Expenses can add up quickly when you’re on vacation. Here are five helpful tips on how to save money while you’re traveling.
- Do your research before you go! If you’re traveling on a budget, doing some investigation into what’s affordable for dining, shopping, activities, etc. can be a major help and a huge time saver. This will help you avoid getting scammed into paying more for something as well, since you’ve looked up prices online.
- Visit the local tourism office. I know this sounds a little lame and tedious, but the staff that work at these places know about all the best deals and spots to visit, regardless if you’re on a budget or not. Just tell one of the staff you’re looking for stuff to do that’s on the cheaper side and they can give you all the information you need, including coupons and discounts for various restaurants and activities. You can also inquire at the office if the city or town you’re visiting has a tourism card, which gives you discounts and coupons as well.
- Don’t waste money on Wi-Fi. If you need an internet connection while you’re out and about, don’t get suckered into paying a fee somewhere so you can connect to the internet on your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Instead, go to a Starbucks or a similar café and use their free Wi-Fi while you look up what you have to and, if it’s in your budget, grab a cup of coffee.
- Take free walking tours. Do a Google search to see what’s offered in the area you’re visiting. There will be tons of options, including audio walking tours that you can download directly to your smartphone. This is a great thing to ask about while you’re at the tourism office as well; again, the staff will be more than happy to help you find a free guided walking tour.
- Eat street food. Eat the local food. Go to the supermarket. First and foremost, STAY AWAY FROM PLACES NEAR TOURIST SPOTS! These places have higher prices…duh! Try out some of the street food if you’re looking to save; destinations like Portland and Austin are littered with food trucks that serve food that’s just as good, if not better, than you can get at a restaurant. If you’re looking to sit down at an establishment that is not run out of a truck, eat at a smaller local place – think mom-and-pop style restaurants. These types of places are generally less expensive because they don’t have their food imported. Anyway, you’re on vacation – did you travel all that way to eat your usual hamburger with a side of fries? Another cheap alternative is going to the supermarket and buying the fixings for sandwiches and having a picnic in a park. Or consider having lunch at a place that’s a little more expensive for dinner but has a reasonably priced lunch menu. When in doubt, ask the hotel staff where you can grab a bite to eat at an affordable price.
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