Having returned from my overseas holiday in New Zealand, I was feeling somewhat satisfied that it cost me a lot less than I thought it would.
With the craze going on in the commodities markets and general economic weakness over the year, the New Zealand Dollar had dropped below the Singapore Dollar.
This made a holiday there cheaper. Much cheaper.
While exchange rates are a good way to save while travelling, there are other significant savings that you can chalk up with a little research and planning.
Here are 6 ways you can save BIG on your next holiday.
Who knows… maybe the savings you made might even be enough to pay for a second holiday!
1) Travel To Places With Cheap Air Ticket Deals
Keep a lookout on the major aggregator websites.
Savvy travelers often use Skyscanner, Zuji and Expedia to score major savings. These are websites that search the websites of many airlines and compile them for you so you save lots of time by not having to search for them one by one.
Budget airlines frequently offer exciting low cost deals, so it is a good idea to subscribe to their mailing list.
Don’t forget that other travelers are also waiting to pounce on cheap tickets so being an email subscriber gives you that little bit of advantage when the airline marketers do their email blast!
2) Stay In Inexpensive Accommodations
Instead of staying in a hotel, you can half your spending on accommodation through websites such as Hostelworld or Airbnb.
Why would anyone do that?
For one, you will likely be spending your day out there exploring the places, and will go back to sleep.
You’re going to have to look past the “brand name” of a hotel and you will realise that a decent well-reviewed Airbnb house is way bigger, cheaper and more comfortable than a tiny hotel room for which you might have paid a king’s ransom for!
What’s more, your Airbnb host or the hostel staff will likely have travel tips and recommendations for things to eat in their country, and the best places to go sightseeing!
3) Avoid Taking Taxis As Much As Possible
If you are not sure about the “taxi culture” or taxi fares in the country you are travelling to, then it is best to avoid flagging down a taxi at all!
We have heard about horror stories of taxi fare scams in different countries, so unless you are familiar AND comfortable with the taxis in said country… just stick to public transport as far as possible.
If you really must take a taxi, be sure to at least do some research online about the usual fares you should expect to pay to avoid getting fleeced!
4) Cook Your Own Meals
Strike a balance between eating out at restaurants, trying out the local street food as well as venturing into the supermarkets and whipping something up for your meals back at the kitchen at the Airbnb lodging or the backpackers’ hostel.
Trying out different varieties of local street food allows you to immerse yourself in the food culture of the country you traveled to, and enhances your travel experience!
5) Be Your Own Tour Guide
With so many travel sites on the internet, no one really needs a tour guide these days. Just a simple search on Google will return sites like Wikitravel, TripAdvisor (a personal favourite), and tons of travel blogs that will give you loads of ideas on where to go on your next trip!
Be on the lookout also for free tours in the cities you are travelling to. For example, the Sandeman’s network of free tours cover the major European cities and these provide high quality day tours with volunteer local tour guides.
6) Shop Only If Necessary
As tourists, there is the natural urge to spend more because, well, you are on holiday right? The result is that you often end up bring back way more souvenirs than you need, even after giving out tons of it to friends and colleagues.
One easy way to minimise shopping is to change less foreign currency than what you think you need.
You’re probably thinking, what if I run out of money? What am I going to eat?
Relax, most travel destinations would be no stranger to Visa and Mastercard. Carrying some credit cards allow you to access extra funds when required.
This way you wouldn’t feel like you have too much foreign currency and feel the urge to spend all of it before the flight back.
Disclaimer: the author does not own any shares in any of these companies.
Do you have recent stories on how you saved big money while traveling? We want to hear it!