Y’all know how much I harp on saving money before and during travel so that you can, well, travel more! I’m not alone! Some of my other writing buddies collaborated with me to come up with this list. While it is not written by me, Diane, I hope it educates, engages and empowers you to travel more!
Going on holiday can quickly spiral into a really expensive couple of weeks. Flights, hotels, connecting transport, activities when you’re there, drinks, food – it all adds up! And that list doesn’t even include any shopping while you’re there or spontaneous spending.
Try to save up for your holiday before you go by putting a little bit of money aside each month. If you are planning a big holiday next year, go for a cheaper holiday this year and put your savings aside. This way you can save for the trip of a lifetime without losing out. There are some great money saving techniques that will put you on the right track for that holiday budget, but what can you do to save when you get there?
If you are smart about money and have an interest in being frugal, you will need these insider tricks to make holidays work for you and your wallet.
Rent an Apartment – This might sound counter-intuitive but renting an apartment can be a much cheaper solution if you are travelling as a family or large group. It will mean that you are essentially self-catering but that is probably going to be better than most budget hotel breakfasts anyway! If you are doubtful, have a look at this list of the top 100 popular condos for rent in Malaysia and then check out the hotel prices. You are definitely getting more for your money with an apartment!
Self Cater – If you love cooking at home then you’ll be glad to hear that cooking on holiday is pretty much the same! Of course, you can mix it up with going out to eat but even if you cook for just a couple of nights over the week, sort out your own breakfasts and lunches, you will be saving a significant amount and probably be eating better than you would have as well. Find a good supermarket at the start of the week and stock up on what you need.
Go for Local Bars and Restaurants –Lots of resorts have bars and restaurants that are geared toward tourists and will probably be more expensive than they should be. A great holiday hack is to go where the locals go. Not only will this give you better value for money, it is also a great way to get to know another culture and how they eat rather than just another burger bar. Street food is also a great way to eat and to experiment with new foods. It will also give your more time to wander around and explore as you go rather than wasting your precious time sat waiting for service.
Only Use Wi-Fi Never Data Roaming –It is so easy to forget that your data roaming is on and when you’re on holiday it can end up costing you a fortune. And worse – you won’t even realise what’s happening until it’s all too late to solve the problem. The best thing to do is to switch off data roaming before you switch your phone off for take-off. This way, by the time you get there, you won’t need to remember all of a sudden and it won’t have the chance to up your bill.
Flight Plan –There are lots of things you can do to make sure you get the cheapest flights possible. If you aren’t a fussy traveller, you could easily just look up the cheapest flights from your nearest airport and book on. But, if you are a more of a planner, consider travelling midweek for the best deals and booking between 6-8 weeks before you want to go.
However, school holidays can really mess this plan up and because there are so many families going at the same time, prices will rocket as you get closer. For school holidays, ignore the 6-8 week rule and book as soon as you possible can. Like, right now.
One sneaky bit of advice that everyone should use in all their internet shopping is to use an incognito browser and clear your cookies. As you browse, some websites will track your movements and raise prices as you go. This means that by the time you are ready to purchase, that great deal is not so great anymore. Clearing the cache will return you to the original great price – get in there and don’t do any more browsing before you pay!
Get a Great Exchange Rate – For lots of holiday destinations, you are going to need to get currency and exchanging ahead of time by pre-ordering your money will definitely get you better rates. You may wish to take your own credit and debit cards with you on holiday as well, but unless you are travelling for a long period of time, only use these as a back up. Most ATMs will charge a fee so only use them if you really need to.
Get a Map and Do Some Research – Guided tours are a great way to get to know a place, but they are also easy to do yourself. Take some time to do some research online and get a map to plan your own tour around your resort. If you do this early on, you will get feel for the place and find other free opportunities for later on in the holiday. Lots of national parks and beaches make for a great day out for free so stock up on those and let those tourist groups pass you by.
Holidays are a chance to relax and enjoy yourself and we so often confuse these things with the need to spend money. Rather than blowing your budget on unnecessary things, make smart choices and make the most of what you have. Of course, saving money in one area doesn’t mean that you have to save money everywhere. If you have gone self-catered then why not put that extra cash you’ve saved towards an activity you will really enjoy? Find the balance with your cash and the joy will keep on coming.