I just finished reading Travel Happy, Budget Low by Susanna Zaraysky.
It’s a great book on planning and enjoying your trip on budget.
In this post, I would like to share with you a few money saving tips that I learned from the book.
The guiding principle of this book is that: Some of the best things in life are free!
You don’t have to pay a lot of money to maximize your experience and joy.
According to Susanna, the most costly elements of travel are transportation, lodging and food. And I would like to add a fourth element which is tours & entertainment.
Here are 29 quick money saving tips for each of these four elements:
- Check Weather and Best Time to Visit at: LonelyPlanet.com
- Check cheap flights at: Kayak.com – Play with the dates until you find the best deal.
- Sign up for the “Price Alerts” service to get best surprise deals from Kayak.com
- Join a Frequent Flyer Miles program and be loyal to one airline and its partners.
- After finishing the search for the cheapest airfare, clean cache files in your web browser. The cookies used by airlines might give you old price info when you do a new search.
- If you will travel by train, look into rail passes because they are usually cheaper than a one time ticket. Try Internationalrail.com
- When you use buses, opt for first class whenever you can afford it. In some countries, there is a huge difference in quality.
- Use local transportation whenever possible. Look into passes. Country guidebooks list info about best bus routes.
- Shop online for best car rental deals.
- Check Kayak.com for inexpensive hotels
- Check out HospitalityClub.org for a free place to stay or nice locals to show you around town.
- If you’re traveling in a group, rent apartments with kitchens. Use www.vrbo.com
- Bring small gifts with you to give to locals who might host you.
- Use Skype for free or cheap calls home.
- Use CallingCards.com for local access phone numbers.
- Buy a large container of water and refill smaller bottles.
- Bring snacks with you like nuts, crackers and dried fruits.
- Eat a good and filling meal in the morning. Eat snacks and small portions throughout the day.
- Eat at local food vendors. Most guidebooks have translations for the country’s most popular dishes.
- Shop at local markets and cook for yourself whenever possible.
4. Tours & Entertainment
- Use Lonely Planet guidebooks and Thorn Tree forum for best places and deals.
- Make sure when you use credit cards that it is charged with the correct currency.
- Beware of cheap tours.
- Shop last.
- Search google for “city name” and “free walking tours” for volunteers who love to show their city.
- Look for bike tours or rent a bike to discover the city.
- Check for free entertainment and cultural events.
- Ask your hotel for local entertainment that’s not geared toward tourists.
- Bargain in shops in the Middle East, Latin America and South Asia.
I hope you find these tips useful when you plan for your next trip.
Do you have more ‘travel on budget’ tips that you can share with us?
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