Unless your holiday is all-inclusive, the price of the plane tickets and accommodations are just one part of the overall cost.
Travellers often go over their budget because they spend more money on going out than they expected once they are at their destination. However, it doesn’t have to be like this. There are many ways to save money when it comes to extra expenses like transport or restaurants.
Book a rental car from home
A rental car should be reserved before you leave on holiday, since renting a vehicle at your destination is often more expensive.
Even worse, many people don’t read the contract properly because they’re in a rush – even though it could contain several pitfalls.
One thing to look out for is unlimited mileage. Otherwise, going over the kilometre limit can lead to high costs, says Stefan Sielaff, of the German automobile club ADAC.
It is always worth comparing prices, and this is easier to do online than on the ground at your destination.
Use public transport
For the journey from the airport to the hotel, buses and trains often offer a good alternative to an expensive taxi ride. Tourists often fall victim to overpriced transfers.
Public transport is also a good option for getting around. It’s usually cheaper and often quicker, says Stefan Diener, from a travel blog focused on South-East Asia, who cites Bangkok as an example.
There are usually multiple-trip, daily and weekly ticket options for public transport, which can also save you money.
Eat and drink like a local
There are plenty of opportunities to save money when it comes to eating and drinking. Rule No. 1, according to Diener, is don’t eat at the hotel. A restaurant elsewhere is often cheaper.
Location also plays a role. Somewhere right on the waterfront is probably going to be significantly more expensive than a restaurant on a side street where the food is likely just as good.
Beware of places that are just for tourists, which often charge more.
If you can find places where locals usually eat, they are generally cheaper, and the food often tastes better too, says Diener.
Look for alternatives to tourist hotspots
The rooftop bar of a famous 5-star hotel may be described as a “place to be” by a guidebook. But hotspots such as these often end up being overcrowded and overpriced.
You can often get a similar view for free, says Swiss travel blogger Sarah Althaus. It’s a good idea to do research online and see if there are skyscrapers near the rooftop bar that you can visit for free.
Use combination tickets when sightseeing
For sightseeing, you may be able to save cash with a combination ticket or city pass. These usually cost less than the sum of several individual tickets for various attractions.
What’s more, in some cases these tickets also serve as a travel ticket for public transport. It’s also worth looking at a tourist attraction’s website. Tickets booked online can sometimes be cheaper, says Diener.
Be brave while shopping
You can often save money on souvenirs and gifts if you haggle, although some people may find this awkward at first.
In many countries, this is just the way things are done, otherwise you pay completely excessive prices, says Althaus.
Haggling just takes getting used to, he says. And at some point it starts being fun, he promises, as well as saving you money.