Susan Sontag once said that she hasn’t been everywhere, but it’s on the list. A clever one, we agree, but what can you do when you are missing a key piece of luggage? Let’s see…
- passport – check;
- cell phone with a downloaded travel app and a charger – check;
- toothbrush – check;
- raincoat – check;
- credit card – check.
Or is it?
What do you do when you are overwhelmed with passion for exploring the new frontiers and that little piece of plastic keeps you rooted to the ground? No, you do not find yourself sitting in desperation.
You’ve probably heard that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step; but once you make the first one out the door, know that the hardest part is behind you – because we are here to tell you how to manage the rest, regardless of the limiting budget.
World is rich with free activities
Let’s say you find yourself in Sydney – climbing its monumental tower and dining in a rotating restaurant might be a once in a lifetime experience, but what if you don’t have enough spare change? This does not mean you are deprived the magnificent view. You can enjoy an even more stunning lookout from Blue Mountains.
What happens more often than not is that people start browsing for sights to see prior to their trip, only to get surprised by high museum and gallery prices. As a result, they get discouraged and decide to cancel all their plans. Our advice? Don’t follow a guide – take a self-guided walking tour instead and familiarize yourself with the destination – people, culture, scenery and architecture. It is completely free of charge.
Skip on fancy dinners
This is especially advisable for those who are taking a family trip. Restaurants at some more attractive destinations are known for their unaffordable prices, so be sure to always carry snacks when you are sightseeing to pull them out whenever you need fuel. And don’t forget to buy a case of bottled water to keep it in your room, since the small, half-litter ones you can get at a corner shop tend to be quite expensive.
Now, if you do decide to grab something to eat, don’t just sit at the very first table that catches your eye, because chances are – there is a much cheaper plate just a few corners away. Venice, in particular, is known for its extremely high prices, but that is just the case on Saint Mark’s Square – you’ll find a mouth watering pizza and heavenly cappuccino in an authentic cafe in Campo Santa Marina, for sure.
Start collecting the points from the very first stay
When you browse for the ideal accommodation, check whether there are any hotels nearby that have a reward system. In other words, find a place that will give you points for staying with them, points which can be used later in the same complex.
Namely, in recent years, hotel hopping has become quite a popular method of saving money while traveling. What you do is hop to another accommodation from the same chain to maximize points, as well as to earn the elite status much faster. Ultimately, you have a better chance for suite upgrades which depend on the availability. Allow us to explain this last one – if you book a room for a week, the hotel has to keep it available for 7 days in order for you to use it, however, if you book it for only one night, chances to get an upgrade are much higher.
Stock up enough food in the room
While we are on the subject of choosing the best place to stay, we wish to emphasize just how much you can save if you find a room with a kitchen area, or at least the one with the fridge. This way, you will be able to bring some food that you bought back home at a lower price and prepare something yourself instead of dining out. Once you run of out supplies, avoid local stores – either visit a large supermarket and find groceries that are on a discount, or pay a visit to a farmer’s market. The later one is always a more preferable option, since then you can find local food and ingredients and get a taste of a local cuisine without breaking the bank.
Never go in peak season
Off season you can take advantage of a discount on… well, basically everything. From plane tickets and accommodation prices, to entrance fees and restaurant prices. Oh, and the best part is – you’ll avoid the crowds and actually have the opportunity to pose in front of a sight without dozens of others photo-bombing you.
The bottom line is…
There are no more excuses for turning into a couch potato. Money can be a limiting factor, but if you take a second look at the text for a moment, you’ll see that you can save a few pennies at every corner, of any city, anywhere in the world.
About the Author: Ian Pearson is a passionate sports fan, nature and photography enthusiast, and is always trying to keep up to date with tech innovations and development.