By Alex Tran
If you ask someone what they wish they could do more of, the most popular response is to “travel.” Then you ask them what’s stopping them, and they will most likely reply with “money and time.” However, traveling does not have to be expensive. There are ways you can curb your spending yet still enjoy your vacation. Here are 10 of our top tips to help you enjoy your vacation without breaking the bank.
#1 Keep Track Of Every Dollar Spent
This might sound tedious but if you have a tendency to overspend, it’s important to consider this technique. Use an Excel form on your Google Drive account to keep track of your daily expenses. At the end of the trip, add up your expenses and see if you stayed within budget. Oftentimes, you may be underspend, which means you have money for future trips! What’s also great about this technique is that you get to learn your spending habits.
#2 Make A Daily Travel Budget
A daily travel budget is a great option to stay within budget. For example, you can limit your budget to $75 USD a day in Paris. Work this out on your own or with your travel companions so that everyone holds each other accountable. Bring the exact amount of cash so that you don’t overspend and use credit cards only when necessary. Some days you may go over your budget, and other days you may be underspend. That will pretty much even out your daily budget. Make sure you stick to this method in order for it to work, or else you can easily overspend.
#3 Travel Slowly
Hopping from city to city or country to country can be expensive. You’ll have to pay transportation and hotel costs over and over again. Staying in one place for an extended period of time allows you to find out where the inexpensive restaurants are. Most hotels and hostels will offer you a better deal if you stay for an extended period of time. An extended vacation will also give you the tie to relax on the beach and organically explore your surroundings. Remember, the slower you travel, the less you spend.
#4 Opt to Use Public Transportation
Travel like the locals and use public transportation when you can. Not only is it cheaper, you’ll find that getting around via subway or train allows you to cover more ground. Public transportation can be scary if it’s your first time in a foreign place. Research the public transit system and download any apps that the locals use to get around. We recommend budgeting your travel costs into your day so that you stay on budget. Want to save more money? Consider renting an eco-friendly bicycle to get around.
#5 Eat Where The Locals Eat
One of the best parts of traveling is trying out the local cuisine. Locals usually know where the best and sometimes cheapest eateries are. Head into a local cafe and ask the employees or a random denizen what they recommend in the area. If a place has a crowd, you can almost guarantee it will be delicious. Don’t avoid the local food just because you think you may get sick. If the locals are eating there, it is probably safe to eat.
#6 Find Cheap Accommodation
Accommodation is usually the biggest cost of every traveler’s expenses. Many people default to researching hotels when there are many cheaper options. Choose to stay in an AirBnB or locally-run homestays. Consider staying outside of town so that the rates are cheaper. If you’re traveling with a group of friends or family, consider renting a home and splitting the cost. And lastly, we recommend trying out CouchSurfing if you don’t mind staying with a stranger in their home and most likely on the couch and if you’re lucky, on a spare bed.
#7 Shop Around
Avoid buying something when you first see it. I shop around first to find the best price and then haggle if it is a part of the local culture. Most of the time, when I begin to walk away from a vendor, they will respond with a discount on the item that I am interested in. This goes the same for lodging, restaurants, and tour packages. I’ve been able to haggle a restaurant into giving us free beverages with our meals as well as reducing the price of a souvenir by 80%! Don’t give up! if you’re committed to saving money, there are always ways to do it.
#8 Don’t Buy Things You Don’t Need
It’s easy to want to buy everything you see while traveling. You’ll see things that will make great souvenirs or gifts for friends and family. However, 100% of the time it’s an unnecessary spend. Avoid buying things you don’t need. Hold off on impulse shopping by opting to doing free activities that are better for your wallet and travel experience. It’s ok to skip the souvenirs!
#9 Pack Light and Ditch a Checked Bag
Packing exactly what you need and no more can help you save unnecessary travel costs. A checked bag can range from $25 to $75 USD each way! Pack enough and consider doing laundry while you’re traveling. Many people will create capsule wardrobes for travel, which allows them to pack minimally and purposefully. Rather than packing things you might not wear on your trip, plan your outfits so that you can travel light and skip checked baggage. Go ahead and put that money towards another part of your vacation.
#10 Book a Travel Package
If sticking to a budget is difficult for you, consider opting in for a travel package. Most travel packages will be all-inclusive and often include meals, lodging, transportation and tours. You will also know exactly how much you’re spending before you even take off. Travel packages will also save time on research and travel planning, which can take hours of your time. Let the tour company handle all the stressful steps and ensure you a worry-free vacation.
Contact a Costa Rica Deals Now agent to discuss what tour package options are available for you and your family. We would love to take care of all your travel needs.