Originally published in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.
Travel is one of the first things put on the backburner when people feel the pinch. But for those with itchy feet or planning a trip, there are some clever ways to hack it.
As long as you’re willing to do some research and be open-minded, you could save a lot of money on your next adventure. Here’s what to consider when that travel bug bites.
Consider long-term stays in the same accommodation
Did you know if you book one place to stay for 28 days or more on Airbnb or Booking.com, you might qualify for a long-term booking discount? Discounts can be as much as 50 per cent off, so it might be worth reducing the number of places you’re planning to visit and staying longer in one spot.
Book accommodation with a kitchen
Bafflingly simple but often overlooked. Booking a place with kitchen facilities means you have more control over how often you dine out, giving yourself the power to really control your budget.
If you’re still keen to dine out, look into lunch deals while you travel, so you can still enjoy a restaurant’s A-grade food without having to pay dinner prices.
Book overnight transport to save on accommodation
This one takes a bit of research but taking an overnight bus or train to a destination could save you big dollars while also being an efficient use of time. Aside from investing in some earplugs, you’re virtually sleeping for free. The same goes for overnight flights.
Go on walking tours
A walking tour is often a perfect way to acquaint yourself with a place, and usually best done on the first few days of arriving somewhere new. Many of them run on a ‘pay what you want’ model, allowing travellers to pay what they believe the tour is worth.
It’s best to be mindful here and not take advantage, as tour guides rely on this ‘tip’ payment. Be fair in what you decide to contribute, given this is someone’s livelihood.
Do as the Romans do
This hack is risky sometimes but it can pay off. If you’re overseas and booking something online, try to book in that country’s official language (or languages). Setting your preferred language to English on a booking platform can instantly increase the price. This can often be the case for things such as museum and train tickets, so get your favourite translation app out and you might save money.
Give the smaller guys a try
Instead of heading to the best-known or most Instagrammed destinations, challenge yourself to look at more underrated destinations. Generally, things there will be cheaper, including transport and food, and you’ll be spending more with smaller operators. However, don’t assume that the more unknown somewhere is, the cheaper it’ll be – do your research.
If you can, fly with only carry-on luggage
For trips under two weeks this is easier than you think. You often don’t need nine T-shirts and you can buy most travel essentials at your end destination, instead of lugging things around in a suitcase.
It’s worth checking the dimensions and weight restrictions on the airline you’re flying with to see if you can swing travelling with only carry-on. Think about the time you’d save checking in and collecting your luggage – time is money, after all.
Buy a local SIM card
Mobile roaming charges can add up rapidly, and often what a local phone company can offer you is much more than your own provider’s travel packs. To those who stop at a cafe or restaurant just for free Wi-Fi when they travel, think about how much money you’re spending on that snack or meal, just for internet. Often, you might as well get a local SIM card.
Featured image: Hendrik Cornelissen via Unsplash.
One thought on “Eight Money-Saving Travel Hacks to Try on Your Next Trip”
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