For the majority of people, vacations are something you plan for. Well in advance you decide what you want to do and how you are going to do it. The how portion typically involves finances. Are you able to afford what you want to do? If not, what can be done to make the trip more affordable? There are common ways to save in order to go on a trip even if you aren’t made of money.
The cost of eating out can add up very quickly. If possible, try not to eat out for every meal. If you are traveling for a long period of time it may be in your best interest to find a hotel, condo, apartment or even house that has a kitchen and fridge for you to use. This way you can have snacks and drinks in your room to have instead of paying restaurant prices. Go to a local market and buy local ingredients to use while cooking in your room. You can also come prepared by bringing your own supplies like reusable cotton rounds, snacks, toiletries and bamboo toilet paper. Another strategy is to eat a large brunch (late breakfast, early lunch). This would eliminate one of your meals for the day. Obviously food and drink are a big part of a vacation destination and you will want to try things. This can still be done but mix it up a bit to save some money.
As if food wasn’t enough, drinks in restaurants are marked up and do some damage to your wallet. Try and bring your own if at all possible. An example would be to bring a bottle of wine to a nearby park or roof deck. Saving on food and drinks will make a big impact on your overall bill.
Every destination has a busy time. If you travel during that busy time then things will tend to be more expensive. When you go in the off-season you also get the off-season pricing. Certain holidays, like Christmas and New Years, tend to be busy. Some tourist areas depend on the seasons and when the weather doesn’t cooperate then people don’t want to visit during that time. Sometimes the off-season can be perfectly fine and still enable you to see things you wish to see for a fraction of the price. Hotels usually want to fill their properties so they offer lower costs. Same with excursions and flights during the off-season. Crowds and lines will be less as well.
Another high ticket item are hotels and various accommodations. Yes it is true that you get what you pay for, but you need to decide if it is worth it to you. If it isn’t, you can choose to stay at a local hotel or airbnb. There are also couchsurfing sites available as well that cost much less. Doing this can be a memorable experience because you will get to see the culture first hand.
The value of the US dollar varies between locations. The exchange rate in certain countries will allow you to get more for your money. In one country you may be able to pay for a 5 star hotel what you would pay for a hotel somewhere else. It all depends on the value. It also depends on what you value for your trip. Do you want to do and see more or do you want the glitz and glamour? If you find a place
When planning what to do, look for things that aren’t expensive. Start by looking for things that are free. Parks, nature walks, walking tours are all free and are still exciting. Do more things like this to avoid the inflated tourist attractions. Try to avoid shopping and looking for souvenirs. Souvenirs never last and are found in the storage closet collecting dust. Instead spend your time taking pictures and turn them into artwork for you to keep around your home. Not only do you save money but you also save the space in your luggage on the way home.
Traveling doesn’t always have to be a free for all that uses your life savings. Take a step back and analize what can be done to lessen the load on your wallet.