Planning on going away and you haven’t saved as much as you’d like? Budgeting for the trip can be stressful and even more so when you are about to board your flight and realise you’ve saved less than half of what you originally intended. There are a few ways to get by your trip without feeling like you are missing out on too much and help you to save some money while there!
1. Create A Daily Budget
This is one of the most important things you can do to ensure you can survive the entire holiday. Calculate how much money you have in your account and then divide it by how many days you’re on holidays for and this should give you a good indication of your daily budget. Be mindful that if you have payments coming out at home or an emergency comes up, you’ll need a little extra to get you through.
Once you have your daily budget worked out, you can then break it down further and work out how much you’ll need for things like petrol, food and if you haven’t booked accommodation yet. With whatever is left, it gives you a figure to spend on activities you want to do, or go shopping.
2. Take Your Student Card
It’s important to take your student card because most places around the world will offer discounts if you are a student studying. The discounts can be on anything from food or accommodation, to entrance into museums or major tourist attractions.
3. Don’t Buy Souvenirs
When you go away you would have heard at least half a dozen times “Bring me back a gift” or “Surprise me with something from ______” Sadly, the reality is they souvenirs have a tourist tax on them and will really take a heavy hit to that daily budget you worked out at the beginning of the trip. You might feel bad about not taking something home for your loved ones but they will understand and rather see you enjoy your time away. Also, who are we kidding? Most of the time the $10 shot glass breaks in transit or they never use the $15 keyring you searched far and wide for.
4. Do Free Activities
Most cities will offer some things free. They may vary from free walking tours of the city to actually visiting some museums for free. You’ll be able to find some brochures at an information centre or look online and you’ll see what’s around to do. Sometimes just walking around the towns looking at architecture can be enough or going out and meeting the locals. You can also find plenty of street markets around in most cities that are open daily.
5. Talk To The Locals Or Book Online
Before going out and booking a tour through an agency, go and talk to some locals. Sometimes you can pay a local to drive you around a sightseeing tour of the city or let you know where some of the lesser commercial places are to visit. That means if you wanted to do a bit of shopping or do decide to buy souvenirs, it will be half the price of everywhere else. Also by chatting to locals, you’ll be able to get a few tips and tricks on bartering, a great way to save money! If the locals can’t help you get things like tours cheaper than with the tour agents, look online. There are always special prices online or you can find a discount code on some website.
6. Take Cash
Taking cash is important if you are planning on visiting anywhere that requires you to barter. Markets are the perfect example of this and the smaller amount of money, the better. Depending on where you visit, they will give you things cheaper if you pay in cash or you’ll be charged a transactional fee if you use a card. Some people also find having physical money really helps them to save so they can really see and track their spending. This one is a personal preference but we’d recommend having a little bit of both.
7. Use Free Wifi
Most of the places that we visit now have free wifi everywhere. From cafes to the hotel, you pretty much have access to the internet wherever you go. For this reason, try to avoid buying a sim card and credit. Most things like maps and google translate can all be downloaded for offline use so you can pretty much get away with not having a card. This will save you a decent amount of money and also forces you to stay off your phone a little bit more than normal. If you are in a country where you need to be a little more cautious, maybe consider adding a sim card to your budget just to stay on the safe side.
8. Get Travel Insurance
Most people rarely claim travel insurance but it’s so important to have. We’d recommend getting a policy that covers you for everything you may need medically and also looking at policies that offer a free change of mind on a flight or missed luggage claims. If you pay that little bit extra for the change of mind cost, if you completely run out of money and need to get home, you can through your insurer. Just remember that most of these do require you to pay an excess, so budget for this just in case. Also if you are planning on skiing or driving a moped in any country, make sure this is covered in the policy or consider paying extra as accidents normally occur while participating in these activities and aren’t normally covered. It will be one hefty medical bill otherwise.
9. Fill Up At Breakfast
If you’ve booked a place that offers free breakfast, eat as much as you can. This will allow you to get through most of the day without having to buy more food. If you eat enough, you can probably make it to dinner before needing to eat again. This could save you $20+ per person a day which adds up. Also if possible, take some fruit with you to snack on through the day.
10. Walk Or Use Public Transport
Try to walk where you need to go for fitness and to save money. If you’ve booked somewhere central to town, you may as well make the most of getting to experience your new scenery. If the walk is a little too far, consider using public transport to get to and from places. If you are traveling with a group of people, it will sometimes work out cheaper to then split the fare for a taxi or an uber. Who knows, you may even meet some locals or other travellers who are willing to share a ride with you!
11. Keep Snacks & Toiletries
When staying in a hotel, try and keep any of the toiletries you’ll be able to use again later. If you didn’t pack shampoo or conditioner, just collect them as you go to prevent having to buy them later on. You paid for the room and they are included in the price so don’t feel bad about taking them. Also, those free biscuits to have with the tea? Take them to snack on when you’re exploring the town or eat them between meals with a nice cup of tea. This will help you to feel full for longer.
12. Stay With Friends Or Family
Are you visiting someplace where you have friends and family close by? Try and stay with them and get a refund on the hotel if you’ve already booked. If you are one of those people who aren’t so organised and book accommodation on the fly, this might be one of the biggest solutions for you to save money. You may lose your sanity for a little bit but you’ll have more money to get out of the house for longer.
13. Book Hostels or Air BnB
If you don’t have family in the area and haven’t booked yet, try and stay at cheaper alternatives to hotels. There are plenty of websites online that help you to compare the price of rooms so you can find the cheapest option. Room sharing will be the most cost-effective option but if you have belongings you are worried that will get lost or stolen, maybe consider a room to yourself or getting a room with a safe. If you have already booked somewhere, it might be best to see if you can cancel and find something cheaper and get your money back. In saying this, if you booked well in advance, your room will probably still be cheaper than most last minute options.
14. Pack Snacks/Water Bottle
Before starting out your day, we’d recommend going to a food store and buying a load of snacks for your day. After your big breakfast, you’ll only need something little to get you through to an early dinner. If you scored free fruit from the hotel, you’ll need even less to eat. Also, consider buying a drink bottle and refilling it if your in a country where the water quality is safe enough to drink.
15. Pack Heavy
The more you pack, the less room you have to purchase things on the trip. It also means you save more money by not shopping when you are out and about and it means you should have everything you need. Still leave a little space for some items to take home and consider not being right on your baggage weight because if you do go over, you’ll then need to pay for additional baggage weights.