It’s finally starting to feel hot outside again, and all I can think about is applying for a vacation and finally getting out of my house, ASAP. It seems like everyone is now preparing for a road trip across the coast, a trip to Europe, or somewhere nice, and it’s pushing me to get the books I’m looking forward to.
When it comes to travel, whether it’s close to home or a fancy international vacation, planning a trip on a budget isn’t difficult for me. Good but cheap hotels? Check out. Google flights index for the best prices on round trips? You becha. Do you have a capsule wardrobe? Done. However, my budget completely goes out the window when it’s time to actually go on the trip. A $300 dessert menu suddenly sounds very reasonable, because it really is me. in Rome…but the shock of going home and seeing my credit card bill makes me feel guilty. In the spirit of shedding post-travel guilt in 2022 and living our best summer ever, here are ten tips I’ve used recently to help me save money while enjoying my vacation to the fullest .
1. Avoid peak times of the day
If you are in Paris for the first time, it is really a crime not to climb the Eiffel Tower. One goes for a cruise while in Greece. I wouldn’t recommend giving up on those things, but what you can do is opt for less work during the day to help keep costs down. As the sunset cruise in Santorini is very beautiful, you can get the same experience by going earlier in the day when the cruise is less crowded and you pay a higher price. In the process, my boyfriend and I had an amazing dinner in Italy for 30% less just because we chose to sit late (7pm is early, FYI !). We got the same experience, had the place almost to ourselves, and saved 30%!
2. Look for last minute deals
I’m all for planning ahead and having a travel plan, but it can sometimes pay to wait until the last minute to get tickets. Waiting until an hour or more before the start time can save you up to 50% since vendors often reduce prices to try to fill empty slots, especially for things like tours, live shows , and even spa treatments. Do your research to find out what’s worth waiting for in advance (especially if it’s something that’s scheduled to happen), but for things you’re more flexible with, this can be a good way to save. and still get. experience.
3. Be open to free action
This tip is obvious, but it’s worth repeating. If you are visiting a big city, chances are there will be something worth checking out that will give you a real feel for the city. My girlfriends and I had an open night in New York City on a girls trip and ended up watching a free movie in front of the New York Public Library. The people watch is incredible and there are many vendors handing out samples of food and drinks. It easily became one of our favorite experiences of the trip or it was completely free. If you’re visiting a smaller area, check local markets, museums, and historical sites for free events, and make sure you don’t list the activities your hotel is hosting. if you go all inclusive (hey, salsa dancing can be exclusive). become your new hobby!).
4. Watch out for traveler traps
One of the best ways to save a lot of money is to plan your time so that you are not forced to grab some food or drink right outside the popular tourist areas. Like a park, you can be sure to pay a 50%+ markup on that water bottle or lunch you quickly grabbed. Those merchants and hotels were taking advantage of the weary travelers, and I don’t know anyone who didn’t fall for something at least once (* fainting remember to pay $37 USD for an Aperol Spritz outside the Duomo in Milan *). These places can make sense if you are in a hurry or you want to eat, but in general, try to walk a few blocks away from anything that is the main attraction. -guarantee that you will pay a reasonable price-like money, food. it will be even better!
5. Do as the locals do
On the topic of avoiding tourist traps, one of the best ways to experience the city and not get involved in any of the below mentioned experiences is to ask the locals for their advice. Hotel staff are amazing at this, but don’t be afraid (be polite!) Ask a friendly stranger when you’re out and about. You’ll find popular bars that travel bloggers haven’t seen yet, the best places to shop (especially if you’re on a budget), or even tips on where to go. -avoid (like opting for a secret door for locals only. Know instead!). Most locals will happily tell you about their town and what they like to do, so don’t be shy.
6. Get a little creative before you buy
My life really changed the day I found out Groupon. Not the day I got married or graduated from university, but the day I realized that you can get something for less just by doing a bit of research and buying from one website over another. Well, that sounds weird, but saving money on tours and activities is so easy these days. Just go to Groupon, Google, or even TikTok and see if there are any discount codes or tips before you buy. I got free admission tickets to the National Music Hall of Fame in Nashville (which I totally recommend, BTW) by signing up for their mailing list while I was standing in line waiting to buy tickets. A top like that is hard to beat, so be sure to take a second look at any tips and tricks before buying to help you get something for less.
7. Look for package deals
Speaking of sightseeing, if you’re visiting a place that has a lot of sights to see on your trip, look out for opportunities to bundle and save. This can be like buying a day pass where you can check out all the museums, or it can be a multi-day ticket that allows you to enter many places in a few days. These are sometimes provided by city or town tourism sites or can be found in similar places. Viator or TripAdvisor. Listing everything at once ensures that you get some kind of bonus or bonus while still seeing everything on your list (just make sure you confirm if there is a date or the appointed time to go to any place so that you don’t do it. and suddenly miss anything!).
8. Money for one splurge meal every day
One of my favorite hacks for saving money while traveling is to choose one meal per day to stay at the best or most popular restaurants and choose a buffet or buffet. for the other two. If my hotel serves breakfast, I go up the stairs first (mostly under the hotel’s dining area!), and then I go to the grocery store. party is forced and grab a sandwich and some veggies for a picnic à la carte for lunch. I also like to have a small granola bar, yogurt cup, apple, or other fresh fruit in a refillable water bottle that I can keep in my hotel room and take with me on trips. the body. This keeps me hungry when I’m out, and gives me a chance to eat properly (living on croissants can only take you so far). Some attractions will not allow you to bring food in your bag, so keep that in mind and try to eat your food before entering those areas.
9. Take advantage of the free hotel
As a spending girl, you can bet that I will try to get my money’s worth when I shop. When it comes to travel, that means using as many hotel amenities as possible to help keep costs down. No, I’m not suggesting that you pull a Ross Geller and take everything that isn’t broken into the hotel room, but be sure to use WiFi to download maps and tickets to save on travel costs, ask the staff hotels for their cheap hotels. tips (see tip 5!), and use any car provided (they are usually included in your reservation fee, or at least cheaper than a taxi). If you are staying in a place with better facilities, you may be able to get help from an assistant in booking dinner reservations or last minute tickets, especially if you are not fluent in the language. It goes without saying, but don’t miss the free breakfast! Even if it’s not a five-star spread, take some fruit or toast to go. Anything you don’t have to buy later is a win in my book.
10. Rethink your anniversary plan
I don’t know about you, but I used to believe that I wanted to find a souvenir for everyone and their mother when I went on vacation. Could it be a very good move? Of course! Could it be a waste of money? … of course. I have nothing against traditional souvenirs for yourself, friends, or family if you want to, but getting them at an airport or attraction will usually mean that you – Pay more than you want. Some of my favorite souvenirs come from small shops off the beaten path (local chocolate and advertising is my go-to for friends and family!), I try to pick up what I know and others will love that fits my budget.
Recently, my partner and I have been ditching our usual memories and opting to hire a local photographer to shoot a 30-minute video with us. ‘famous place. It’s so much cheaper, they seem like we *do* have our engagement photos taken at a new location every year, and they’re a beautiful memento of our trip that we can have forever (but the head isn’t cut off I, money!) . Souvenirs can be anything you want them to be, so skip the pressure to bring a $20 keychain for everyone and instead spend your money on something you love to remember your trip with.