A holiday is a time for fun and relaxation. However, the ever-increasing costs may become a dampener and a source of stress even during holidays. Here are some tips on how to save money on holiday and thereby preserve the holiday spirit.
Book in Advance
Last minute reservations, be it hotels or flights usually cost more. It is best to plan the holiday well in advance, and avoid peak seasons where demand for seats and rooms increase.
When booking flight tickets, check which budget airlines serve the destination, compare different websites and also the airline website for the best deal. When making a booking, make sure to uncheck expensive frills that may negate the advantages of flying with a budget airline.
Adopt a similar strategy with accommodation. Compare websites, and also the hotel or resort website for the best deals. Many resorts offer attractive discounts during the non-peak season. At times, it may also be possible to email the hotel or resort directly and negotiate a deal.
Consider alternative accommodation options such as youth hostels or couch surfing as well.
Unless the holiday is confined to a big city with fairly efficient public transportation, it is foolhardy to depend on public transportation when on a holiday. The countryside, beaches, and many other places of tourist interest are more often than not away from easy reach by public transportation. Hiring a taxi may become a costly affair.
A far more cost effective option is to opt for car hire. Search online for the best car hire options at the destination, and book in advance. Make sure you satisfy all requirements, such as a valid credit card, acceptable driving license, and more. Be aware of the insurance required, to avoid spending on excess insurance. Also, when opting for car hire, always take photos and video of the car to avoid disputes on return.
Car sharing may work out as another good way to cut costs. Websites such as liftshare, blablacar and carpooling allow drivers to post details of their trips and the fare their charge from passengers. If the timings are right, this may work out far cheaper than moving from one city to another in a train or bus.
The rule of thumb regarding saving on food costs when on a holiday is to avoid eating from restaurants that specifically target the tourist, and eat where the locals go out to eat. This strategy not just ensures fair value, but is also a good way to inculcate the local cuisine in a realistic setting.
Street food especially offers a chance to taste the authentic local fare. However, take a close look at the hygiene, and always ensure that street food is cooked on the spot, and cooked properly.
Websites such as eatwithalocal is a good place to get invited to dine with a local resident, at far cheaper rates that what it would take to eat at a restaurant.
Another option to save on food costs include shopping at markets and cooking food at the hotel or resort, provided there is access to a kitchen or pantry.
Search for the Best Deal
Exchange rates are invariably the worst at airports, and the city centre would offer far better rates. Similarly, there may be free walking tours as a better alternative to the heavily advertised premium sightseeing tour, or it may be better to visit the place independently.
The golden rule on saving money when on a holiday is to research, be aware, and shun the obvious.
About the Author: Greg loves to write about all things travel which he gets from his own tourist experiences!