It is no secret that travel can be really draining on the bank. In fact it is one of the top reasons people give for not traveling : It’s too expensive. While some places you travel to are more expensive than others, it will generally cost you some hard earned money, no matter where you go. As a college student, I understand this concept all too well. I count my pennies and make sacrifices year round to tighten my belt, because I know that it’s worth it to be able to explore new places. However, knowing some money saving tricks of the travel trade has also proven to be very helpful. Here are some tips I live by when I travel:
1. Always fly during the middle of the week & Always book flights on Tuesdays:
Flight prices sky rocket on the weekends because most people don’t want to miss a day of work for travel time. This leaves plenty of empty seats that need to be filled during the middle of the week so they are priced lower. (It also may mean you get a full row to yourself *heavenly*). I have also learned that the cheapest day to actually purchase a ticket is Tuesday. This is often when schedules and deals come out so your chances of snagging a lower price is much better.
2. Only take a carry on:
Honestly, what do you need to take on your vacation that weighs 50 lbs? Taking only a carry on helps you to avoid the baggage fees that many airlines now have. Plus, it keeps you from overpacking. When I pack for a trip I put everything I think I need on my bed, then put at least 1/2 of it back. You will survive without that third jacket. I promise!
3. Ditch the taxi & Take local transportation
Taxi drivers can spot foreigners from miles away. Prices for tourists can be up to four times more than for a local. So why waste your money? If you can walk -do it! Walking is the best way to take in a new city and stumble across little shops or cafes that you never would have otherwise. When the distance is too far to walk, go with public transportation! It seems scary at first, but once you get the hang of it you can travel near and far very cheaply!
4. Indulge in street vendors
Not every meal needs to be five courses in a fancy shmancy restaurant. Some of the best food I have had while traveling has been purchased from a street vendor for very low prices. Follow your nose to a tasty food vendor and your taste buds will not be disappointed!
5. Pregame (No, not the college way…)
This simply means to purchase beer, wine & spirits in a local shop for low prices, instead of ordering a bottle in a restaurant. There is often a much bigger selection at much lower prices. Plus, it’s portable! You can take your choice of drink to any corner of the city to enjoy along with a great view.
Happy Travels, all!