As I always do when I return home from a trip, I was telling one of my friends all of the stories you accumulate when you travel; and boy do I have some stories. lmao We were drinking wine and cackling like hens when she stopped me and said “Girl, you’re a genius!” Much like my alter ego, Kanye West, I’m no stranger to hearing these words so I just “Kanye shrugged” it off until she reiterated with, “No really, I never would have thought of that!” So I decided to share a few things I’ve learned along the way that helps me save a few dollars here and there. Like is the allegiant trip flex worth it? To discover more, go to lizzardo.com.
As a tourist in any city when people in the service industry see you, they see dollar signs. Not everyone is out to take advantage of you, and I usually take care of those people, but sometimes you have to be aggressive and let people know that you ain’t going. lol So here are some of the ways I avoid getting hassled and save money while I’m traveling.
- There is a Big Bus Tour (or any other bus tour company) in just about every major city you visit. Sometimes they even have a 2 day pass with a river tour included if you’re lucky. You pay one price [i don’t think i’ve ever paid more than $50] and they take you to all the major landmarks in the city. Which is usually what you’re there for anyway right? So I buy a pass and use the bus as my own personal taxi, hopping on and off at all the major landmarks and walking to my next destination. If you map your day out right, you can save a good amount of money per day, especially when you’re traveling solo.
- Walk or ride a bike. These are both very common modes of transportation in some places. It’s great exercise and the best way to meet local people. Most people love to tell you about their favorite places in their city or hear all about your travels. Just look for friendly faces.
- Take a train. In some places it’s really easy and much cheaper to take a train from 1 city/country to the next. And it’s not really a big deal if you miss your train because it’s really cheap and you can always catch the next train. An added bonus in my opinion are the views you see along the way. [embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biRK7bifEZQ[/embedyt]
- Food – Find a local market and get some snacks. Depending on where you are, a lot of places to eat won’t be open late. Having food delivered isn’t always an option. Not to mention my favorite part of being on vacation is moving at my own pace. I like to be able to wake up and take my time so I always try to find some food to eat in the morning. If it’s an option, bring your favorite snacks with you.
- If you have an idea of what you want to do, search for tickets online. Sometimes online prices will be cheaper than what the vendor quotes you directly. Almost everything is up for negotiation when you’re traveling, so make sure you feel good about the price you pay for things.
- Travel to a country with favorable currency exchange rates. When I went to Turkey last year I thought I was medium balling. The exchange rate was ₺3 Turkish Lira for $1 USD. So I stayed at luxury hotels, splurged on every meal and had an amazing spa treatment without breaking my budget. A couple of my friends just came back from Budapest where the exchange rate was Ft 273 Hungarian Forint for $1 USD. By the time they left they were practically giving money away. I use the XE Currency app for all my currency research.
- Network. Remember that old coworker that moved to London? Or that girl/guy you went to college with that moved to Amsterdam? Or that friend of a friend that you heard lives in Jordan or Jamaica? Reach out to these people. In my experience, after relocating to another country people are usually happy to host people from home. This is how me and my friends have been able to travel to a lot of the places we’ve visited. Between networking and finding cheap flights, our travel expenses are cut in half.
- If you’re feeling really adventurous stay in a hostel. They can be very accommodating and dumb cheap. While I was in Brussels, I stayed at a Hostel called Meininger. It was my first time staying in a hostel but I can say for sure it won’t be my last. I paid €35 for two nights.
- Travel in groups. Splitting expenses any number of ways saves everyone money. Find a group of people that you like traveling with and vow to take at least one trip together per year. This is how I started. And it wasn’t a group it was 1 other person but we always made it work. I’ll be hosting a few group trips next year, so make sure you’re subscribed to my blog so you can be the first to be notified about trip details!