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5 Tips for Saving on International Travel

Croatia

Packing your bags is always good (when we go for a walk). Packing your bags to go on a trip is even better. But how can you make this dream come true and save money at the same time? It was with great pleasure that I came to invade the home of our beloved finance muse and wrote an article, summarizing for you some practical and very effective strategies for saving money on a trip. The subject is very vast and I could write a book about each of the items, but the objective here is to be very direct so that each of you can understand and adapt it to your own reality. Let's go there!

1. Decrease the hotel category

Choosing a hotel (or house) for your vacation doesn't have to be a daunting task. It is necessary to keep in mind some main aspects such as comfort, safety, practicality, proximity to points of interest, and of course, price. If you want to stay in a hotel with a public WiFi network, make sure you equip yourself with one of these best VPN services.

My tip is that you look for all this in a less popular place. For example, accommodation on the island of Manhattan, in New York, is a plus, of course. Imagine being very close to Times Square and just taking an elevator to watch your dream play on Broadway. But this can be very, very expensive. So, why not choose a similar hotel, with the same comfort, and the same security, but a little further away from the city's “hustle and bustle”? This will reduce the cost significantly without compromising the quality of your trip. It will just be a replacement. The comfort of taking the elevator is gone and a few minutes of subway and walking are in. Simple, cheap, and effective.

2. Have breakfast in the hotel room

Many hotels around the world offer breakfast as an optional item, which is something not included in the room rate, such as consumption from the minibar. For this reason, it is necessary to pay separately if you want to have breakfast in the hotel restaurant. It turns out that this option can cost up to 20 dollars per day per person (Wow!). Do the math. In 10 days in a hotel for two people, considering an average of 15 dollars: 10 x 2 x 15 = 300 dollars just for breakfast.

Well, if you can't see the reality of this value, I'll explain. In an American supermarket, with 300 dollars it is possible to buy a month's shopping for an entire family. Therefore, a third of that (100 dollars) is much more than enough for you to go to the market yourself, buy all the breakfast items for the entire trip, and consume it in your own room, without having to spend the infamous breakfast fee.

3. Prepare a detailed shopping list while still in your home

Buying is neither a sin nor a crime. If you worked and earned your money honestly, why not treat yourself to some shopping? The secret to saving money when shopping is not resisting temptations, but rather not even seeing that these temptations exist. Yes, you need a purchasing plan. Just as you have already made your hotel list, now is the time to make your shopping list. The first step is to make a wish list. This wish list must be calculated and previously studied, that is, you must access each website of each store that contains the desired item and write down the price.

4. Use discount coupons

Anyone who thinks that discount coupons are just those famous booklets provided on the websites of malls and outlets, where you can enter the website, register, and receive a voucher to be exchanged, is mistaken.  American culture, for example, is the culture of discounts. Coupons exist in practically every shopping place and are more than welcome.

Discount books provided by the Premium Outlets chain, for example, can also be purchased on the spot, from on-site customer service for 5 dollars. Those who intend to make a lot of purchases will recover this value the first time they use it, as many stores offer 10 dollars off, 20 dollars off, and some work with the percentage discount scheme, that is, you get x% off on purchases above a specific amount.

This is a good strategy for saving, but what's really good is the possibility of registering on the stores' own websites and receiving discount coupons by email. For example: if you intend to shop at GAP stores, visit the store's official website, register, and ask to receive offers by email. They will periodically send you some coupons. This works for several stores.

5. Include free tours in your travel itinerary.

The vast majority of tourist destinations have many more leisure options than parks, shows, museums, theaters, and restaurants. There are also many free outdoor activities that can complement your vacation days in an extremely beneficial way. The golden tip is to plan a trip to one or two of these free places on a Saturday or Sunday, which are quieter, more “family” days, and combine with rest from the marathon that your vacation can become. Furthermore, it will allow you to do one of the things we consider most valuable on any trip: getting to know the local culture.

Got something? Or do you want to suggest another tip?

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Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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