By Sabrina Loh
One word that most people wouldn’t use to describe travelling is ‘cheap’.
That’s certainly true, especially when you don’t pre-plan your budget and travel with a game plan in mind.
But there are certain things you can do to save money while travelling without compromising the quality of your trip.
These genius tips will make you go, “Why didn’t I think of that?!”
Travel to countries where your home currency can take you further
When you travel to countries where your money is worth a fortune instead of where it’s worth a pittance, you’ll get more bang for your buck and enjoy more luxuries on holiday.
Let’s say you’re earning in Pounds. You’ll enjoy much better accommodation and be able to eat out more frequently if you travel to places such as Vietnam, Poland, or Portugal because your currency is worth more when it’s converted to the local currency.
You wouldn’t be able to afford the same luxuries at the same cost if you travelled to Canada, Switzerland, or Iceland.
Be flexible with your dates
Flights, hotels, and tours are notoriously more expensive during peak season (aka Christmas and summer). Travelling off-season, off-peak-time (like mid-day), and on weekdays could save you a lot of money. An added perk of travelling off-season is fewer crowds at tourist attractions!
Compare flight prices
Take your time, check multiple airlines, and compare prices to find the best deals on flights, using flight comparison sites like the airasia super app.
If you sign up for newsletters and airlines’ sales alerts, you’ll also be the first to know about any flash sales or flight discounts.
Get travel insurance
No matter how perfectly planned your trip is, anything can happen to ruin it, like delayed flights, lost bags, theft, losing your passport, and getting sick. You’ll end up spending way more money to deal with these unplanned expenses than to just bite the bullet and get travel insurance instead.
Explore alternative accommodation
Hotels aren’t your only option when it comes to accommodation. AirBnbs, bed-and-breakfasts, homestays, hostels, and couchsurfing could be an incredible and fun experience for a fraction of the price.
That being said, staying at a hotel can also offer great deals when you compare prices beforehand with booking portals like Booking.com and Agoda. Some hotels also offer special discounts when you book directly through their website.
Eat where locals eat
When you ask the concierge staff for recommendations on where to eat, they’ll probably point you towards the safest bet and fancier tourist destinations, rather than the humble hole in the wall.
Instead, consider asking the locals who live in the area where they go out to eat. These places are usually lesser-known to tourists with less overinflated prices. It’s also more likely to leave you with a memorable and authentic experience.
This one’s a no-brainer. If you want to spend less, stop buying stuff you don’t need, like that keychain and tank top. Take a photo instead! It’ll last longer. :)
Shop at local grocery stores
Eating out will always be more expensive than cooking. But another way to experience the local culture is by sampling their local produce and specialties from the region that you can find at a local grocery store.
Let’s say you’re in Paris. You don’t need to go to an expensive restaurant to eat a baguette, cheese, wine, and prosciutto. You can get a similar experience at a fraction of the price by buying that from a grocery store.
You should also consider staying at an accommodation with a kitchen so you can cook more to save more money.
Get around like a local
There’s no better way to get to know a new city than by walking around. You’ll save a fortune on taxis, and when you do need to go further, opt for public transportation and get a frequent-travel-card, such as the Oyster Card in London, Troika Card in Moscow, and Octopus Card in Hong Kong.
Cut back on drinking
Don’t touch the mini bar. Enough said.
Hop on free-admission days
Many museums, galleries, and sites have free-admission days, such as the Shedd Aquarium, Brookfield Zoo, and The Field Museum in Chicago. Do your research and plan accordingly.
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