You are in the middle of an adventure, taking a trip that you’ve been planning for the past year. And you suddenly realise that you are short of money. That’s an experience you just don’t want to have. That’s why saving money and planning your finances before the trip is not enough. You need to keep a check on your wallet when you are travelling too, because often we end up spending more than we need to in the exuberance of it all. Expenses like food and accommodation are indispensable while travelling, so you need to find the most pocket-friendly options and save money for other things. Here are some useful tips to keep in mind to make your next trip cost-effective!
Spend your points and miles
You may have free miles on your credit card or with airlines that you can put to good use for booking tickets for your travel. For an avid traveller, travel credit cards are recommended over regular debit cards since credit cards offer a great opportunity to earn free points that can be redeemed for airfares, hotels, or cash. Different cards offer different benefits that fit different people. So do your research and get the one best suited for you before you book your tickets. The more you travel using your credit card, the more you earn and save for your future trips. Most online travel marketplaces also offer special points and virtual cash for flight bookings and hotel bookings that you can redeem anytime you need to.
Use the sharing economy
You can put the sharing economy to work for just about anything, from your transportation, to guided tours, meals, and where you sleep. Look for low cost options like hostels and home stays instead of fancy hotels. These offer a much more authentic and local experience and are easy on your bank balance. Communities like Couch surfing and Global Freeloaders have a large network and offer options for free stays around the world and are also a great way to get in touch with other travellers.
Join online travel communities
You can join travel groups and communities online on Facebook and travel blogsites to get regular alerts about good places to check out while on your trip. Get tips on how to find the most cost-effective options from fellow travelers and locals on these communities. They won’t just fill you in on the best modes of travel and best places to stay, but often they’ll also open up a treasure trove of information for you about the most exciting yet affordable places to eat and drink at and to discover the true vibe of the destination you’re at.
Look out for deals
The Internet is your friend. Cashback websites and apps today let you look directly for stores that you want to shop at and earn a percentage of your money back on purchases, so you can save while on your trip. Also, cash withdrawals on your ATM card incur bank charges. So, when travelling, it’s always advisable to pay using your credit card so you do not use up your cash and at the same time keep earning more points.
Eat where the locals eat
When looking for places to eat, try to stay as far away from the tourist traps. Food at popular haunts is often double the price and half as good. Street food and small restaurants with more local customers offer cheaper, tastier food that is less likely to get you sick as it’s usually fresh due to the high churn and will save you money. Websites like Mealsharing.com and Eatwith.com, allow you to look for communal home-cooked meal options with locals and travellers around you.
picture courtesy for the main image as Inspired Traveller