[dropcap size=big]I[/dropcap]rrelevant of how often you travel budget is always a key aspect determining where and what you experience while away from home.
Having survived on our budget for the past two years we’ve collated our tips for Savvy Travel below. I’m sure there are some familiar pointers but hopefully you’ll find something new amongst the wisdom we’ve shared.
[divider] HOUSE SIT & HOME STAYS [/divider]
Websites like couchsurfing and Airbnb offer the opportunity to stay with local residents for much less than you would pay for a hotel. In Australia we found rooms on Airbnb that were cheaper than a room in a hostel.
Get your accommodation for free by house sitting at your destination.
Call your local travel agents and pick their brains for destination ideas then research online for the best deals and see if they can price match.
Find out what attractions are free and look for discounted vouchers.
Visit daily deal sites and opt for some out of the ordinary activities.
Look into public transport and how to get frequent user discount cards.
Consider accommodation options just outside major cities, even with the cost of the commute you may save yourself some cash.
[divider] LAYOVER [/divider]
It’s well known that booking each leg of your flight individually can often save you money. So why not make the most of your escape and layover in the destinations you pass through on the way. More travel for your money.
[divider] COMMUNICATION [/divider]
Look for a local sim card as soon as you arrive in a country.
Having the ability to contact people at a low cost rate is vital if you’re to keep your costs down. Find out which providers offer the most cost effective service and consider if you will need mobile data during your stay.
Pre paid is more than likely the only option for a foreign visitor so researching the best deal may save you some pennies.
[divider] ASK FOR UPGRADES [/divider]
It doesn’t matter how ridiculous you feel and how many times you’re declined the opportunity to upgrade for free exists.
Whenever you’re purchasing a service consider asking if there are any ‘free upgrades’ available. We’ve been bumped up to first class on a domestic flight and been upgraded to a penthouse in a Las Vegas hotel just because we had the inclination to ask.
[divider] ASK FOR DISCOUNTS [/divider]
If declined a free upgrade ask for a discount. Even high street retailers can offer a discount if they desire.
A good phrase to use is ‘Is that your best price’ it’s less abrupt than ‘Can you give me a discount’ and we have found works well with most cash purchases.
[divider] ASK COMPANIES TO PRICE MATCH [/divider]
If you’ve done your research you should have found a range of prices for your tour/flight/activity. Ask your preferred choice if they will price match the best rate you have found. A company is likely to agree if they can to prevent your business going to their competitor.
[divider] BUY ONLINE [/divider]
I hate to say this because I believe we should support our local economy however making your purchases online is becoming increasingly cost effective.
With a lot of online companies offering free shipping you can save anywhere between 10 to 25% by scouring the web for the things you need.
[divider] USE CASHBACK WEBSITES [/divider]
If you’re purchasing something online see if you can earn yourself some cashback. There are a whole host of cashback sites out there offering consumers the opportunity to reclaim a percentage of their purchase price.
Head to CashbackHolic to find out which retailers you can save with and which cashback site offers the best rate for a particular store.
When exiting some countries you can claim any tax back that you have paid out in purchases within a certain period of flying. We waited until just before we left Australia to buy a laptop and claimed nearly $100 back when flying out to New Zealand.
[divider] BUY, INSTEAD OF RENTING [/divider]
Wherever feasible avoid renting anything. Money spent on rent is dead money. It’s gone and you’ll never get it back. Money you invest in a purchase will more than likely result in a return from it’s sale.
[divider] MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR MONEY [/divider]
Visit countries where your home currency goes further and the cost of living is low.
Live like a local, avoid tourist trap areas for food and drinks and use public transport.
Eat out at lunch instead of dinner. It can be up to 50% less expensive at the same restaurant.
Check local online noticeboards and forums for advice and information on your destination. Getting the opinions of locals is so beneficial and can often save you a wasted journey to a over ratted attraction of a sneaky deal on a cheap eat.
[divider]✈ ✈ ✈[/divider]
We’re adding to these tips every time we spot a nugget of savvy travel advice so feel free to leave us your top tips in the comments box below.