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Top Tips To Save Money When Travelling


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Travelling can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of ways you can save money during your travels and in this post you will find some suggestions on how we think you can save.

1. Be aware of fees for foreign currency payments and withdrawals

If you use your card to pay in a shop, restaurant or withdraw cash and it’s a different currency to your own, then be wary of fees. If you do need to use your card, then try and use it to a minimum and withdraw cash in larger amounts. It’s worth looking into taking some converted cash with you from your home country and then getting more out as you need it.

There are some bank and card options available now though which have low or no fees when using your card abroad. Such as Monzo in the UK. Before you decide on what’s best for you then be sure to check what your bank charges.

2. Travel with just hand luggage

It’s surprising how much you can get into hand luggage. Especially for short trips you may be able to get everything you need into a cabin suitcase. This is a good way to save on the cost of putting anything into the hold of the plane. It also offers the benefit that once you get to your destination you won’t have to spend ages waiting for your luggage to turn up at the collection point.

3. Avoid popular destinations during peak season

Try and avoid booking a trip to Venice for example in peak season. Instead, try and go before or after the mad rush. You will probably have a much better time and save a lot of money in the process. When travelling out of peak season as well as prices being lower you should have better options on where to stay. So you might just grab yourself a bargain in a stunning hotel that would otherwise be slightly over your budget.

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4. Research restaurants in advance and avoid eating at the most popular tourist spots

Sometimes when you eat at a restaurant right next to the main tourist spots you will get a worse customer service, more expensive plates and a less satisfied belly. But if go somewhere 5-10 minutes walk away you could get quite the opposite. We would recommend using tripadvisor.co.uk for research into restaurants as you’ll find endless options as well as reviews.

Restaurants
Restaurants

5. Buy from supermarkets

Most tourist spots and stands will charge a premium for basic products like water. So next time you walk past a grocery store, pop in and grab yourself a bottle and any other things that you may want. If you’re staying in an apartment or hostel you could also buy food and then cook at your accommodation as well. This is another great way to save money when you travel.

Grocery Store
Grocery Store

6. Travel using public transport

If possible try and use public transport such as the local bus, trains etc whilst travelling. This will save you lots of money compared to using taxis and private cars. Of course for families, it sometimes may be cheaper to get a taxi, so we recommend doing your research in advance.

Sign for a taxi
Sign for a taxi

7. Book your flights in advance

Book your flights as far in advance as possible. You can do research using tools such as WayAway (where you can also earn cashback too). It’s also worth signing up to airlines you favour, so that you hear about any special offers they have as soon as they communicate them.

8. Avoid using data on your cell phone

Unless you get a cheap daily rate and have to use it, then it’s best to only use WiFi. If you use Android you can also download areas on Google maps, which along with GPS will help you with directions.

Downloading offline maps screenshot
Downloading offline maps screenshot

Also make sure you’re cellular data is turned off unless you have a plan. This will help you to avoid any unexpected charges when you return home.

Data Roaming Screenshot
Data Roaming Screenshot

9. Sign up for deals and offers

Some transports services and holiday companies have mailing lists and would announce any special deals they have. For example, FlixBus had a special offer where you could book many journeys for only 9.99. Using this we travelled from Vienna to Berlin for only 19.98 return which is a fantastic deal.

10. Look around for accommodation

Look on websites such as Booking.com and by booking early you may get the best prices. Also with booking.com if you are a regular customer you will eventually become a Genius member. This will give you additional discounts and benefits. You’ll find various types of accommodation and these offer different benefits and maybe suit different types of travellers and budgets. For example, hostels are great for budget travellers and backpackers, apartments are great for long stays, self-catering and also for groups, whilst hotels are great for shorter stays and if you’re looking to eat out more (as a brief example).

11. Book accommodation that is walking distance to attractions

Try booking accommodation that is within walking distance, so that you can walk from your hotel to the beach or other places of interest, including places to eat or go out. This will make your life so much easier and you’ll enjoy the flexibility when you want to explore but sometimes pop back to your accommodation. This will also help you save money as you may not have to get transport as often.

12. Travel in a group

By travelling with others you can sometimes get group discounts on transport and excursions. You would also have the option of getting shared rooms instead of paying for a single room for yourself. This can be a great way to save money as you’ll be able to split a lot of the costs. Apartments are a great option for groups as you’ll be able to cook group dinners and save a lot vs the cost of eating out.

13. Use referral discounts when you can

Many companies offer referral discounts, that allow people to recommend services that they like and think people should use. You’ll often find these more available through new companies entering the market who are trying to build up their customer base. In the past Airbnb and Uber used to do this.

14. Check Baggage before you travel

Ensure your baggage is the correct size and weight for both the cabin and hold and if necessary pay for extra before you arrive at the airport. Arriving at the airport and having to pay for those extra kilos or to put an extra bag in the hold can get very pricey. Read Easy Ways to Avoid Excessive Luggage Fees for more info and tips.

15. Use Air Miles cards

Some credit cards and other schemes allow you to earn air mile points. Eventually, you will then be able to exchange these points for discounts, upgrades, or even free flights. If you consider these cards then be sure to read about the fees and charges otherwise you may end up spending more using them than you get back.

16. Eat in or take a packed lunch

You could enjoy a picnic and pack lunch, or eat at your accommodation (when possible), instead of buying out. Cooking facilities are often available at apartment rentals such as those provided by VRBO, Airbnb and also in hostels.

17. Fly indirect

By flying indirect you may spend a bit longer getting to and from your destinations, abd you may save a lot on the cost too. Use a service such as KIWI, KAYAK or Skyscanner.net to help you easily find the cheapest flights and connections

18. Pre-book parking at airports

If you are driving to and from an airport then pre-book your parking, as the price can sometimes go up if you leave it until the day you need it.


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Written by

Mike Clegg

Mike is a traveller, photographer, WordPress developer and the creator of TravelAndDestinations.com. He started this website so as to share his experiences and tips with travellers. He is from the UK and has travelled to many places around the world. He loves to shares his pictures and stories through Instagram and this website... [Read full bio]

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