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Top Ways to Save Money While Traveling

Saving planning for Travel budget
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You’re one day closer to temporarily saying goodbye to your 9-to-5 and saying hello to sandy beaches and pina coladas, and you couldn’t be happier. You’re in good company, too.

Research shows that 73% of people in the United States planned to travel during the summer of 2022, and the same can be expected in 2023 as people yearn for the pre-COVID normal.

The good news is that an adventure doesn’t need to drain your bank account. Here’s a rundown of the top ways to save money while traveling.

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Travel in the Off-Season to Save Money While Traveling

One of the best ways to save money while traveling is to avoid going on a trip during some of the busiest seasons of the year.

Some destinations become significantly more costly at Christmastime and even during the New Year’s holiday. Meanwhile, the “high season” for other vacation spots may be during the summer or spring break.

By traveling outside of these seasons, you may be able to claim discounts at hotels seeking to keep their buildings full during the off-season. Likewise, you may find that airline ticket prices are lower.

You might also be able to go on tours at discount prices when you avoid traveling during the hottest travel times of the year.

Take Public Transportation

Another way to save money when traveling is to take public transportation if you can’t walk to your excursion or sightseeing locations.

Mass transit is typically less expensive than renting a car or taking a taxi, especially if you’re traveling solo. On top of this, public transportation tends to be more eco-friendly.

The bus and train systems are particularly impressive in regions of the world like Europe, as well as states like Massachusetts. Trains, subways, and buses are also generally convenient transportation options in larger cities across the United States.

Minimize Your Drinking at Bars

Yet another way to save money while traveling is to skip the beer.

Food costs are among the highest they’ve been in about 40 years, and alcohol costs have followed suit. Even though a beer may set you back only a quarter in places like Vietnam, it may cost you $10 in vacation spots like San Francisco.

The reality is your body doesn’t require alcohol.

Some individuals travel for wine, cocktails, or beer, as they feel that alcohol can be an exciting way to take in a new place. However, if you drink it each day you go on vacation, and it can make up a significant amount of your travel costs. In light of this, it may be worthwhile to skip the strong drink when going on your next trip.

Can’t bear to avoid alcohol? Consider going to local liquor or grocery stores to buy six-pack bottles of beer or even bottles of wine. You can then enjoy these drinks at your leisure rather than ordering alcoholic beverages at restaurants.

For instance, you can enjoy your favorite hard seltzer while relaxing in your hotel room or around your hotel’s fire pit. Alternatively, you can drink your favorite alcoholic beverages in a public park if this is allowed in the area you’re visiting. Spain is one country where this is generally permitted.

Drink More Water

In addition to bypassing the booze when traveling, you may want to skip the soda to save money while on the road. Instead, make tap water your beverage of choice if it is safe to consume in the area you’re traveling to.

For instance, in Israel and Europe, it is safe to consume tap water. Meanwhile, it’s safer to stick with bottled water if you’re traveling in Central America or Asia.

If you can drink tap water, this will save you money while also keeping you hydrated on a busy day — a double win.

Eat in More Often

You can also save money while traveling by not eating at restaurants — at least not all of the time.

If your trip is longer than three days, you’ll quickly notice that eating out will add up quickly. That’s because you’ll have to pay tax and tip in the majority of places. You may also be tempted to order appetizers, sides, and dessert whenever you eat out, which can drastically drive up your bill.

In places like Sri Lanka, eating out may cost you only a few dollars for two people. However, in most other areas around the world, it is much costlier than whipping up your own meals.

Record Your Spending

Saving money while traveling is also easier to do if you can track how much you’re spending each day.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to put your travel expenses on your credit card. With your card, your expenses may automatically be filed into a travel category that you can track through your online account.

Let’s say you use cash to pay for your travel expenses. You can write down these costs manually or record them on your smartphone.

Alternatively, you may track your expenses using spreadsheet software like Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel. You can break your expenses down into categories like eating out, gas, and rental vehicle costs.

Then, after your trip, you can reflect on your categories and figure out how much you spent per day. You can also determine where you might have overspent somewhere. These data might help you to plan your next trip more effectively.

Avoid Traveling to Expensive Places

If you’re trying to save money when traveling, one of the best moves you can make is to steer clear of costly places.

Some of the most expensive places to visit around the globe include Dubai, Iceland, and even Singapore. Costly places might not have off-seasons; rather, they might be costly year-round.

If you want to travel to an expensive place, not eating out and leveraging hostels (more on this later) may make the trip more affordable for you.

Say No to Shopping

You can additionally save money while traveling by cutting out shopping.

You may be tempted to load up on souvenirs each time you travel somewhere so that you can have a huge collection of memorabilia from all of your vacation spots over the years. However, this can break the bank.

Instead, focus on taking photos. This is a less expensive way to capture all of your past travel experiences, and you’ll enjoy reflecting on your photos in the years ahead.

Look for Free Activities When Traveling

Participating in free activities can also save you money when you’re visiting a new place.

For instance, free walking tours can be a great way to check out a new city without spending money. You can use these tours to explore famous architecture, historic sites, and popular landmarks at your dream destination.

You can also go on a hike in nature to take in the landscape without having to pay a penny. This may allow you to enjoy priceless scenic views of mountains, rivers, lakes, or oceans. Even if a park does charge you to enter it, it will probably be far less expensive than a day at the museum, for example.

Visitor centers can also be enjoyable places to stop at to learn more about an area for free.

The activities you do for free may end up being more memorable than those that cost you entrance fees.

Use Local Ingredients When Cooking

When preparing your own meals at home to save money while traveling, try to use ingredients from local markets and supermarkets. For instance, cook with a Peruvian chili pepper when you’re in Peru. Or, cook with arepas if you’re traveling to Colombia.

This will help you to further save money. It will also expose you to local flavors that you may not be able to enjoy at home.

Make a Hostel Your Home Away from Home

One of the best moves you can make to save money when traveling is to choose a hostel over a hotel.

In some places, like Colombia, you might find a hostel under $20 for two people. In other places, like Sri Lanka, a hostel may be a bit more expensive at under $50. However, hostels are generally much cheaper than hotel rooms.

Some areas like Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central America, and South America even offer hostel dorm beds for a few dollars each per night.

Accommodation can be one of your biggest expenses when you’re traveling, but hostels can easily help you to make your dream trip a reality.

Book Your Accommodation for a Longer Period

Planning to travel somewhere for a month or more? Consider booking an Airbnb home for four weeks or more.

This can save you money because Airbnb hosts often provide monthly discounts. They do this to avoid experiencing constant guest turnover.

Connect with Locals

You can also save money when traveling simply by connecting with people who live in the area you’ll be visiting.

Perhaps you’re headed to France. Plan to connect with family members or friends who reside there when you go. They may take you to a non-touristy neighborhood or eatery that will save you money while giving you an even more authentic French daily living experience.

Loved ones who live in your destination area could even entertain you with a picnic in the park or another low-cost or free activity at that location.

Don’t have family members or friends who live in the place you’re traveling to? Ask family or friends at home if they know of people who live there. If they do, they might be able to connect you with the people they know there, and these new acquaintances may eagerly become your next tour guides.

Also, tap into your social media network before traveling. You just might have an old classmate, friend, or colleague who lives in the place you’re traveling to and would love to meet up with you.

Use Your New Credit Card’s Sign-Up Bonus Toward Your Trip

Many travel credit cards offer free bonuses for signing up. You can then use these bonuses to get points or cash back, and you may redeem these points or cash rewards toward travel.

For instance, a card might give you several thousand points if you sign up with them. Those points may be worth a few hundred dollars that you can spend on a plane ticket or hotel room for a few days.

Take Advantage of Ride-Share Services

Finally, you can save money when traveling by using services like Uber and Lyft if you prefer not to use public transportation.

Like public transportation, ride-share services tend to be less costly than renting a vehicle. That’s because you won’t have to worry about paying for fuel, tolls, or parking fees as you would with a rental car.

Ride-share services are particularly a good option if you won’t be needing more than a handful of rides when you travel.

How We Can Help

The top ways to save money while traveling include traveling in the off-season and using public transportation instead of a rental car at your destination. You can also save a lot of money by minimizing shopping and focusing on taking photos while traveling instead.

As you travel, you may find a place in Massachusetts that you want to make your forever home. At LoPriore Insurance Agency, we can help you to protect your dream home and even your boat.

Contact us to learn more about our insurance coverages and receive a quote today!

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