Traveling is an expensive hobby. It’s so unfortunate how exploring the world firsthand has such a massive impact on our bank accounts. But there are ways to make your next trip a little more budget-friendly! We rounded up some of them just for you.
Book in advance
Contrary to what some people think, last-minute flights are not the cheapest. The best flight deals can be found when you look way ahead of the actual trip. (The same thing goes for car rentals and accommodation arrangements.) Airlines tend to offer the best deals in advance so they can guarantee that the plane is at least half-full and leaves as scheduled.
The off-season is your best friend
Summer vacation is when everyone goes on… well, vacation. This makes it the most expensive time to fly. So, in case you’re not chained to a school schedule of some sort, plan your vacation to a different time.
As previously said, booking accommodations in advance can significantly lower the cost. Also, make sure to check if the price has a cancellation fee added to it. If you have your eyes set on a specific hotel/motel/apartment, feel free to opt for the cheaper option that doesn’t include the cancellation fee. Also, don’t forget to check what features are included in the price. An included breakfast, for example, would save some of the money you were planning on spending at the supermarket.
A daily budget is a smart budget
When you plan your trip, try to estimate the amount of money you’ll be using each day, and if that money will be spent in cash or credit form. Don’t forget to factor in the activities you have to buy tickets in advance for. That being said, unexpected expenses do happen, so make sure to leave about 10-15 percent of a financial buffer. Revisit the daily budget at the end of each day to make sure you’re on the right track.
Get your money back
Your overseas shopping spree might not be as much of a splurge as you think. When going into a store, ask if it has any tax refunds policy. (Most of the time, there will be a sticker by the register to answer that question.) If it does, ask the person at the register to fill out the store’s form for you and remember to hold on to your receipts. Before checking in at the airport on your way back, look for the tax refund counter, submit your forms and receipts there, and get back some of your cash.