooms Directly with Hotels
Ever noticed how airlines, car rental companies, and hotels insist on you booking directly? A major reason behind this insistence is because travel aggregators and online booking sites charge exorbitant commission fees for any business they broker. In certain situations, commission rates can go to as high as 15%, meaning hotels only receive 85% of their intended pay.
If you’re a hard-nosed negotiator, you can use this insistence to negotiate for cheaper hotel rates. After going through the online prices, call the hotel you intend to stay at and negotiate for a price reduction. You will be surprised at the discounts you receive.
5. Pack Lightly to Save Money on Holiday
Adopt a minimalist approach when packing. Don’t carry more than a week supply of clothing, and make sure you pack appropriate weather clothing. Don’t forget essential accessories when packing such as phone chargers, power adapters, and travel-sized hygiene items so you won’t have to buy them again.
Try and use carry-on luggage which means you won’t have to pay for your bags. In instances where you may have to carry a lot of items, use a backpack to put your clothes and all valuables in it. This minimalist approach to travel has allowed me to not only save but keep an eye on my luggage. It would be disappointing to lose your luggage when the holiday is just starting.
6. Look for Accommodation Options That Offer Free Breakfast and Embrace Street Food.
Lookup cheap places to stay and limit your search to those that offer free continental breakfast. Even middle-scale accommodation options, including motel chains, tend to have this breakfast option.
Also, don’t be afraid of street food. For most travelers, local food carts and markets offer the cheapest food options. They are invariably cheaper than restaurants, and in most cases, you’ll end up spending as little as 2 dollars.
7. Don’t Buy a Souvenir the Moment You See it
Shopping is a major part of vacationing. However, to maximize your savings, don’t be an impulse buyer. Avoid buying things the moment you see them.
When looking for souvenirs, scope out several shops and take note of the prices. After you’ve visited enough shops, revisit the one with the lowest price. However, an exception to this rule is where your souvenir is a rare item. In this case, snag it when you see it as long as it doesn’t put a dent on your budget.
8. Take Advantage of Public Transportation
If you plan to visit sites near a major city and have no plans of making extended journeys to the countryside, public transit may be a good option to consider. You can easily get around most cities using different means of public transportation.
9. Use a Credit Card with Lower Fees
It’s no secret that international exchange fees can eat into your holiday savings. Currency exchange shops found in airports have some of the worst exchange rates, which prompts you to use the next cheap option; ATMs. However, despite being cheaper, ATM fees can eat into your travel savings.
When traveling, look for a credit card company that can reimburse you on ATM fees you may incur during your holiday.
10. Don’t Wait to Buy it There
Avoid the “I will buy it when I get there” mentality as this may force you to incur extra spending. If you can carry it from home, don’t buy it when you get to your destinations. Things like toiletries and sunscreen may be priced higher at your travel destination, so if possible, always pack them when traveling.
Work, Travel, Save, Repeat
Traveling is a deeply fulfilling experience. It allows you to learn and get away from the hustle and stress of your daily life. However, despite your planning, you may end up spending more than you planned.
By employing the above tips, you can efficiently save money while on holiday. This allows you to get back to your daily life without the stress of exorbitant credit card bills. Keep reading our blog to get more news and information on the latest trends on travel.