When preparing for you trip, it’s extremely important to decipher the differences between skimping on adventures and being smart about activities. Travelers often fall victim to tourists’ traps, paying more than twice the amount for excursions and gadgets they could very well compensate for on their own.
It’s easy to fall into the ideology that longer, farther and more expensive trips somehow provide a richer experience, which is 100% not the case. Take these tips into consideration to make sure you get the most bang for you buck while not draining your savings account.
Farther Isn’t Necessarily Better
We all have our breaking moments when a simple jaunt down the coast isn’t enough. We want to get away, and I mean really get away. However, there are numerous undiscovered gems that are often overlooked because starry-eyed travelers find them too ‘safe’, or not drastic enough. If a tropical vacation is on your mind, skip the costly (and lengthy!) flight to Hawaii and book a trip to the Florida Keys instead.
Depending on where you’re living, don’t think it’s settling to have your destination closer rather than farther away. The more money you save on the actual expenses to get there, the more you’ll have to spend on the experience once you’ve arrived. While there are some places that are worth the investment, looking at you, Santorini, Greece, dig a little deeper for more convenient trips if you want to travel numerous times a year and have it fit into your budget.
Skip The Hotels
With options like AirBnB and Couch-surfing, never pay full price for a hotel again. These services allow you to rent out another person’s room, apartment, tree house, etc. for an affordable cost with maximum amenities. By finding a space to rent out for a few days in a centralized location, you can also save money on those extra transportation fees since you’ll be in a prime location. Bonus!
Eat One Meal A Day At Home
Eating out is the quickest way to up your expenses; two pitchers of sangria can double your bill! To keep your food budget reasonable, buy local foods at a nearby grocery store or farmer’s market to make some meals at home. If you’re staying at an AirBnB (see above!), most places will have a kitchen for you to use.
While visiting Spain, we opted to buy a loaf of fresh bread, some eggs and jam to make French toast in the kitchen of the apartment we stayed in. Not only were we able to indulge in what the locals ate, but we also got to enjoy some leisurely breakfasts together before we headed out for the day.
Streamline Your Stops
Many airlines are now allowing you to make stopovers, which is when you stay in a connection city for over 24 hours, while you’re on your way abroad. Consider combining trips by having your flight to Ireland stopover in Iceland for a few days for minimal extra cost. Another great stopover is spending a few days in Los Angeles or San Francisco while on your way to Japan.
Managing your time and flight schedules to include stopovers allows you to make the most of your connections and layovers. This way, you not only break up a longer flight, but you also get to experience both trips for less since flights will be a combined total cost, not entirely separate trips. A quick search online will let you know which stopovers are most sensible and cost efficient for the destination you have in mind.
Be Selective with Souvenirs
Since many travelers follow a minimalist lifestyle (it’s hard to float from place to place with lots of items re: crap to carry), it’s important to be choosy when picking souvenirs from various locales. I tend to chose objects that are free or of little cost, such as seashells from each beach I visit or a postcard from the different cities. Often times, I find the pictures I take are enough to remind me of that journey. Keep in mind, smaller items are easier to pack and carry with you so don’t stock up on bulky items you could easily buy at home.
What types of souvenirs do you like to get when traveling?
I keep a few mason jars on my desk filled with shells, seaglass, and sand from the different places I’ve been. I like seeing reminders of those trips on a daily basis and they also make great bookends!