Spring is headed for us and that means you need some tips to save money when on vacation abroad. You already have your travel plans ready for spring break. The adventure bug has bit you and you are itching to just get out of the house. You planned out your flight, hotel, and the activities you want to do on your spring vacation. Every trip away from your home will eat up the money out of your bank account. You want to have enough money to have a good time. You have to think smart and make the most of your spring adventure. Here are fifteen tips to save money when on vacation abroad.
1. Follow the Locals
Tourist traps love to drink the wallet. Plus, you are not getting the fullest out of your traveling experience. Tourist traps try to go for more of an “American” and watered down feel to whoever visits them. Instead, you need to find the nearest local and then follow them to wherever they eat. Locals know where all of the good stuff is and that's one of the very best tips to save money when on vacation abroad.
2. Fish for Travel Deals
You can save money on your vacation even before setting foot outside of your house. Take the time to go through travel sites and look for the best deals. Join a couple of Facebook groups and talk with people who are frequent flyers. But, be careful. Some deals can be scams and take you for a ride. Do your homework before you click.
3. Turn off Your Cell Phone
Phone companies will hit you with roaming charges if you use your phone in other countries. Even if you are out on a cruise ship, your phone bill will be a nightmare when you get back to shore. Unless you have an emergency, turn off your phone. Do not text or make calls until you get back into the country.
4. Flexibility is Your Friend
Plans don’t always go as you hope. Something can fall through or something could happen to you. Don’t be strict with your initial plans. It does not hurt to have a backup plan or two. Or three. Or four or five. Look through all of your options before you lay out all of your plans. Flexibility can also apply to while you are on your vacation as well. Check the weather and different schedules every day.
5. Don’t Go during Tourist Season
Going on vacation during the tourist season is not the best idea. Most of the locals go away during this time. Places are crowded and prices are much higher. Try to go on vacation when it is an off-season. You will get the most of the country that you are visiting and save plenty of money.
6. Bring Your Own Snacks
We all get hungry on the go. The airlines and tourist traps know this. Which is why they charge crazy prices to tide over your hunger. Pack up some snacks before you leave home. Pick out non-perishable items like nuts, trail mix, raisins, M&M’s, etc. Chocolate is kind of iffy because it melts in the heat. You can easily find healthy snacks at your local grocery store.
7. Bring Your Own Bottles of Water
Just like the tip above, the same thing applies to water. You will get thirsty along the way when you go out and explore on your vacation. Go for washable water bottles. Refill your water supply when you get back to your hotel. Plastic bottles are a hassle to deal with and will take up space in the trash.
8. Skip the Big Restaurants
Big name restaurants in foreign countries like the Hard Rock Café are not cheap. They could be crowded and your meal could take a lot of time. Plus, some of them can be tourist traps. Instead, go to the smaller restaurants. Chances are, they are part of the local culture. Have a little picnic in the park or your hotel room. You will have more money to do the things that you want to do. Another tip with the restaurants is to not over order food. Ordering the right amount of food will save you more money.
9. Go to the Markets
You can get more deals with the morning markets. You get the best out of your money with fresh fruits and vegetables. You come across new and cheap snacks. You can even get breakfast from the market. The markets offer new products every day. Another benefit from the markets is information. Take a listen to find new locations to check out. People love to talk in the markets. It’s like a barbershop for food.
10. Don’t Look for Food when Hungry
When you are hungry, you are more likely to think with your stomach and not your head. You will look for the most convenient thing you can find. If you are not careful, you could end up draining your wallet before you realize what is happening. Do a little planning the night before or in the morning before you head out. So when you are ready to eat, you will have still have enough money to last you through the vacation.
11. Withdraw Your Money
If you need money on the go, bring your bank card. Just get enough money that you need for the day or week. Carrying wads of cash from your homeland will put a target on your back. Your bank card will have the best currency exchange. Go the extra mile and check and see if your bank will reimburse you for withdrawal fees from the local ATM machine.
12. You Don’t Have to do Everything There
Your vacation will eat up your money for transportation and accommodation. Plus, things can happen and force you to change your plans. Take things slow and make a list of all the things that you want to do. Check the conditions and the best times to go. If you want to stay longer, you can negotiate with the price of your room.
13. Go for the Middle of the Week
Traveling on the holidays are very pricey from the airlines. Same goes for on the weekend. Your best times to fly are Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Going in the middle of the week is the cheapest way to go. Plus, there is the benefit of dealing with fewer headaches in the middle of the week.
14. Coupons Are Good
This is not a joke. Coupons will help you save money. These are your tickets for travel discounts. Do your homework and fish around for deals. Also, check when these coupons expire and what they're good for. One more thing to keep in mind is to make sure that you are not getting ripped off. If a coupon looks too good to be true, it probably is.
15. Walk, Walk, Walk
Renting cars or taking buses and trains can really add up. If you want to save money and take in more of the sites around you, do a little walking. The fresh air of another country is calling you, waiting for you to embrace it. You will get in some exercise, see more, and save money.