Looking for cost-cutting travel hacks? From booking cheap flights to scoring discounts on museum passes, here are 10 useful hacks that will make you a better traveler…
1. Know how to recognize scams
Before you go to a new city, search online for “Tourist scams to avoid in… [enter place]” You’ll find invaluable feedback from seasoned travelers who have seen and experienced it all. Make yourself less vulnerable to money-grabbing scams and do your homework – you’ll encounter far less surprises on your journey.
2. Look for city tourism cards
Most popular destinations (especially in Europe) offer city tourism cards that get you freebies and discounts on everything from popular attractions to museum passes, dining outlets and transport. While you’ll pay for the privilege, you’re guaranteed to save money along the way.
3. Be flexible when flying
There are no magic tricks for booking cheap flights so ignore the myths (sorry but searching incognito will NOT lead to cheaper deals!) Early-morning or late-night flights are usually cheaper because they’re unpopular — we suggest getting familiar with travel websites that help you find flight deals.
4. Travel off season
If you can’t be flexible where you fly, at least be flexible with when you fly. The most obvious way to save money on travel is to visit places during their off season (often when the weather isn’t quite as good.) Everything will be cheaper including flights, hotels and activities — and you won’t have to battle the crowds.
5. Eat away from tourist streets
As a rule of thumb, avoid eating within six blocks of any major tourist attraction. These restaurants cater to gullible tourists and usually charge more for lower quality food and service. Talk to a local on the streets and ask for their recommendations instead.
6. Take advantage of freebies
Most cities offer free walking tours led by passionate guides so take advantage of the opportunity to explore like a local. Also keep a lookout for free things to do — for example, the Louvre in Paris is free on the first Sunday of every month.
7. Be flexible where you travel
Enter your travel dates on Skyscanner and use the ‘travel anywhere’ feature to find the cheapest fares from your airport to any destination in the world. It’s a brilliant way to discover the best deals from your city at any given time.
8. Try using search engine Rome2Rio
Rome2rio is a global search engine that helps travelers find their way from A to Z. You’ll get an overview of different travel options between two or more destinations including trains, buses and driving routes. For extended trips across multiple countries, it’s a huge help.
9. Always withdraw money; never exchange
Stop changing your money at the airport or on the streets and use an ATM instead — your bank card will almost always carry the best currency exchange rates.
10. Budget your breakfast
Meals will constitute a large chunk of you’re travel budget when you’re eating out 2 to 3 times a day. The best way to offset some of these costs is to buy your breakfast from a local grocery store. Whether it’s a yoghurt or fresh fruit, breakfast is the easiest meal to do on the cheap.
Feature image via Instagram | @jyjy_64