Getting yourself around for as little as possible is the goal for many travellers. Each time you enter into a new country there are high-impact things to consider such as fluctuating exchange rates that can make or break a trip. When it comes to penny-pinching, there are steps that can be taken to ensure you enjoy your travels in the fashion you deserve.
- Plan, plan and plan
One of the most efficient ways to travel on a budget is to carefully plan your excursions. If you are fortunate to live in a major European city, you are no doubt within easy reach of most attractions. Instead of hitting up every country in Europe for long periods of time, plan your historical visits in the form of day trips. A Euro Pass will get you where you need to be for less than a flight, and by limiting your visit to a day trip, you can avoid paying for costly accommodations.
2. Use Public Transport
Make use of public transportation. Not only is it cheaper than letting a car, it can also be quicker when compared to getting lost in a foreign city. If you are staying in one city for any length of time, ask about unlimited passes or multi-ride tickets such as the Oyster card that is used in London. You may save a little money but you’ll definitely save a lot of time, as prepaid cards mean no queues.
3. Pay by Cash
To avoid overspending, always pay cash. ATM’s are plentiful in all cities these days so there really is no excuse not to pay cash for your purchases. Plan your spending for the next week or even month and withdraw the total amount all at once to avoid additional international bank fees. Not only will this help you stay on track with your budget, it will also keep your credit card open for unforeseen emergencies.
4. Consider letting an apartment
If you’ve fallen in love with a city and want to extend your stay or even reside there for a while, let an apartment instead of paying costly hotel fees. There are heaps of great old houses filled with young travellers who are more than happy to pack another sardine into the can. If a full house is not to your liking, many hostels offer great accommodations as well, some with private rooms.
5. Mingle with the locals
If you have decided to temporarily live in another city, now is the time to learn to eat and drink where the locals eat and drink. Eating out and drinking in tourist’s spots are normally more expensive. Walk your new neighbourhood and locate the places that seem full of happy locals chatting up a storm, reading the local paper and enjoying beverages with lunch.
6. Other little things
Other tips and tricks to travelling on a budget, purchase local discount cards if you can find them. If you intend to sightsee or travel around a bit, these normally pay for themselves in only a few uses. Learn the local customs, especially when it comes to tipping. In London, for example, tip is included with your total charge, so in essence tipping, is additional tipping.