Money-conscious travel boils right down to picking the right destination, knowing the best deals (that go beyond simply picking the cheapest airline), and more.
Check out these 9 tips that the pros are letting you in on.
This is not an endorsement for you to live paycheque to paycheque. Always save at least 20% of your monthly income for emergencies. That said…
Try to time your trip so that your bank account isn’t dry when you return – for instance, aim to return at the beginning of the next month if you get paid at the end of each month
Some people overspend while on holiday and come back to find they have two weeks to their next paycheque. They then tap into their savings or buy on credit – neither are advisable options.
NEXT: Have a working vacation →
You’d be surprised how possible this actually is.
Most people don’t have enough leave, and can’t afford to take unpaid leave for a few weeks or a month. But many of them organise a temporary, flexible work schedule: they talk to their bosses about being able to work remotely, just for the duration of the trip.
This way, they still get paid, and don’t lose out on leave!
Accommodation costs often will make up the bulk of your travel expenses.
Many frequent travellers seem to make spontaneous plans. This is because they are responding to last minute deals from hotels, or have spotted Airbnb lodgings that are going for cheap.
Keep up to date on travel deals via mailing lists, credit card promotions, and more.
Some places are “group” areas – they’re much more expensive if you go alone. The best example of this Bali. Many activities are run for groups of three to four people. Say you’re alone, or only with a partner; you will have to pay the cost for the entire group on your own (or find some friends, quickly).
Know before you go. Check on TripAdvisor, or email the tourism commissions of the countries to ask how a given activity is priced.
Ask your family’s trusted insurance agent for special deals on travel insurance. Some agents may flat out buy your travel insurance for you, because you’re a valued client. Otherwise, they can probably a get you a better deal.
(Pro tip: That doesn’t just mean cheaper, it could mean better coverage.)
Some air miles credit cards also automatically give you a complimentary travel insurance coverage when you charge your trip on them. Check to see if your air miles credit card offers this.
All you need is a way to raise your income by a small amount–about $200 a month–to be able to travel once a year. An extra $2,400 a year will cover airfare and Airbnb accommodations in most places.
Go freelance, or even negotiate it as a raise in your current job. There are tons of ways to earn more money!
It doesn’t matter if you get lost a few times–discovery is part of the fun. Plus the next time you visit, you will know your way around better. In most countries, locals will be happy to help you with directions.
The cost of cabs or private cars can be steep, especially if you are visiting capital cities like London, New York,Tokyo, etc.
Think how quickly you would deplete your pay by cabbing everywhere in Singapore – the same will be true in other major cities.
With the right air miles credit card, you can rack up points (or miles) for anything you spend in Singapore or abroad. You can then use these for free seat upgrades or free tickets.
But remember: repay the card in full every month. Not only will the interest rate overpower any savings if you fail to do so, but you can’t use your accumulated miles while you have outstanding debt.
Whenever you convert your currency, there is a chance you will lose money. So if there is potential for a return visit, simply don’t convert the currency back. Leave it in your drawer for the next time you visit.
Over three or four trips, you will be surprised at how quickly these incidental “sock drawer savings” can pile up. These can partially fund your future trips.
By Ryan Ong, SingSaver, 16 September 2016
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