Holidays and saving money don’t really seem to go hand-in-hand and many generally thrifty people have seen their savings go up in smoke just because they’re trying to enjoy themselves a bit.
There is the pressure of having a nice holiday as well and your expectations for this short week or two of fun and relaxation; if you’re not going to enjoy yourself now when are you ever going to do it?
Luckily, you don’t have to go all out and spend all of your savings just to prove a point. Here is a handful of particularly thrifty spending tips for your vacations so that you can keep yourself a bit in check – and have even more left for the next vacation, of course.
First: Learn to enjoy the experience
As we get older, we tend to get a bit pickier. When you were a young backpacker, you probably didn’t see anything degrading about spending a night on the floor of a train, swiftly making your way through Europe without having to cough up your last money just to lay on a bed for a couple of hours.
While you certainly don’t have to spend the night on the floor in order to save money when traveling, you can still try to find your way back to the same kind of spirit that kept you going when you were in your teens or early twenties.
Not paying for luxury means that you get an adventure instead, you might meet some new and interesting people and can avoid all of those dreadfully boring families in the hotels who only spend their days paddling around in the pool.
Sure, you might have kids but keep in mind that they’re actually not the fuzzy ones; keep them entertained, let them enjoy the surroundings, and remember that luxury is something that adults tend to enjoy a lot more than children who really just want to have fun.
Next: Eat, live, and travel for less
Now we need to talk about the best ways to actually save money while traveling. First of all, you should try to stay in the kind of place that lets you cook rather than having to eat out all the time. Eating out can, after all, become a bit boring (and expensive) after a while.
There are, in fact, a lot of benefits to this compared to having to sit in a restaurant and wait for someone to bring you the bill and the food; by eating in, you can explore all of the city’s interesting markets, try some new flavors, and even learn some new recipes.
Ask around in the local food markets to see if someone wants to tell you how to cook a certain ingredient, befriend some locals and invite them over for a cook-off, and immerse yourself properly in the new culture. It beats sitting in those crowded restaurants, trying to find something new to order off the menu.
You can have a look at this site for some big apartments for rent in case you’re going with your entire family or a large group of friends.
It won’t cost too much if everyone chips in and keep in mind that some countries have started to ban Airbnb as it is hurting the money they used to make from tourism.
Support the locals instead and find an apartment to rent – or just stay in a cheaper backpackers spot or a bed and breakfast. It will be way more affordable than a regular hotel, that’s for sure.
Another tip that goes hand-in-hand with this is to travel like the locals do as well. This means that you can ditch those cab rides once and for all and get yourself a bus card instead; you’ll avoid a rip-off and, even more importantly, you get to see so much more of the city you’re in.
It’s going to feel like you’re actually getting to know the city rather than just being chauffeured around from one point to the next.
Talk to some people on the bus as well, by the way, and keep in mind that being a tourist is the only way to do this successfully without being seen as a crazy person.
Get out there, use your feet a bit more, and you might notice how much easier it is to save money. Your focus will be elsewhere, after all, such as on the beautiful surroundings, excellent company, and everything else that costs absolutely nothing.