The annual shutdown is just around the corner and if you are going on a vacation, the first thing on your mind would be ‘how to save money on travel expenses’. In this article, you will find many ideas for how to save money on travel costs and also easy ways to stretch your grocery dollars on travel.
1. Exchange currency at banks instead of at foreign exchange booths
If you carried your cash in dollars and need local currency, or you ran out of local currency, instead of exchanging American dollars at a currency exchange, try finding a bank that converts your dollars. They give a much better rate compared to foreign exchange booths and shops where precious dollars are lost not to the exchange rate but to the commission of the proprietor.
2. Look for home stay accommodation
Hotels and resorts look great on the websites, but they are also quite expensive. In many countries, people reserve parts of their home for tourists for home stays in the hope of earning some extra money. Most of these places are decent and provide healthy food instead of the lavish affair promised by expensive hotels and resorts. To be able to make your travel money go further, check into unpretentious home stay accommodation or hostels; instead of hotels, lavish or otherwise. Some places are also equipped with kitchens so you can save tons on meals.
3. Easy ways to stretch your grocery dollars on travel
Look for hostels and home stays that allow you to use the kitchen. Buy groceries at the local supermarket. Spend money on essentials for making scrumptious yet healthy meals. This will not only allow you to make your travel money go further, it will keep you fit during travel. If you going on a culinary adventure or are looking for sights, you can visit local eateries instead of expensive establishments that focus on the rich man’s food habits and culture.
4. Pack a light lunch while sight seeing
Most places that provide bed and breakfast don’t grudge you for packing a few items to eat later. Eat the eggs and cereal that they provide and pack the bread and fruits to eat later. This can serve as a light lunch on the go and also help you save money on travel meals.
5. Do your homework
If you have local friends, check with them how to save money on travel in their city/country. There might be places where you could rent a bicycle for sightseeing like in Europe. There might be a restaurant with healthy, hygienic, and inexpensive food meant just for tourists. While it keeps you full, it will keep you from falling ill during your stay. Eat at places that allow you take away your leftovers. You could reheat them in the microwave or request your homestead host to heat them or serve them to you along with supper.
6. Pack right
- Pack essentials compactly
- Check the weather at your destination well before travel and pack appropriate clothing against heat, rains, cold etc.,
- Pack OTC medicines and courses of antibiotics if you are traveling to a far off country
- Be well versed with all airline rules with respect to packaging your liquid makeup, shampoos and other toiletries.
- Keep your belongings safe from pickpockets. Do keep your credit and debit cards and money safely and closer to your body.
- Check out the baggage weight restriction and pack appropriately to avoid extra baggage charges.
- Pack sturdy walking shoes and walk to most places. It is free and gives you the real experience of local culture.
7. Know the culture and etiquette of your destination before planning your daily expenditure
- Each country has its own standards and practices for tipping. It is not always the standard 20% everywhere.
- There are good places to dine at every destination that are not tourist centric. This will cut a lot of cost.
- Ensure you understand the culture and dressing of local people and try to respect their ideas as much as you can. This will soften them while you haggle like a local.
- Every place has some form of public transport. Make your travel money go further by using the bus / tram / local train instead of hailing a taxi.
- Buy souvenirs that are meaningful from ordinary shops instead of specific souvenir shops. If a cousin of yours collects thimbles, it is better to get her a thimble from Thailand instead of an “I heart Thailand T – shirt”. Same is true for other items like fridge magnets, cloth paintings, shot glasses and other items.
However much you plan, you are bound to spend more than you think you would. Plan a buffer and try to cut costs wherever you find the opportunity. We hope these easy ways to stretch your travel dollars help you out.