7 Ways to Save Money When Traveling
Even though we haven't been on the road for that long, we've already seen a ton of savings from living more like locals. Here are 7 ways we've found that traveling like a local can save you money.
1. Stay in apartments instead of hotels.
We use Airbnb in order to feel more at home when we are traveling. Not only will you usually have more space in an apartment versus a hotel, renting apartments allows you to make meals instead of eating out all the time. That means more money saving. Apartments are often located in more residential neighborhoods so the experience is richer too.
2. Brown bag it during the day.
Eating out can be tough on your pocket book when traveling. We've found that picking up picnic supplies at the local grocery store or market really helps. Plus, it's easier to keep little one's happy when dining alfresco. Obviously, you will want to sample the local flavors and restaurants, but even a few meals each week can make an impact.
3. Slow down and focus.
Instead of seeing 8 cities and 5 countries in 14 days, try to pick one or two cities to focus on. If that's too hard at least limit yourself to one country. This will let you get familiar with the language so you'll be more comfortable as the trip goes on. Plus, you'll only have to use one currency so it will be easier to calculate the exchange rate.
4. If traveling with children, get out on the playground and talk with other parents.
Parents are an amazing resource for other parents. Ask for restaurant recommendations that are kid-friendly as well as site seeing opportunities that cater to younger travelers (read more hands-on for impatient little ones). This is how we learned of kinder cafes in Germany and restaurants with huge play yards in England. Oh yea!
5. Take public transit when possible.
Not only will you save money, but you will be amongst locals. You should also look at unlimited transit passes. For instance a weekly unlimited use pass on public transportation may be cheaper than per-ride tickets even if you will only be in the city for part of the week, like it did for us on a recent stay in London.
6. Choose your tourist sites sparingly.
Naturally there will be some tourist attractions you'll want to see and of course you should. There's a reason people want to see the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty. But that doesn't mean you should try to see every point of interest at your destination. It will only leave you tired and much too light in the pocket book.
7. Get to the tourists sites early.
No matter how many sites you choose to see get there when they open if possible. We learned the hard way in Cambridge and had to go back for a second visit. By getting to there early you will beat the large tour groups and have a much more intimate experience. Using this tip let us explore castles in Scotland practically by ourselves.
Have any additional tips to add? How do you save money when traveling? We'd love to hear from you in the comments.
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