With US dollar depreciating against major currencies right now, many of you might think twice about a trip to a foreign country. Vacations to popular destinations like France, Spain and England is going to be expensive but what if you still can save cash by traveling smart, regardless of your vacation destination? These travel tips will allow your money to go further without breaking your bank account and let you have maximum fun at the same time. Without further ado, here are the travel secrets to save big on your vacations.
Save Big With These Travel Secrets
1. Shop around
Don’t assume the first deal you see is the best. Just like anything else, deals are everywhere. Therefore, shop around for travel deals until you find the best one. Don’t forget to check online resources too.
2. Travel in the off season
As you guessed, prices are higher on peak seasons. So pick destinations on their off season where prices are much lower. During off season, the number of guests will be low as well, allowing you to get a better service at hotels, tours etc.
3. Use travel agents wisely
Travel agents are good for long trips for far away places. If it is for a weekend or a few days, handle it yourself. However, if you decide to use a travel agent, be sure that they are experts in the chosen destination so they can give you tips on saving money on your trip.
4. Be flexible
Being flexible in changing your travel itinerary a day or two can save you big money. Usually when flights get cancelled, they reschedule it and give you a lower price for the delay.
5. Rent small
When renting a car, get the smallest possible car you can handle because it will be cheaper. Not to mention it will use less fuel, if you have to pump fuel apart from the charge for the car. Also avoid rent-a-car at airports if possible, as their rates are comparatively higher.
6. Ask for it
Take a chance and ask for free upgrades. It never hurts to try and you never know what you might get, especially if you travel in the off season.
7. Use public transportation
If you can familiarize yourself with the city’s public transportation, you can save what you would otherwise spend on rent-a-car services. Besides, what better way to experience a foreign destination than doing what locals do.
8. Book early
If you know the date you are planning to travel, book your flight tickets or cruises as early as possible. It will save you big money on your traveling expenses.
9. Carry water and snacks
Fill your bag with water and snacks before you travel. Buying them at local stores could be pricier.
10. Try semi-Euro destinations over popular ones
England, France, Italy etc are bound to be expensive due to their economy and popularity. That doesn’t mean there are no other European countries you can visit. Consider countries like Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania that offers culture, architecture and decent exchange rates.
11. Rent an apartment
If you’re staying at least a week in one place, renting an apartment is often more economical than staying at a hotel. Most countries, including Asia has fully furnished apartments with all the facilities for a low price compared to hotels.
12. Tip the right way
It’s not true that certain countries don’t expect tips. The etiquette, however, is different. For example Europeans too expect tips while you may not have to pay the usual 15% tip in Asian countries. Use a guidebook or online resources to brush up on the tipping etiquette of the country you plan to travel to.
13. Use the right credit cards
Check with your plastic issuers to see which credit card charges the least, and use that card for most of your purchases. Be sure to take at least one extra credit card and to let your issuers know in advance when you’ll be out of the country.
14. Use your ATM card for cash
Banks are cashing in by charging higher fees for overseas transactions, but you’re still better off using ATM’s than most currency-exchange kiosks.
15. When to grab a bite
A popular piece of budget travel advice is to eat your largest meal at lunch, when prices are cheaper.
So the next time you are planing a trip, have these travel secrets on the back of your mind. You never know when it will become handy. If you have any travel secrets for cheap holidays on your own, don’t forget to share them on comments section below.