When it comes to travel, many people think they can’t take a big trip without spending thousands of dollars in the process.
The truth is, however, that there are several things you can do to save money no matter where your destination is, and you’ll still be able to enjoy the journey.
Planning well will help you create a budget you can realistically live with while you’re away, but you should also think about how you can prevent overspendings, such as changing your phone plan so you won’t build up overages or buying the little things before you leave home so you won’t have to pay what could be outrageous prices in a big city or foreign country.
The following tips will help you get started with your travel plan.
Prep your phone
Your smartphone can be incredibly useful when you’re traveling; not only can you stay in touch with your friends and family, but you can also record videos and share photos on social media throughout the trip.
If you want to avoid incurring outrageous charges for data overages, however, you’ll need to check your wireless plan before you leave.
An international option with unlimited data will help you avoid those charges and will prevent roaming while you’re away from home, so check with your carrier to see what they can do to help.
It also pays to be careful about which apps you’re using, especially if you’ll be traveling with children who use screen time to pass the long hours in a car or on a plane.
If you use the Bluetooth function on your devices, make sure you switch it off when it’s not being utilized.
Bypass the tourist traps
No matter where you travel, there will always be attractions designed to part tourists from their money.
Once you’ve been around the block a few times you’ll be able to spot them easily. But until then, make the most of the area you’re in by eating where the locals eat and visiting the spots they visit.
Not only will it save you money, but it will also help you experience the area more thoroughly.
After all, travel is a great way to live a happier life, but it’s important to do it right. Hitting up the places that offer overpriced souvenirs will only leave you feeling cheated.
If possible, carry a reusable water bottle with you at all times when you’re traveling.
Most airline rules state that you can’t bring a full bottle through the checkpoint, but once you’re past security, you can fill up an empty one.
Staying hydrated is extremely important because dehydration can lead to all sorts of physical problems — and no one wants to feel bad during a trip.
Keeping a reusable bottle with you will prevent you from having to pay several dollars for a small bottle as you travel through the airport and beyond.
Keep the family meals
Just because you’re traveling away from home doesn’t mean you have to give up your family’s time around the table.
So, look for a vacation rental or hotel that offers a kitchen or kitchenette so you can still cook some meals during your trip.
Not only will this allow you to connect with one another as you usually do, but it will also save you quite a bit of money.
Just make sure you make a shopping list of things you’ll need before you leave home and do a little research to find out how much certain items are at your destination.
For instance, in Hawaii, items like milk and even steak sauce can be much more expensive than they are on the mainland depending on where you shop, so don’t be afraid to compare prices.
If you have some meals planned out beforehand, you’ll be able to create a realistic shopping budget.
What you pack is very important for many reasons.
Not only can it save you money in myriad ways to pack light, but it can also help you enjoy the trip a bit more.
If you can, challenge yourself and your family members to only pack what they need and to see how long they can go without the “comforts” they usually have at home.
This is a great way to teach little ones about the value of experiencing other cultures and will help them learn to be more resourceful.
For instance, if everyone only has a limited amount of clothing, you can do laundry while on your trip to ensure everything can be worn again.
If you know you’re going to need little things like soap, shampoo, shaving cream, or even device chargers, find out if the hotel will provide them.
Many accommodations will have extras for guests at no charge.
Keep emergency money
Traveling with any form of money can be tricky; sometimes, no matter how careful you are, wallets can get lost or stolen.
No one wants to be left in a foreign place with no money, so make sure you have access to emergency funds while you’re away.
Never walk around with everything you have in your wallet; only bring what you’re going to use for the day.
Don’t flash your cash when you’re in public, and get to know the local customs when it comes to paying for food or services.
You don’t want to stand out as a tourist to potential thieves.
Traveling is a joy, whether you choose to visit another country or a nearby town.
It allows you to broaden your horizons, meet new people, and experience things you may never have the chance to again.
Think about how you and your loved ones can best stay safe and have fun during your trip, and remember to make time to relax and enjoy your time away from home.