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How to save on a trip
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How to save on a trip

Why pay more than you need to on travel? Listen to our podcast, and find out how to cut costs and travel cheaper!

 

Voiced by: Claire Heffron

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There is a prevailing opinion that, travelling is very expensive and not everybody can afford it. It's not necessarily so. If you spend a fortune on vacation abroad, it won't mean you have more fun than someone who spends less. There are a lot of easy ways to enjoy a quality vacation without spending a ton of money.
I'd like to bust the myth that traveling is a great luxury and give you certain tips for turning any trip into both affordable and enjoyable activity.
Why do you think all those popular spots are so expensive to visit? This is because they are popular and everyone goes there. Of course, nothing can substitute Rome, for example. But there are many other less expensive cities in Europe that are also very beautiful and exciting.
Try to travel in the shoulder seasons, I mean just before or after the peak season. Shops are open, the prices are lower, there are fewer tourists and the weather is still very nice.
Book at the last minute. This tip doesn't apply to airfare, because it is the most expensive at the last minute. I'm talking about cruises and tours. This way you'll easily get 25% off and save on your budget. The perfect time to do that is either a couple of weeks before you are planning to depart or a year or even more in advance. The companies don't want to run a half empty tour so they make reductions.
There's no need to stay at big expensive hotels paying $200 per night when you can get the same thing for $50 if you choose more reasonable options. For instance, mom-and-pop hotels. These small family-run hotels are way cheaper, cozier and have more personality to them. Another great option is house-sit. You get free lodging in exchange for taking care of someone's home while they are away. A small disadvantage of this option is that, the length of your stay depends on the owners. If you travel with family, apartment rental will be the best option. You get everything you need and pay half the price of a hotel room. Besides, you have a kitchen where you can cook for yourself and save on food costs.
Food can become one of the most substantial expenses. Therefore, you can do some grocery shopping and cook on your own. You would reduce 70% of your food expenses. That's why I recommend staying in the place with kitchen facilities.
Never eat in a tourist area. Sure, it's easier to have a bite near the attraction, but the prices there usually are up to 50% higher. On the side streets, where there are no tourists the food is better and you'll pay a local price instead of paying the tourist price.
Taking free tours is also a great method to save money. Of course, you can pay a sightseeing service for the standard tour. But in the largest cities around the world there are free walking tours, where you can observe the best spots and learn a lot of interesting information about the culture and local customs. Moreover, you'll have a chance to get acquainted with many nice and intelligent people. You can also use the couch-surf web-site. Here you can connect with locals, who will be happy to show you around. It's a great way to make new friends.
These tips will be useful in any country, no matter where you are going. So good luck and have a great trip!