Let's just say it many of us have one thing in common when it comes to vacations — we spend a lot. Probably too much to be honest. We at Moneon did it too but not anymore. There is a way to spend a great time without spending great money.
Here are 8 tips on how to save money during vacation.
Plan a budget for your vacation
Budget is always a good idea when it comes to not overspending. And it's pretty easy to make one for a vacation.
Start with listing all possible expenses — visa, tickets, insurance, shopping, food, etc. Then try to weight roughly how much you'll spend on each category. To make those numbers as real as possible you can use databases with current and timely info on prices in other countries.
When every category is estimated add 10-15% to the total amount to cover unforeseen expenses
That's it — you've just made a budget! Luckily, budgets are not set in stone so you can edit it anytime to adopt it for your resources.
Find cheap flights
Thanks to aggregators like Jetradar and Skyscanner, it's easier than ever to find cheap flights. Even if you didn't decide about dates, destination or both.
If you doubt about dates check flights over an entire month with low fare calendar to get the best deal. And if you're not sure about the destination most of the aggregators have a search option «Everywhere» to see the cheapest flights from your city.
Sometimes you want to visit the specific country or city but the tickets are way too expensive. In this case, feel free to subscribe to an aggregator's newsletter to be notified once the prices are dropped.
Consider airline credit cards
Airline credit cards offer perks like free checked bags or airport lounge access while also making it easier to rack up points or miles and save money on flights. And if you travel a lot, this type of credit card will definitely make your trip experience more enjoyable and less expensive.
The thing is there are so many options that vary from country to country and from bank to bank. Luckily this time you don't have to make a research by yourself. Just google something like «best airline credit card» with your country to find ratings of cards with a detailed comparison. Annual fees, bonuses, and perks — it's all there.
Opt to suited accommodation
It's really hard to underestimate the importance of accommodation on vacation. Once again aggregators like Booking or Hotellook are here to help. It has a full base of hotels around the world and flexible search options to help you find the perfect place to stay.
Another prospect here is vacation rentals like Airbnb. It can be much cheaper than hotels with the same location. And it's not only about saving money but also about the experience as you basically become local for a while. Renting an apartment is also a great opportunity to make a friend as hosts are usually very friendly and open to communication and sharing insights on restaurants and entertainments.
If something like Airbnb cancelation happens in the last minute or you like spontaneous trips in general use Last Minute Travel to find the best hotels deals for the near future.
When choosing an accommodation pay fair attention to its location. For example, it may be more expensive than you hoped but located in the city center. This way you will spend less on transport fees.
Many of the expense categories in this article are connected so it's helpful to look at the whole picture when making decisions
Cut transport expenses
Public transport is usually affordable and can take you anywhere. Use city websites to learn more about prices, ticket options and to map your future route. And always remember about Google Maps. It uses all existing transport database to help you with finding the most efficient way to get from point A to point B.
In some cases, there is an even cheaper option like biking. No parking issues and route limits — with a bike, you're in charge. And last but not least — it's healthy.
And If you have plans on visiting countryside regions, the best thing you can do is to change over to a car or a scooter. Learn more about region infrastructure and car rentals like RecordGo, Goldcar and local ones to find the cheapest way to travel around.
Eat without overspending
Your budget will be grateful if you cook food by yourself. Start with picking a hotel or an apartment with the kitchen. Then explore some local markets to find regional products and maybe make something of the national cousin. This way you're not only saving a lot of money but gain precious life experience. Seems like the win-win situation.
If you don't feel like cooking which is totally okay find perfect places with the best quality to price ratio. Use TripAdvisor and Yelp to discover hidden gastronomic gems in every part of the world. And if you travel on weekdays check «happy hours» and launch options to get more with spending less.
One more thing to remember it's a tips culture. Before going abroad, check the local approach to tipping to avoid any awkward situations.
Look for affordable entertainment
Entertainment is probably the most import part of every vacation. There is a way to have a great time without spending a fortune. And like in many previous points do your research. We promise it's worth it.
Join public social media groups to find out about the local places, read some authorial guides and don't forget about Airbnb and TripAdvisor. They usually have great recommendations. And download the free app Meetup to learn more about events nearby.
Sometimes it's even better not to focus on specific places and make your own routes around the city. Just imagine the feeling when you explore the city and find sights all by yourself. Sounds awesome, right?
Take souvenirs under control
When it comes to souvenirs it's easy to spend too much on things that mean too less. We have one advice — be as practical as possible. Make a list of people you want to get gifts, storm some ideas (or maybe even ask them personally) and estimate the perfect price for each gift.
It's better to make something memorable rather than big and expensive
For example, you can ask your colleagues and friends for their addresses and send them postcards from abroad. It's sweet and simple.
For close friends and family, it may be better to think outside the regular magnets and figurines. Every country is famous for something — cheese, wine, oils, desserts. Such a gift is a perfect opportunity to share your experience with close people after the vacation.
You can see it's more than possible to have a great time on vacation without spending all the money you have. But please don't make your vacation about saving money. We truly believe in first hand it should be about getting new experience and the rest you deserve.