25 Budget Travel Tips That Make a ‘World’ of Difference

Who doesn’t love a good deal? That feeling of immense self-satisfaction that takes over on realizing that you’ve saved a quick buck using just your smarts, is a feeling unparalleled. But finding a bargain isn’t that easy. It involves extensive experience, staying updated and having a keen sense of clarity. But fret not, for here are 25 tips to make your travel as budget friendly as possible.

  1. Create a tone early on for your travel: How do you want your vacation to be – Leisurely, minimalistic, culinary driven, or cultural? Set out a tone early on and plan accordingly. For instance, if you want your travel to be driven by culinary or cultural experiences, allocate the majority of your budget for food or museum passes, and skimp on accommodation.
  2. Make a list: While playing by ear is definitely the way to go, make a list of the activities you want to indulge in and the attractions you want to visit. This way, you can start your research early and find some fantastic early-bird deals.Also, make sure you shortlist potential vendors that you are looking to use. For instance, keep a lookut for air portals, hotel sites, forex dealers etc, that are offering deals and bookmark them for later use.
  3. Book Ahead: Last minute Airfares are steeper than booking early on. Also, if you are sure about your travel plans, book flights with non-refundable options since they are usually cheaper than their more flexible counterparts.
  4. Try Booking at Different Times: Did you know that airfare prices change online based on time of the day and day of the week? Try different combinations before you go ahead and make that final booking.
  5. Bid your own price: Some sites such as Priceline.com let you bid a price on flights, hotels, car rentals. So, why not bid early and take advantage of an auction model?
  6. Connecting Flights: Though it adds on to your travel time, sometimes adding on a connecting flight may just cut your airfare by half.
  7. Travel Light: Many airlines now charge additional fees for check-in baggage. Wouldn’t it be easier to be able to stuff all your travel belongings into one back-pack or cabin baggage and travel light?
  8. Travel off season: Traveling off-season may just prove to be a blessing in disguise. Weather woes apart, you pay a quarter of what you would pay for accommodation, travel and food when travelling off-season. And what’s more, no hordes of tourists to spoil your perfect holiday picture!
  9. Book a bundle: Look for package deals. Booking flights + hotels + passes together can help you save a tidy sum.
  10. Cook for yourself: Stock up on eats at the grocery store versus expensive in-room ordering. Find accommodation that will allow you to cook. This will help you experiment with local produce and also help you from spending too much on eating out.
  11. Avoid touristy restaurants: Restaurants that cater to locals often serve better food, for cheap. Avoid places which blatantly display “We speak English” signs.
  12. Use ATMs instead of travelers cheques: Get your cash cheaper and faster by using prepaid forex cards. Looks for foreign exchange delas online from portals like BuyForexOnline.com, one of the leading forex dealers in india, Save on ATM withdrawal fees by making fewer and larger withdrawals.
  13. Get an international SIM or calling card: Some cards offer call rates as low as 15 cents a minute! Buy a card/SIM before you leave and save on high roaming charges. Some online forex dealers india also have free SIM giveaways t their customers as incentive, so look out for these deals.
  14. Look up friends/relatives: Get a local perspective and save on accommodation, by staying with friends and relatives wherever possible.
  15. Buy Passes and avail Discounts: Bundled passes for Rail, museums, attractions are so much cheaper than individual tickets. Also avail discounts for senior, children or students wherever possible by carrying a relevant ID proof.
  16. Pay with Cash, not credit cards: Credit cards often have additional service charges & merchant fees. Use ATMs to withdraw cash and save on transaction charges at POS.
  17. Check business hotels for off-season deals: Thriving business cities often offer huge discounts to travelers when business traffic is less. Check out summer and weekend deals and cut your cost by a third.
  18. Drinks are cheaper at the bar than at a table: In many parts of Europe, drinks are cheaper at the bar than when served at a table. So look ahead, before you sit down.
  19. Buy Duty Free: Some airports often are the best places to shop and save as they offer tax free goods. Keep an eye out for a good deal while in transit, and get your shopping done on the go.
  20. Apply for Tax Refunds: Did you know you can avail all or part of your retail sales tax back after visiting a particular country? Hang on to the paperwork, for it may come in handy while you file your claims.
  21. Group Discounts: Take advantage of group discounts by teaming up with friends or other tourists, for many popular tourist spots offer group discounts.
  22. Staying in a Town Next Door: You can save big by staying in a smaller neighboring town that is 20-30 mins away. Hotels are usually cheaper here than their big city counterparts.
  23. Night Trains and Flights: If transportation is gonna take long, consider booking a night train or flight. This way you can save on time and money as the red eye options are usually cheaper.
  24. Check out the local flea markets: Head to a local flea market versus a conventional mall for some fabulous discounts and for that extra dose of local flavor.
  25. Cars are a costly affair in big cities: Bigger cities charge up to $10/hour for parking. Foot it wherever possible or take the local transport instead of having to deal with car parking woes.