Monday, June 6, 2016

TRAVEL GUIDE: Smart ways to save money

The summer season has arrived and many of us has plans ahead for any kind of getaways and vacations. Therefore I have a smart checklist tips for alternatives how to save travel expenses.
Because I understand the struggle and concerns when it comes to budgeting to travel. Many of us are more than happy to get out of the town few miles away for a weekend, others are craving for sipping coctails on the beach or other group of people are seeking for adventures in the unknown land. Whatever the purpose and destination is, travelling should embrace your inner self and give you an opportunity to gain something new.




1. Check alternatives for ways to get there

Do research and proper planning before trips. Check all alternatives and compare prices. From how to get there, accommodations to various discount and travel passes. Use alternative transports, be flexible with time or nearby airport locations.
I always use Skyscanner to check prices of flights and then on individual websites, if I need to check different times. Many low cost airlines do offers, therefore it is good to subscribe them or keep on eye on what is on offer now and maybe be flexible with the destination or date.
Besides flights, check as well trains or coaches. If you do not mind sit a bit longer, road transportations can be way cheaper and give you with different experience and scenery which you may not have up in the clouds. I like using Romeo2Rio website, where it check the destination distance and time from point A to B. Furthermore, it gives you suggestions of approximate price and the way how to get there (only work for road travels).
Planning a Europe trip? Why not check Eurail pass?




2. Skip hotels

In today's shared economy, especially for millenials, Airbnb or Couchsurfing is nothing new anymore. For first users of Airbnb, register your account to receive a discount for your first booking though think link. It is great to know local people as well, as they may host you or they may recommend you some places where to stay within the budget. Look for guesthouses or backpacker hostels, where you have a chance also to meet other enthusiastics like yourself.
When I am looking for accommodation when travelling, my priorities are the location of the place, has to be clean and obviously wifi is the must. Anyway, at the end, you go there just to rest, sleep and take a shower and the rest of the day you should be enjoying outside in the city.

3. Check countries with low rates of currency and expenses

Fluctuation of currency exchange can be sometimes pain. Do not remember as well to check countries where you do need or not need visas (that's an extra cost and time). Check regularly exchange rates to spot the best time to change your money. If planning to use a credit or debit card, check with your bank in advance their fees and additional information about using cards abroad, so you would be not surprised with the bank statement later when you come back from holidays. Set your card to avoid any international fees, se yourself withdrawal budget or split money into saving accounts.
Also, preferably change money in the city, rather then in hotels or airports. Countries with low rates of currency rate means that you will have a peacful mind and pleasure of spending less money while travelling. Currently the lowest currency rate will be in Cambodia, Indonesia or Vietnam.

Apart from that, I suggest you to check websites such as Numbeo or Nomad List to check other experiences and overview of costs in certain cities.



4. Travel points

It is useful to scubscibe or create accounts on various platforms in order to not only get updated with latest discounts and news, but also to collect points and rewards, if applicable. Such as AirFrance and its Flying blue miles points, various rail discounts, Hotels.com offers collecting nights and getting one extra night after 10 points and other playful and loyal programs!

5. Away from tourist places

Touristic area and places are always over priced and crowded. Why not search for alternative places to go out and eat, somewhere where locals do. Connect with locals prior coming to have some suggestions on the list already.

6. City passes

Depending on how many days and what you have planned already, city passes may be useful for you to save time and money for all attractions that you are planning to visit.



7. Walk

The best way how to even more explore the city and save money for transportation there. I love walking in an unknown area. The best way to find hidden corners and shops on the way. Do not forget to get a map before or download an offline app, in case you will get lost (and I am sure you will). In the city center, usually everything is walking distance from each other. Plan your initienry beforehand, so you know the location of each attractions and places you want visit, and plan most convenient route. However, be careful while walking in evenings or in darker roads, safety is still priority, therefore do take buses, metro or even a taxi at nights or alone.

8. Sleep in a neigbourhood city

Sometimes you may arrive to the peak season or where almost everything is booked out, think about alternative option such as sleeping over a neigbourhood city. Not only you will explore something more, but also you will save money from overpriced accommodations. The neigbourhood city or borough may be within short travel distance from the place you wanted to stay. I can think of one case, where me and my friend had to stay in Sliema, because there was not much options in Valletta (Malta). The distance between these two cities was only half an hour by ferry.

9. Be flexible, try to combine

As already mentioned, combinations of different routes, destinations or times may give you the greatest value and price to travel. Be open and do your research.



10. Eat out where locals do

11. Avoid peak time

12. Travel by night

Saving one night in a hotel? Saving the free time to spent in the city? Avoiding peak hours? Travelling by night might be useful to consider too.

13.  Learn to budget and save!

Set yourself a budget, exchange just an accurate certain amount of money available for you to spend there, track your spending, pack carefully so you will not forget anything important that you may need! Check other travel guides on the blog to guide you and give you some more insights for travelling.

14. Work remotely

Besides earning money and saving prior the travelling, you may earn some more cash by working while travelling in a foreign country. There are many ways how to do it. Either you can teach local kids and people, find a part-time job or work online. However, again it depends on the amount of days you are spending there and the purpose.

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