One of the best ways to save money when planning overseas vacations is to set clear expectations right from the start of the holiday. Define that, and it would ease with preparations and help define the boundaries of all potential expenditures for the trip. With a little planning before hand, it is possible to save a whole lot of money with air-ticket reservations, to lodging, to meals and even down to daily entertainment expenses in the destination of choice.
Determine when is the best time to travel. Try to book flights into travel destinations that coincides with the celebration of some pidgin festival or the birthday of a local deity. Or Google significant city information for cultural events or parades taking place and plan the travel itinerary to fit into those dates. That would certainly give some first-hand insights into the culture and practices of that land. The biggest plus point in all of that is – it is free. A good habit to cultivate for budget travel is to arrange journeys within low season where air flights to these places are relatively cheaper coupled with correspondingly lower hotel or hostel rates.
Always fly with budget carriers. With the introduction of budget airlines like Tiger Airways slashing their prices for air travel to near rock bottom levels, it’s no wonder the world’s jetting off. Booking a flight early secures the best prices. For many budget conscious travelers, getting to the destination is more important than the experience of a world class air passenger service. If it saves burning a hole in the wallet, it’s worth the sacrifice.
Likewise, it may take nerves of steel to steer away from spa resorts and five star hotels in the middle of town. Those are nice to splurge on once in a while, but it wouldn’t be wise to do that for all vacations. The humble hostel or backpackers is pretty much good enough. Besides, flipping channels on cable shouldn’t be a high priority, all that is really essential is a hot shower and a warm bunk to rest.
Many seasoned travelers would advise doing some research into the locality and the natural habitats of the country. Find out where the locals go for cheap eats or for entertainment, seek out the native flavors that bears the signatures of the township. Traveling is all about new experiences and stretching horizons. It’s about interactions with different ethnic cultures.
As much as possible, avoid restaurants and gourmet eateries. The unwitting tourist is likely to pay top dollar for these places, often on top of that, service charge and services taxes. Try as much as possible to find the open street wet markets with fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and sea-foods with womenfolk haggling away at prices with stall vendors. Make all purchases there and work out a menu that can be easily prepared at the hostel. There is nothing more exciting than cooking an exotic meal for fellow traveling companions while following an old recipe book picked out at the second hand bookstore.
Learn how to take the bus or the local mode of transportation, it is usually cheaper and more economical that way. Hire a bicycle and ride around the town instead. The priceless experience of cultural immersion outweighs that of any fee paying wonderland or amusement park. Take time to “smell the roses” so to speak and at the end of the day, be at peace with impeccable views of glorious sunsets. It largely depends on “what you want” out of the holiday. A little budgeting can help save a lot of unnecessary expenditures, especially when traveling, where spending is naturally inevitable.