TRAVEL HACKS: How to Save Money on Holidays

I’m big into money saving tips, and I previously made a video about general money saving.. which can be found here: https://youtu.be/SweMIQrbEaY

However, in this video I wanted to specifically look at money saving tips for travelling.

This is less about getting a cheap holiday (flights, accommodation etc.) but moreso, how to keep costs down when you’re actually on holidays. I have tips for eating out, sightseeing and day to day spending while abroad.

I hope you enjoy.. and if you don’t want to watch the video… please find the tips below 🙂

1. BUDGET

Sorry to be a killjoy but the best way to save money on holidays is to set a budget and then keep an eye on it. What me & my boyfriend do is decide on a figure and then both bring the same amount of cash. Usually he physically goes up to the counter to pay for our meals but it’s both of our money he’s paying with. We check the amount every few days and sometimes we have to adjust the budget up, if we don’t know how expensive the area is… or if there was an unexpected purchase. But usually we can stick pretty much to what we’ve brought.

2. TRAVEL FOOD

The second tip is about when you’re travelling to the location. Unless food is included in the price (like for a long haul flight) it’s a good idea to bring your own food or snacks to the airport. Airport and airplane food is expensive… so I always have snacks with me. When we flew to Rome last year, we had a very early flight so I brought two little tubs of porridge, yoghurt and fruit onto the plane and we just bought coffees on board. Going to France this year, we brought sandwiches and popcorn!

3. DON’T EAT OUT FOR EVERY MEAL

My best tip every for travelling is to avoid eating out for every meal. If you’re staying in a hotel and breakfast isn’t included those porridge pots I mentioned above are SUCH a good trick. Most hotel rooms have kettles so they’re easy to make, and if you want to keep your yoghurt fresh, ask for an ice bucket to rest your yoghurts in or just put them in cold water in a sink overnight to keep them fresh!

Bringing a packed lunch is a really easy way to save money! If you’re in self catering accommodation it’s easier to do this tip because you’ll have places to store your food, but if you’re in a hotel, just avoid the local cafe at lunchtime and pop into a supermarket. An easy lunch to whip up is a bread roll, some cheese and some yummy meat which you could easily pick up in the supermarket. And remember supermarket alcohol is often way cheaper.. so don’t be afraid to go for that over a pub.

4. WATER

And to go along with the previous tip, bring a water bottle with you on holidays. Small plastic bottles are usually more expensive to buy than the bigger ones… but you don’t want to be lugging 2 litres around with you.. so if you all have your own water bottle you can buy a big bottle and use it to top up your bottles. Also, depending on the country you’re in and the quality of the water, cafes will often fill up your bottles for you if you’ve stopped in for a coffee, and lots of European cities have water fountains with good quality water to refill.

5. MENU BOARDS

When it comes to eating out at dinner time, check the menu boards before you commit to a place… and not just the chalk menu boards with the deals on them, the actual menu listings. Also, this is an obvious one, but straying away from the main tourist spots will get you better deals when it comes to meals.

6. WALK!

Save on taxi fares when you’re away and walk. Pack a good pair of runners and walk where you can. Google maps is accurate enough for the length of time it would take to walk at a sauntering holiday pace, so if you can, avoid taxis and put one foot in front of the other. Also research public transport.. sometimes you can get a 3 days rambler card for all the public transport to get you around the city quite cheaply.

7. FREEBIES

If you’re not particularly fussed about the sites you want to see in an area look for places with free entry. Some cities often have free walking tours where you tip the guide at the end, which can be a great way to explore the city. Do your research about places you do want to see and look out for deals. (Beware of people outside trying to sell you deals, they might not always be as good as they seem!)

8. SHOP AROUND

Shop around for presents to bring home. If you want to get souvenirs or chocolates don’t buy them in the first shop you see. Often the supermarkets are the best place to get sweets for your friends back home.. and whatever you do, don’t leave it until the airport!

9. FREE WIFI

The EU ended roaming surcharges for all people who travel periodically within the EU since 15 June 2017, so people now only pay domestic charges when using their phones abroad. BUT this does not always mean that your unlimited data or texts is carried abroad, so check with your service provider before you leave so you don’t come home to a massive bill. If you’re unsure of what deal you have or you don’t think you have enough data, avail of free wifi where you can.

10. RESEARCH!

And my last tip is, before you go to the country, take some time to do some research.

  • Know in advance if tax is added on before or after a purchase
  • Find out if a service charge is included in restaurants, and find out what the tipping etiquette is, so you can factor it into meal prices
  • Get a guide book (found the BEST ice-cream near the Vatican that was really cheap through our Lonely Planet guidebook)
  • Ask for recommendations (yelp, friends, etc)

Don’t see this as a stress. It’s actually quite fun to research before you go or even when you’re on the plane on the way over!

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