By utilizing these cost-cutting tips any travel budget can be stretched without compromising the quality of vacation. By making small adjustments, the money saved can quickly add up to be used elsewhere while on any trip.
Visit the Tourist Information Centre for Savings
The first stop on any major trip, especially when traveling independently without a tour group, should be to the tourist information centre. In addition to providing maps, and pamphlets for local sites, the staff at information kiosks or visitors centres can suggest and book tours or day trips, as well as sell transit and attraction passes.
Use Public Transportation to Cut Costs
When traveling independently, one of the easiest ways to save money is by utilizing public transit where available. Many major destinations have an extensive network of buses, subway/metro systems, trains, or streetcars which make getting around the destination quickly and cheaply.
Large cities usually have transit passes available which provide unlimited access for an entire day, week, or month, such as the Paris Visite pass. The price of such passes can be worthwhile if your itinerary provides the opportunity to travel multiple times between attractions and locations around the city.
Watch What You Eat and Save Money
Trying out local delicacies and foreign cuisines is an exciting part of travel, but purchasing three meals a day quickly adds up. The first step is to look for a hotel that includes a free breakfast. Whether it’s a full breakfast, buffet, or simply a continental breakfast, take advantage of the free food and eat until satisfied, thereby saving not only money but time that would have been spent searching out a breakfast spot. By eating enough in the morning, most travelers can get through lunch with just a few snacks.
If the hotel does not offer breakfast, consider booking apartment-style lodging with a kitchenette to prepare some of your own meals. Take a trip to the local grocery store or market to stock up on snacks- they are prefect to curb midday hunger and satisfy cravings on day trips where meals are not provided.
Look for the daily specials at restaurants to save as many restaurants offer a nightly special or a prix fixe menu in larger cities. If all else fails, do as the locals do and try some street food. It is possible to find something fantastic on the street, like dumplings in Beijing, souvlaki in Greece, or world famous hot dogs in Iceland.
Hire a Private Guide for a Minimal Price
While hiring a private guide may seem like an expensive option, there are many volunteer guides for major destinations whom can be hired online for minimal amounts of money, or in some cases, even for free.
When traveling to a country or city, such as Tokyo or Beijing, where English is not a native language, student guides often volunteer to show travelers around in order to practice their English skills. Others are volunteers to gain experience while studying for a career in travel and tourism. Tour guides can give you an insider’s perspective and introduce a visitor to the sights that only those in-the-know are aware of.
Buy an Attractions Pass for Greater Savings
For travelers planning on visiting a multitude of attractions and museums, purchase an Attraction Pass where available. Many major destinations have Attraction Passes for sale that cover the top tourist sites such as museums and galleries which can be used in 24, 48, or 72 hour periods, depending on the individual pass.
Before purchasing, plan an itinerary which includes stops at attractions of interest. Take into account museums which are free, and galleries which have reduced price days, as well as opening hours as most museums are closed at least one day of the week. By laying out an itinerary in advance, the admission price of the individual attractions can be weighed against the cost of an Attraction Pass
In some cases, Attraction Passes may also cover public transportation, so it is always best to research in advance, before leaving home or consult a guidebook or tourist information centre.
By utilizing these cost-cutting tips, any traveler can make the most of their travel budget without compromising their itinerary or skipping must-see attractions.