With the rising costs of flying, heading some place far is becoming more and more of a Utopian dream for many of us. A vacation, however, really doesn’t necessarily have to be a breaking-the-bank experience.
If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t crave luxury at every turn, it is completely possible to travel cheap while not having to resort to backpacking.
Here are 10 simple ways to save money while on vacation:
• Book your hotel well in advance, and whenever possible, check out Airbnb.com — it’s a place where people around the world list their rooms, apartments, and homes for rent and you’ll have access to basic amenities. Many of the listed accommodations are centrally located, and you’re free to peruse reviews written by previous guests.
• Hostels are another option — aside from shared bathrooms, there isn’t really anything much a hotel offers that hostels don’t. As long as the hostels are clean and well-maintained, you won’t be missing much from a luxurious hotel since you will probably be out all day anyway.
• Dine cheaply. There are a myriad of alternatives to filling your tummy besides dining at a restaurant. Check out bakeries, where you’ll find all sorts of local pastries, or street food — all are priced at much more affordable prices than restaurants.
• Take public transportation such as buses and trains instead of taxis, and don’t rent a car unless you absolutely have to. In most metropolitan cities around the world, you can get away with a daily or weekly pass on their buses and trains. Although you would have to walk a bit more than taking the taxi or renting a car, you would be saving money on rental and parking fees, and walking is a great way to sightsee.
• Travel light. If any of your main or connecting flights are via low-cost airlines, chances are that you’ll be charged an exorbitant amount for overweight baggage.
• Exchange your currency before you travel, and try to keep using cash transactions. It might be a lot easier and less of a hassle to carry a credit card around instead of wads of cash, but your bank charges extra each time you swipe your card, and the exchange rates are often much higher than the market value.
• Stay outside of the city centre. Obviously, accommodation smack in the middle of the metropolitan is going to cost more than staying in the suburbs. If there is good public transportation where you’re vacationing, it’s often cheaper and not that much of a hassle to stay a little way out of town — a 15-minute train ride isn’t that far.
• Shop only when you can find something that’s duty free, or a great deal cheaper than the prices back home.
• Two words — tax refunds. In many countries, sales taxes are charged upon everything you buy. Oftentimes, you can claim all of them back from immigration/customs on the way out of the country. Remember to keep all your receipts.
• Check out group, student, or membership discounts. Many tourist attractions have special group rates, so if you’re travelling in a group, remember to check those out. Students and holders of certain memberships such as credit cards or banks are also entitled to discounts at certain places.
• Take a city tour! Instead of trying to visit all the tourist attractions around town yourself (and therefore paying for transportation), follow a tour instead. There are lots of hop-on, hop-off tours in big cities around the world (London, New York, etc) and the buses run all day for free. They often also offer bundled tickets that give you entrance to attractions at a cheaper rate.
Originally published on www.themalaysianinsider.com