Life would be so much better if we all just had unlimited money- but sadly, we don’t. And one place that we really feel this is when we’re travelling. Unless we’re travelling with family, travel is on a tight shoestring budget. Budgets go haywire and expenses go overboard, as we don’t want to compromise on anything when we’re on vacation. Here are seven simple ways that you can do more on every vacation and not burn a hole in your pocket.
1. Travel off-season
Why do we have to go to Goa in the winters and Shimla in the summers every time? This is simply one of the easiest ways to cut down on your travel budget by at least half. Be a rebel- go away from the crowd and head to some offbeat destinations in the off-season. The locals will be more welcoming and you will get priority service- all while going easy on the money!
2. Online ticketing
In this day and age, when everything is online and accessible at the touch of a fingertip, why still wait to visit a travel agent and book tickets for you? The agents may get you better deals sometimes- but at other times it’s always easier to book tickets for yourself. Flights, hotels, sightseeing, show, safaris, cruises- explore more with the right prices.
3. Make a weekly Budget
Though this may seem a bit tedious at first, making a budget and scheduling your expenses in advance is always a great idea to spend less. This way you know when you are overspending and can put a halt to buying those extra gelatos, tshirts or souvenirs. Another way to do this is, set a daily spending limit which you cannot exceed no matter however much you want to.
4. Avoid using Credit cards
This next point is a corollary that follows from the first point- if there’s no cold, hard cash in your hands, how will you even overspend? Make it a habit to shun cards in the first place- most importantly credit cards. Avoid getting used to plastic money- to avoid getting a shock in your bill later!
5. Smartphones to the rescue!
Smartphones these days have all the information on the local events, fairs, festivals, shopping areas, shows, food stalls, restaurants and so much more. With the world going digital and all this readily available at your fingertips for free, where is the need for a local guide or travel agent? Moreover, such guides often exploit you with higher prices and commissioned deals for tourists which they extort money out of. Why not just use your smartphone for all this instead?
6. Mobile Network Usage
One important place where majority of our money gets sucked into is the mobile network service provider. Almost all providers start charging your prepaid or postpaid account the minute your phone is switched on in a new area other than on your home turf- leaving the bill running into several digits. To save some bucks here- check with your service provider in advance before you travel. Also, try and use the hotel or lodge’s free WiFi services as much as possible. Calls to your home turf can easily be made via WhatsApp now- so no excuses there either! In case it is really urgent, just SMS and don’t call, which is always a cheaper alternative. Load the information (see point 8!) in advance before you leave. And in case you have a longer stay, always buy a local SIM.
7. Cook for yourself
It’s not always a good idea to head to the nearest fast food joint for all your meals. An accumulation of these meals ends up costing heavily to your pocket- and your health! Opt for locally sourced ingredients instead, and cook up a small meal for yourself in the same amount. The experience of cooking will burn calories, plus what’s self-cooked is always healthier. The amount of food you waste will also drastically reduce. All this while you can save up more for shopping!
8. Avoid taxis
Taxis could easily be titled as the single most wasteful expense on a vacation. One wouldn’t be wrong to think there would be other ways to get from point A to point B which are less expensive? Almost every major city and town now boasts of a local subway infrastructure, a network of buses, rickshaws, autos, and if nothing else there’s always Uber Pool! You’ll be also surprised to see how much of the city you can explore on foot, and how much you’ll have doing it.
9. Go local
It’s all the more important to go local in terms of groceries too, as buying branded stuff is always the easiest way to go about losing precious money. Trust the local items too- they’re probably fresher and healthier- only missing that valuable brand label. Another way to go local is to consult the people around the city that you are travelling to. Locals always have a better insight and can help you out with many things that seem foreign even to travel agents.
Follow these simple hacks on your next vacation and we guarantee you’ll end up saving more than you spend!