Every wandering soul wants to make the most of every trip whenever possible, and this is often done by stretching every penny we intend to splurge. More often than you’d expect, this heeds merging your street smarts and bargaining skills and putting them into good use. Who knows how far you can go when you stretch that budget just a little bit further? Read on and allow me to elucidate on some ways to avoid squandering your pocket money into smithereens.
Eat like a local
They say much of our lives is spent choosing what to eat, and I couldn’t agree more. Our moments abroad are not exempted from this and we are often faced with the undying question: Where do we eat for lunch? If you want to get your money’s worth then avoid tourist hotspots vehemently. The restaurants and cafes which have easy access to promenades and city centers most likely offer the most expensive comestibles in town. It is not much of an issue of tourist trapping but more of supply and demand really. Observe the locals and follow their tracks where they head for a good meal. Be brave and randomly ask for advice, you might even gain a friend.
Explore your options with accommodation
The methods by which tourists can save on travel accommodation is expanding and the offerings are endless. Airbnb has taken the industry by storm and has changed the way we choose temporary abodes. Here you can even save more money by booking a private room instead of an entire place. Hostels and bed and breakfasts are also economical for some and provide bare necessities. For the frugal traveler, a hotel booking is not prime choice for sure – there are cheaper alternatives available that will slice your expenses by at least half. While these options may not provide the same luxury and hospitality service a five star hotel takes pride in, their value for money cannot be denied.
Get to know their public transport
The internet is a formidable tool and travelers now have full capacity of devicing their own itineraries, including how and when to reach them. Taking time to discover a city’s transportation system can save you a lot of money by arriving to your desired destinations utilizing public transport. There are travel cards valid anywhere for 2-5 days that you only need to pay off once and, depending on your choice, you can ride all the buses, trams and trains with the same ticket. This eliminates the need for hop on hop off bus tours that charge an estimate of £10 a day. Example: A day trip to the Stonehenge in Bath may cost as much as £50 when booked under a travel agency. However, an advanced booking for a national express coach to Bath is only £5 and the adult entrance fee is £15.50. That’s a thirty quid difference.
Do some shopping at the airport
Okay, now I know this does not fit well with beginnings of saving money haha. Shopping is an easy way to rationalize unnecessary expenditures you may acquire as your trip goes along. However, if you keep a calm state of mind, I suggest you take a good perusal of the tax free goodies around the airport. The fact they are tax free leaves room for big discounts and if you chance upon big sales, there might be bargains that are too good to ignore. I scored my Go Pro in London Gatwick Airport during a mega sale that left it selling for half the original price and they threw in a Go Gear accessories kit for FREE. A thing to ponder about: It is only a good deal if you were intending to buy it in the first place.
Check for free walking tour offers
Do not forget to check if your destination of choice has free walking tours. Basic city tours are often available at no cost, although they may occur on certain schedules. The aim is to get the clients to return and book a paid tour under the same agency – like advertising themselves by investing in a traveler’s good faith. I’ve done this in Prague and the tour guides were nothing short of brilliant and witty. It did not feel like a free tour at all. Our expert guide, Dave (He wanted to be called Colorado Dave, haha) even quizzed us in the end and I won a beer!
Look for online deals
They might be scarce but last minute online deals are pretty sweet – if you manage to catch one of them. I am a big planner so I have never had the benefit of this at all. But judging by the prices, it does pay off to be spontaneous from time to time. Browse lastminute.com or similar sites.
It pays off to be ambivalent when it comes to money matters and I hope these few travel tips allow you to expand your travel budget that extra mile. What is the harm in getting more of your money’s worth? Absolutely nothing. When this is combined with all those priceless experience and memories gained through the gift of travel then there is no argument at all: it is worth every centavo your money can buy.