40 Ways to save on travel without losing comfort
Summer is not far off, which means that many people are already thinking about their long-awaited vacation.
A vacation trip is always a sizeable burden on your budget, so we’ve prepared these 40 proven ways to save money while traveling, without losing comfort. Rest with pleasure and don’t overpay!
1. Book flights in advance and monitor special offers of airlines, they periodically hold sales – seasonal, festive, etc.
2. Explore the availability of low-cost carriers (low-cost carriers) on your desired destination – they are available in Europe and America, as well as in Asia.
3. Use the meta-search engine for all airlines. Often, you can use them to get better prices than the airlines themselves offer.
4. Earn airline miles (for flights and for expenses with co-branded cards) and fly or stay for free. Many major airlines (Aeroflot, Lufthansa, Emirates, etc.) have such programmes.
5. Get your own visas – there is plenty of information on how to get the right documents online. Agencies, as a rule, do not give any guarantees, but simply perform courier functions to deliver your documents to the consulate.
6. Travel lightly, take a minimum of luggage with you. The price of low-cost airline tickets most often includes only hand luggage, and you will have to pay separately for your luggage. Why do you need heavy bags on the trip and 4 pairs of shoes for 10 days?
7. Check out the airport transfer question. Some airlines offer an airport transfer to the city with your ticket, which is not always the case, but is often cheaper than buying a ticket or booking a taxi at the airport upon arrival.
8. If you are planning to take a taxi from the airport, don’t be lazy to talk to other passengers, you may well be able to team up and save 50% of the fare.
9. Night travel on trains and buses as well as on ferries, especially first and VIP class, is a good opportunity to save time and money at the hotel at the same time. In India, there are slipper buses in general – lying, soft shelves, as in trains. In the Philippines, many intercity buses have wi-fi, so you can also do things.
10. Tickets for transport on local websites are sometimes cheaper than on English-speaking websites. We have repeatedly bought cheap train tickets in Germany, Austria and France, as well as ferries in Finland.
11. To find accommodation, use not only booking websites like booking com.
12. When traveling to Asia, book for 1-2 days, and look for a cheaper option (does not mean that the worse). Not all hotels / Guesthouses provide their data to search engines.
13. Instead of large hotels, choose hostels and Guesthouses – for a comparable quality room you will pay much less. Why pay for a pool, fitness and plasma panel at the reception when you only plan to spend the night at the hotel?
14. Use couch surfing. If not for accommodation (although often a room offered by a couch surfer, especially in Asia, may be better than a 4* hotel), then at least for meetings and dinner together. Locals always know non-tourist places where you can taste the most delicious and inexpensive dishes of national cuisine. In addition, they are often aware of the events in their city and can tell you what is best to visit and at what time, so there will be more opportunities to learn about the life of other nations. There is also the opportunity to practice a foreign language, so you can also save on courses at 🙂.
15. Pay attention to the apartments for rent (airbnb com), especially if you travel to one place for a longer or shorter period of time in Europe or the USA. As well as saving money, it is also an opportunity to communicate with locals and you will not live in a standard hotel room, but in a cozy, furnished apartment.
16. If you are a student, teacher or under thirty years of age, get an international ISIC, ITIC or IYTC certificate respectively. With an international certificate you can get good discounts, especially in Europe and the USA.
17. Take advantage of discounts. Groupon is widely used in Europe and America as well as in major Asian cities. Not only did we buy very profitable coupons for cafes and restaurants, but we also successfully used them in other areas – we rode segments in Mexico City, on a boat in San Francisco, went to a movie theater in New York, went to an extreme tour and amusement parks, visited sights and spa salons, and even booked hotels with good discounts.
18. For local calls, texting and mobile internet, connect to your local operator. In Asia, communication is generally very cheap, but even in Europe it will be more profitable than using roaming.
19. For free calls, use Skype. You can also use it to send sms at prices comparable to those in Russia (about 2 rubles). You can link your Skype account to your mobile phone number, so calls and sms from Skype will be shown as incoming from your usual number.
20. It is profitable to use Spinet for calls to Russia. The cost is cheaper than in Skype, there is no connection fee, and calls to landline phones in Moscow and Peter from anywhere in the world are currently free (in general, it’s a temporary promotion, but it lasts more than two years).
21. If you plan to travel around Europe on buses and trains, do not put off buying tickets – you do not have to buy them at the ticket office at the place of arrival, everything can be done online in advance. Firstly, it is likely to be cheaper, and secondly, you can save time, and on the right day tickets may no longer be available at the ticket office. But even if you find yourself in this situation, do not get lost – it is a good excuse to hitchhike.
22. When booking a car, as well as with airline tickets, use aggregators (e.g. Epronto.ru). There is also a rule – “the sooner, the cheaper”, in addition, the price depends heavily on the length of the rental, for example, often take a car for 6 days is the same as for 7.
23. The cost of motorbike rental in Asia even more depends on the duration of the rental. Most often renters have daily and monthly rates, so renting a bike for 12 days may cost the same as for a month. Sometimes it is cheaper to rent a bike for 2 weeks, even if you need it for 8-9 days for example and just rent it out early, the fare for half a month will be more advantageous than in the calculation of daily rent for 8 days. The same goes for bikes, kayaks and boats.
24. In many European cities parking is often paid, but almost everywhere there are supermarkets where you can leave your car for free.
25. Paper cards are a thing of the past. Install offline maps in your smartphone and save on atlases and mobile traffic when you use Google Maps.
26. If sometimes you still want to walk around the old city with a map, you don’t need to buy it – in non-commercial tourist centers marked with the letter “i” you will most often get a free map of the city with marked tourist objects.
27. If you plan to travel a lot on public transport, find out about the pass system. For example, in Paris and San Francisco, even if we were in 5 days, it was more profitable for us to get weekly passes than to buy a ticket every time. In Germany there are group fares for domestic trains, for example a ticket for 2-5 people. So, if you’re traveling alone (and sometimes even together), it’s more advantageous to buy one such ticket than to buy one for each person separately. In Hong Kong, you can issue a special travel card, put a certain amount on it and pay for any transport, up to taxi – it is, firstly, more convenient, and secondly, cheaper. Besides, you can pay with the card in some shops.
28. For those who love shopping, we recommend combining holidays with seasons of sales. Prices at European and American sales are always more pleasing than at sales in Russia.
29. In Europe, there are whole villages outlet for fans of brand clothing, and in Asia, for example, in Hong Kong and Singapore, such clothes are cheaper in principle cheaper, even without sales. Similarly, with technology, for example, Apple products and photo equipment profitable to buy in the United States, Singapore and Hong Kong.
30. If you make big purchases, check out the Tax-Free options in this country.
31. Buying a tour in Asian countries, such as neighboring islands, a coffee plantation or just around the neighborhood in a Russian travel agency or with a Russian guide, can cost 1.5-2 times more expensive. Unfortunately, enterprising compatriots like to punish with a ruble for not knowing the language, so do not be lazy, learn English.
32. Entrance tickets to entertainment, and even, sometimes, to national parks, lookout points, waterfalls, etc., on weekends are often more expensive, and there are also many local holidaymakers. If you are on holiday, and it makes no difference to you, go to such places on weekdays.
33. Most places that usually sell tours and excursions can be reached by yourself, by rented or public transport – it will not always be longer and always cheaper.
34. If you go to some, especially Asian, country for a long time, learn the basic words and expressions in the local language. At the very least, this will make Aboriginal people happy, and maybe even save money when you buy products and goods in the markets.
35. Learning a variety of skills – surfing, kiting, etc., in a local school or with a local instructor can be much cheaper than learning English, or even more so in Russian.
36. Always take out travel insurance, even if it is not required by the visa rules of the country. Asking for medical help may be much more expensive than an insurance policy.
37. If you are going to Europe or the United States, it may be more advantageous to take the euro or dollars, but for a trip to Asian countries, it makes no sense to bring the currency – in double exchange you are likely to lose more than on the fees for cash withdrawals from the card, in addition, some banks provide an opportunity to withdraw money from the card without commission around the world. Many banks also offer discounts on cards when you pay at certain points or cashbacks for certain goods and services (for example, when you pay at restaurants or petrol stations).
38. Get to know the national cuisine not only in tourist restaurants, but also in ordinary cafes – there you will not overpay for design and interior, and get an idea of the real local cuisine. The main sign that the institution is worthwhile is the large number of visitors inside. If the budget does not allow to eat in cafes, pay attention to the food courts in large shopping malls – in addition to fast food, there is usually a large selection of dishes of local cuisine.
39. Choose local and seasonal dishes. If you are on the coast, why order pork when seafood and fish are cheaper and fresher? In Asia, tropical fruit salads and necks are cheaper than apples and oranges.
40. Souvenirs in tourist places and at the airport are usually more expensive. Most often, almost everything is the same, you can buy in large supermarkets, at prices 1.5-2 times lower.
We hope that these tips will help you save your holiday budget or spend it more efficiently.