Recently updated on July 19th, 2022 at 03:21 pm
From downloading the right smartphone apps to pedalling between a city’s great landmarks, it’s never been easier to cut back on what it costs to spend time exploring a new destination. To get the most out of your trip, without going over budget, follow these tips on how to save money when you travel.
Get the Apps
Before even setting out, plan ahead by downloading the free apps that promise to save travellers money when they’re overseas. To avoid data roaming charges, make use of the smartphone app Onavo Extend, which reduces data roaming charges by minimising the amount of data a phone takes to download emails and use social media. Another step towards reducing these costs is to download the Google map of the city you’re heading to, for easy reference during the trip. And for information on where to go and what to do, download Triposo, which offers free travel guides and city maps that can be used offline.
Pay the Right Way
When you’re travelling, bank fees can stack up with each withdrawal and card payment, but this can be avoided by opting for a bank’s no-fee debit or credit card for overseas travel; it’s worth checking with your bank to see what cards they offer. Save even more by getting currency exchanged before leaving home, where you’re bound to get the best rate available, often with no commission charged. Shop around for the best currency exchange by comparing rates on a site such as MoneySuperMarket.
Sightsee for Less
Many museums and attractions in some of the world’s major cities are free to enter, such as The Natural History Museum and British Museum in London. Even those with an entrance fee often have a particular day, or time of day, that’s free. Make use of city tourism cards, too, which offer reduced rates for transportation and entry into various attractions for one fixed price, dramatically knocking down the price you pay, and sometimes even including free public transport. Pick one up at local tourist information points. Look out for other free attractions in the city you’re in, too, such as street festivals and fairs, local markets, parks and gardens.
Pedal between Sites
Many cities across the globe offer a bicycle sharing system for both residents and tourists, enabling people to cycle between bicycle stations around the city. As well as providing a fun way to explore the area, this gives visitors a more cost-efficient way to get around. Bay Area Bike Share in San Francisco is one successful bicycle scheme, with many more throughout America, Asia and Europe. Alternatively, explore the city on foot while taking in the street-life that’s so easily missed when taking public transport.
Whether you’re looking for a somewhere to eat or buying souvenirs, it pays to steer clear of the main tourist sites, where prices are almost always significantly higher. Souvenirs can be bought in local stores and markets, and the most authentic local fare can be found off the tourist track. To save money on food, take a break from restaurants by picking up a bite to eat from a local market and finding a spot to settle down for an impromptu picnic. And if you’re in a country where haggling is the norm, have some fun at the market, negotiating for the best price on what you want to buy.
Set out on a cost-conscious journey with Costsaver by Trafalgar.
Image credits: Cover photo © iStock / Imgorthand. Smartphone app © iStock / grinvalds. Currency © iStock / happymoron. The Natural History Museum in London © iStock / Izabela Habur. The bicycle sharing scheme in Paris © iStock / SamiSert. Buying from a local market © iStock / bjones27.