Traveling is one of the greatest joys in life, from discovering the perfect beach to exploring a bustling city. It’s no surprise that billions of people travel outside their countries’ borders each year to experience the indescribable.
Although spontaneous trips can create some of the best experiences, it’s always worth planning ahead to ensure your vacation runs smoothly. When organizing a vacation, it’s important to set a budget, but that doesn’t mean your trip has to be expensive. Follow these top tips to enjoy an affordable trip.
Save on airport parking
There are several types of airport parking, with something for everyone. For quick and convenient airport parking, the Valet service allows you to simply drop off your car, have it parked for you and away you go. If you opt for a Self-Park option, a quick transfer on a free shuttle gets you to where you need to be without splashing the cash.
There is a wide variety of airport parking providers, so don’t be fooled into booking the most expensive option. Since prices can vary greatly, make sure you do your research to find the best option for you. Companies like Looking4Parking can score you fantastic deals – especially when you reserve your spot in advance.
Ditch the travel guides
Although travel guides might seem like essential items, they can be unnecessary with most of the information readily available online. Today’s most practical sources of information can be stored right in your pocket – it really is true that “there’s an app for that.”
Free apps can save you money when it comes to planning your journey. The “Guides by Lonely Planet” app allows you to get to the heart of a destination with phrasebooks, offline maps and a currency converter. “LiveTrekker” helps you create a digital journal of your travels with interactive maps, speed and altitude monitors. Finally, “Wi-Fi Finder” allows you to locate public Wi-Fi hotspots so you can check your emails or search for information on the go. Now, who needs a travel guide?
Don’t follow Tour Guides
Although Tour Guides give information on local attractions, sometimes the best experiences are the ones you create yourself. Booking a tour can really eat into your budget while restricting you from exploring an attraction at your own leisure.
Instead, you can research the attraction and plan your own experience. Free travel apps can be particularly useful for sourcing information on locations. Alternatively, speaking with locals can give you insights into the history of the area and allows you to fully immerse yourself in the local culture.
For popular tourist attractions, try to avoid peak times and visit either later in the day or earlier in the morning. You’ll avoid any hiked-up prices due to popular hours and will be able to marvel at the sights without craning your neck over a crowd of travelers.
Enjoy the local hospitality
Tempting as it is to eat out every night, the bills will quickly add up. Source some local ingredients and do some cooking of your own – perhaps even try making a traditional dish with your own spin on it!
If cooking is not your thing, look for the local haunts or try a family café – places filled with locals often serve the best and most authentic dishes.
If you truly want to immerse yourself in an authentic experience then the VizEat app is worth a try. Choose the style of food you’d like to eat and let the app find a local who’s eager to cook for you. Then, simply book online, pay and enjoy! Not only is it cheaper, but the experience of eating a home cooked meal will give you a real taste of the place.
Be wary of hidden charges
Even the most adept of travelers can be caught out by hidden charges, so be sure to read the small print. For your hand luggage, remember to check the specific dimensions outlined by your airline. Similarly, don’t forget to weigh your check in baggage before arriving at the airport to avoid hefty baggage charges.
Plane meals, when not included in the price of your ticket, are often quite expensive. It’s always worth taking a few snacks with you on the plane or eating before your flight.
Credit cards can also have hidden fees when used internationally. To avoid these charges, buy some foreign currency before boarding your flight or consider using a prepaid card like Monzo, which makes it easier to stick to a set budget.
When traveling, it is easy to end up spending more money than you had planned to. By doing your research in advance and making some smart decisions along the way, you can make the most of your trip and even save some cash for the next one!