Everyone loves to travel. What’s stopping people from packing their bags and hopping on a plane to cross items off their bucket lists is the cost. Now that everything just seems costlier, people postpone travels thinking that vacations are a luxury they can no longer afford.
While it is true that travelling entails expenses, that shouldn’t stop people from visiting their dream destinations. There are ways to stretch your travel budget so expenses incurred during much-deserved vacations need not burn a deep hole in your wallet.
Your dream destination might be in Europe, South America, or Southeast Asia but no matter where you’re headed, know that there are effective ways for you to save big on travel expenses. Below are money-saving travel tips every tourist should know.
Score free flights with rewards points. One of the ways you can score free flights is by accumulating miles through your credit or debit card’s rewards points system. Many card companies work with airlines so that their clients can accumulate miles even without flying. If you have these travel-related cards you earn miles by simply making purchases. To entice people to sign up, carriers even offer cards with thousands of bonus miles.
Choose affordable flights. There are various money-saving ways to score deals on plane fares. To snatch a few good deals on flights, fly on weekdays when fares are cheaper. If you can, choose flights with layovers because they are considerably cheaper than direct flights. Plus, you’ll have more opportunities to explore other cities or countries, even for a very short period of time. Seasoned budget travellers don’t mind indirect flights with stops at great layover destinations like Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Incheon, South Korea. They also fly with budget carriers because these offer the cheapest fares.
Travel in the off-season. To minimise travel expenses, always travel during the low seasons because everything is just cheaper during those times. Furthermore, when it comes to travelling to highly popular travel destinations, visiting during off-peak months also means you don’t have to deal with massive tourist crowds.
Consider the more affordable destinations. You may want to go to Paris or London but if you don’t have the budget for top dollar destinations just yet, you can still go to places that are just as charming yet far more affordable. If you want to travel to budget-friendly European cities, try Split, Krakow, Dubrovnik, and Amsterdam.
Try cheap lodging alternatives to hotels. Travellers in the know rarely stay at pricey hotels. There’s very little value in rooms that come with a hefty price tag when you can have a more authentic experience with cheaper accommodation.
For great savings on rooms, consider family-run inns and hostels. If you are travelling with a group or with your family, a money-saving trick you can do is rent an entire apartment on Airbnb.com. However, if you want a truly local experience, homestays are the best ways to go. In Vietnam, in particular, backpackers exploring the Vietnamese countryside opt for homestays to experience the traditional way of life.
Join value-for-money tours. Contrary to what you might think, pre-packaged tours are actually opportunities for you to cut travel costs. By joining affordable bundled tours, you are saving a lot more versus travelling on your own on a DIY itinerary. It is more convenient and more time-efficient. Plus, you don’t have to worry about transportation costs.
When travelling to Bangkok, for instance, you might want to go on a weekend or day trip to Pattaya, a city that’s about a few hours away from the Thai capital. Instead of hopping on a bus to Pattaya, why not book a Pattaya tour with a reputable tour operator affiliated with your hostel in Bangkok? Pattaya tours usually come with free transfers to and from Bangkok and free lunch at a local restaurant in addition to visits to the city’s major attractions.
Take advantage of sightseeing passes. Sightseeing passes allow free transport for a limited period of time and may even come with special rates and discounts at attractions, entertainment venues, shops, and restaurants.
For example, when vacationing in Bali, save on transportation expenses by purchasing a Kura Kura bus pass. The Kura Kura bus has many different lines, each featuring a different set of attractions. Cheap, time-saving, and convenient, the Kura Kura bus provides for a unique perspective of the island. The buses will take you to different attractions in and around Bali, the most popular of which is Ubud, Bali’s center for art and culture.
Eat like a local. For the best food and culinary experience without blowing your budget, forget the swanky restaurants and go where the locals go. Try local eateries, food stalls, and hawkers with long lines because these are the places that serve affordable, fresh, and great-tasting food. But remember, whenever you’re travelling to destinations where there’s a high incidence of food-borne diseases, only go to places known to serve clean and freshly prepared food.
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