11 Super-Easy Ways to Save Money While Traveling During a Holiday

Saturday, January 8, 2022

As fun as traveling can be, it can be very pricey if you don’t know how to cut down on your expenses throughout the trip. If you’ll be embarking on a trip this year –spring is around the corner, yay- then you need to plan ahead and be ready. 

The good news is that you can travel on a budget –even a tight one- but you’ll have to be creative with your cost-cutting strategies. In this blog post, you’ll learn some of the most effective ways to save money while traveling during a holiday or vacation. 

And you’ll get to do this without necessarily missing out on the fun experiences that you’ve planned. Who says you can’t eat your cake and have it, eh? Alright, let’s dive right in. 

Start Out Slow

Most new travelers or holiday folks tend to make the mistake of spending their money very freely at the beginning of the trip. They only start budgeting when they start running low on cash. You don’t want to be that person so, have a daily budget throughout the duration of your trip. 

For instance, if you’re traveling for 2 weeks on a $3,000 budget, you need to break that down. This means you’ll be sending roughly $200 a day throughout the trip. If you’re pretty frugal, you could try to cut that down to $150, and leave some savings for emergencies. 

You could get delayed at the airport, you might end up taking a taxi instead of a bus, you might not like the local food… there are a lot of surprises that can spring up when you’re traveling. So, go easy on your spending. And remember to get good travel insurance before setting out. 

Pick Destinations With Lower Value Currencies

Far too many people in the developed world underestimate the worth of their native currency in other less developed parts of the world. For instance, if you’re traveling to Chiang Mai, Thailand with the $3,000 budget we mentioned earlier, you could technically stay for 4-8 weeks on that budget and live like a king or queen. 

You’ll be able to eat out more, afford better accommodation, do more sightseeing, take really nice taxis, or even rent a car for the duration of the trip. All these are possible because of the strength of the superior currency. 

But if you travel to Canadainfo-icon on that budget, you’ll probably be able to stay a max of 2 weeks –in spite of your frugality- before you run out of money and have to head back home. So, always go where your money is worth a lot more for your adventures. 

Subscribe to Deal-Finder Services

This works great if you’re flexible about your holiday and travel plans. With sites like travelabunch.com, netvouchercodes.co.uk, Scott’s Cheap Flight, and others, you can easily get discount codes for your airfare, be notified of travel deals, and get information on cheap flights. 

You can also sign up with airlines’ newsletters, so they can notify you when they have a price slash or a sale going on. Also, sign up with services that provide flight comparison services, low-cost airlines like Europeinfo-icon’s budget airline Ryanair.com, and cheap accommodation information. Sometimes, these services will send you notifications during the off-peak season. 

If you can, take advantage of these deals then. For instance, people have been known to get airplane tickets from San Francisco to New York for a mere $30 when an airline was having a sale. 

Plan Your Travel for Late Summer and Fall

This is a super-powerful travel hack for the budget-conscious individual. These periods are considered off-peak seasons, so there are fewer people traveling to popular destinations. 

As a result, everything from plane ticket prices to accommodation costs is considerably cheaper. And if you can negotiate, you might be able to get even more deals and discounts, while saving a lot more money in the process. While you might miss the concerts, festivals, and crowds, you’ll be able to better enjoy the journey during off-peak seasons. 

In fact, most seasoned travelers prefer traveling after everyone has gone home as it helps them experience their destination better, visit less popular local attractions and actually learn more about the place –tour guides are not in a rush. 

Don’t Take Direct Flights

Here’s a unique angle: take longer flights with one or more stopovers in different places before heading to your final destination. Airlines often charge more for direct flights and less for flights with multiple stopovers. 

You may have to spend way more time traveling, but you’ll be able to save some more money. It’s unconventional, but it works. Just remember not to miss the connecting flight. 

Consider Having Flexible Travel Dates

This somewhat ties into the previous tip. However, flexible travel dates allow you to take advantage of offers that might come up at the last minute. Use tools like Skyscanner.com and Momondo to check for available deals based on the week, month, or even day of the week. 

For instance, flights are typically cheaper during the weekdays than on the weekends. They are also cheaper in the middle of the month than at the end or beginning of the month. That’s because there’s less demand during these periods. So, if you have flexible travel dates, you can easily jump on these deals whenever they pop up. Doing these things can help you save a lot more money on your travels. 

Be Open to Various Accommodations 

While hotels are the ideal accommodation option for holiday-makers, the costs of staying in the hotels can quickly add up to a lot of money. 

And since we’re looking to save a lot more money, it’s best to consider alternative vacation rental arrangements like Airbnb, hostels, bed and breakfast establishments, or even homestay arrangement that allows you room with the locals. 

These options can be considerably cheaper than staying in hotels for the duration of your trip. For instance, if you’re able to rent a room with the locals, you could end spending a small fraction of the hotel costs and still have good accommodation. Plus, the experience in some of these alternative accommodations can be way more fun than just rooming in a hotel. 

Look for House or Pet-Sitting Opportunities

Speaking of unconventional money-saving tactics during your trip, pet-sitting or house-sitting can offer you a great way to enjoy a place without paying for accommodation. How cool is that?! 

Some homeowners tend to travel or go out of town. When they’re not around, their pets are largely neglected –even when they’ve made arrangements- and the house is empty. 

Many of these homeowners are usually open to these arrangements where vetted tourists can help take care of their pets and house while they’re out of town in exchange for free accommodation. See if these opportunities are available in your travel destination and find out how you can be a partaker –most require reaching out to local volunteer organizations. 

Eat Where the Locals Eat

Yep, ask around and go eat where the locals eat. You can save a lot of money just knowing the local “watering holes” while enjoying some really great food. Another great idea is to try street foods if they’re available in your destination –ask for recommendations though. 

These foods can be really tasty and filling. Plus they open up your palate to new sensations and delightful flavors. Local food and drinks are about the best and fastest way to understand the locals and connect with the people. Plus, they are very pocket-friendly.  

This applies to pretty much everything, really. If you can live like the locals, shopping at the local markets or grocery stores, taking local transportation, and going to popular local places, you’ll find that it’s easy to stretch your budget.  

Be Careful of the Credit Card 

Always use credit cards that don’t charge astronomical conversion or transaction fees. This alone can save you as much as 5 percent of the costs that you would ordinarily have to spend if you used the cards that have international fees. 

Also, avoid paying for local things in your home country’s currency. The stores typically charge higher rates than the regular conversion rates. So, what should you do? Simply pay for everything with the local currency. 

Always withdraw from the ATMs in the local currency. This is usually much cheaper and attracts less charges. Most ATMs in the local country offer favorable exchange rates that actually lead to significant savings. 

Use Price Comparison Search Engines

Use these for everything from flight tickets, to hotel bookings to transportation, and even local meals. This is the oldest trick in the book, yet people forget or overlook it. Sometimes, you can save $100s on airline tickets if you simply compare flight costs among multiple airlines. 

The same applies to hotels and transportation. Also, if there are alternative transport options available –train, road, water- you could consider those too. These options can be far cheaper than flights and can be a lot more fun as you’ll actually have more legroom and comfort.

Remember to use these tips and tools for your benefit. You’ll end up saving a ton of money and having a blast during your trip too. Have a safe trip.