Long gone are the days when traveling out of station meant burning a hole through your pocket and losing a chunk of your hard-earned savings. With evolved tech increasing connectivity to the internet, there are new ways to curb the financial burden for a trip. Here are some ways to prevent overpaying or unnecessarily increasing your travel expenditure:
#1 Travel Apps and Websites
With the internet truly penetrating the country and a smartphone now in every hand, access to travel solutions is within the reach of more people than ever. This is true for both people traveling and wanting to acquire the funds to travel.
- Apps and websites like Airbnb, One Fine Stay and TripAdvisor allow people to rent apartments and bungalows when staying out of the station. They provide a unique and localized experience which many prefer over staying in hotels. It proves to be way more cost-effective than the latter too. They also provide the option of room sharing which can reduce expenditures.
These websites also allow people to list their property for rent to other travelers and help generate revenue which can be used by them to travel. They can list out special features of their homes to attract interested travelers.
- Portals like Expedia and Priceline can be used to view different rates for the same hotel room from a multitude of booking sites. Travelers can avail deals and discounts in a hotel room which would otherwise be more expensive.
- Yapta, Hopper and twitter accounts like @FareDropAlert, etc can be used to get notifications on a drop-in fare price for various methods of traveling.
#2 Alternate Methods of Travel
Instead of taking flights directly to a big city, taking one to a nearby city and boarding an overnight bus, train or cab can prove to be a much more inexpensive alternative.
- For example: a flight from Jaipur to Kuala Lumpur instead of Delhi to Kuala Lumpur can be up to ₹6,000 cheaper, with train tickets from Delhi to Jaipur as low as ₹300.
Certain cities also provide free public transport:
- In Kuala Lumpur, there are free bus ride services.
- In the Vietnamese city of Phnom Penh, free boat ride services are available from one place to another.
- Bus, metro and subway passes are available in cities like Delhi and London. They can be extremely cost-effective in case you are traveling for a long duration.
- Even driving a car to closer destinations instead of boarding a plane each time can save money for travelers who know how to drive and have an eligible driving license.
#3 Travel Habits
- Being aware of the travel industry’s workings is likely to help your costs. For example, flight tickets are said to be the cheapest around 54 days prior to booking. Additionally, statistics suggest that Tuesdays are the best days of the week to book flights from a cost perspective.
- Improving your travel habits can increase sustainability for vacationers. Traveling with a light baggage can help avoid extra charges over the prescribed limit of 15 kg for check-in and 7kg for cabin baggage. And you’ll have room to shop well on your trip!
- To prevent being charged hefty roaming fees, opt for a local phone or SIM card with local calling rates. These rates will always be cheaper than international or national roaming charges, and can prevent you from getting mobile phone bills with numbers that resemble healthcare bills.
- Researching currency exchange rates whilst planning a trip is imperative. This can help avoid poor exchange rates and numerous fees. You should make it a point to ask their bank if they have international branches so that they can use an ATM with low or no fees.
- Souvenirs tend to attract your attention. Spending arbitrarily on souvenirs can make you wonder in hindsight as to where all your money went. One tip to prevent this from happening is to follow the “72 Hour Rule”. This means that you should put off buying souvenirs for 3 days when possible. If you still want it after 72 hours, get yourself a gift and buy it! This helps curb impulsive buys and prevent travelers from feelings of regret.
#4 Eat Smart
Food is an essential part of survival and also a very important part of the vacation experience. But spending blindly on food without consideration can deplete your bank account as fast as it increases the kilos of your body.
- Avoiding inflated prices of food at airports or mainstream eateries and tourist attractions is vital for remaining within your travel budget.
- Asking locals or landlords for good places to eat nearby can provide a more wholesome experience and is a great cost-effective alternative.
- Eating cereal, fresh fruits or indulging in energy bars for breakfast and buying your own supplies to cook meals can keep you both fitter and richer.
Workaway.info, Couchsurfing, Helpx, and Trusted House Sitters are some portals that offer a unique experience for travelers to help out local communities using skills like blogging, cooking, photography, writing, marketing, etc in exchange for free food and stay.
- This cuts costs and allows you to discover yourself and find out hidden talents and skills.
- At the same time, it provides hands-on experience of the local culture and enriches the travel experience.
Next time you’re out traveling on your own and your budget starts falling short, keep these useful tips and tricks in mind and make your journey more enjoyable, sustainable and stress-free. Of course, if the costs still look steep, travel loans from EarySalary, with low-interest rates and flexible repayments, are the solution!