Save money while traveling. There are lots of ways. Some of the suggestions below are useful regardless of your budget.
AVOID HOTEL LAUNDRY SERVICE. You save up your dirty clothes in the hope that you will be able to have it laundered once you get to your next location. Once there you hand in your laundry and get it back the next day all nicely folded. When you check out, you notice a ridiculously high-priced item you don’t remember purchasing. It’s the laundry. Just buy a couple of travel packets of laundry detergent and wash/dry at least your underclothing every couple of days. Save money and splurge on something really cool.
BUY BREAKFAST THE NIGHT BEFORE. Hotel buffets can mean high-priced overeating. You go to the hotel breakfast area and see a wonderful buffet full of delicious delicacies. You fill your buffet plate with everything that looks good. You can reduce this expense and the accompanying calories by buying breakfast the night before at a local grocery or C-store. Buy yogurt, cheese, fruit packs and store them in your minibar to have the next morning with coffee in your room. No minibar?… get muffins, rice-balls, noodle bowls or other non-refrigerated products. Save money and enjoy a local cuisine lunch or dinner.
USE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM AIRPORTS. To avoid taxis in foreign airports altogether check online first to see what public transport options exist before you arrive at your destination. Most first-world countries have excellent public transportation from the airport to the center of town. These include most European cities and many Asian ones like Japan and Korea where taxis are generally expensive. If you must take a taxi, look for a taxi dispatcher location inside the airport first. Tell the dispatcher where you are going, pay beforehand and receive a receipt which you hand to the driver. No money exchange with the driver at all. This is common in places like India and Mexico. Needless to say, don’t accept offers of taxi rides from strangers at the airport. Use only clearly marked taxis at taxi stands.
AVOID TAXIS AND TAKE SUBWAYS AND BUSES AROUND TOWN. Public transportation in a foreign country can be intimidating. Give it a shot anyway. In Asia most of the signage on subways or metros are in English in addition to the local language. In other areas there are so few subway lines it is virtually impossible to get lost. Get a street map and a subway map and study how to get from where you are to where you want to go. Use reference points; a Starbucks, pagoda or signage to remember where the subway entrance is. You may be surprised to see how easy and cheap it is to get around. In addition to saving money, using public transportation will give you an opportunity to see a city from a different perspective.
USE CREDIT CARDS WITH NO FOREIGN EXCHANGE FEE. These fees can add up!
USE ATMs FOR LOCAL MONEY. The most expensive places to convert currency, in descending order of expense, are:
- Currency conversion booths right outside customs in the airport.
- Local money exchange shops.
- Local ATMs are your best bet.
Another advantage of ATMs is that you don’t have to carry as much cash around with you.
How do you save money while traveling?