Good morning guys! The sunny weather recently is getting me so excited for summer – and more importantly – all the travelling that comes along with it. Summer is a brilliant season to get out the house, even out of your local town – and headfirst into new surroundings, new experiences and new escapes.
One problem? The amount of money we all seem to burn through when out and about. Travelling CAN be expensive – when you’re doing it expensively. A lot of times, you don’t even realise you’re making the more expensive choices, either. Taxis instead of buses, private transfers instead of public. What can seem like a simple choice can have you spending hundreds of extra pounds than you actually need to – which is what I wanted to talk about today. Here are some fantastic tips and tricks that I PROMISE will have you travelling smarter, and saving you a lot more money in the long run!
#1 Easy Discounts on Attractions
The best trips begin well before your departure date: all the way back when you book them! Put that deserved holiday excitement into itinerary planning and figuring out what sights and attractions you want to see/do. Visiting a city? Check out the biggest tourist spots on Pinterest and figure out if you can pre-book tickets to get into any of them.
For example, if you’re visiting Rome or Paris, you can book the majority of sights online well before you visit – and usually the online price lets you not only skip the queues BUT guarantees you ACTUAL SAVINGS for pre-booking!
Not only that, but by checking and booking online, you’ll probably find out that you’re eligible for discounts you didn’t even know existed – you’re almost guaranteed to save some quick, real money this way.
For example, did you know that if you’re from the European Union and between 18-25 you can get into every Museum in Paris for free?
#2 Don’t Overpay for Food
It is SO easy to fall into tourist traps. Especially when in a foreign country, because the tourist traps are dressed up to appear quaint and local. But one trick I was taught while in Rome, to weigh the customers of said restaurant up. Are they majority local or tourists? If it’s the latter, ditch the place and go somewhere else – I promise you’ll be thanking me later!
That little tip was how Scott and I ended up saving the majority of our money, instead finding authentic local restaurants and dining for more than half the price you’d be quoted in the tourist traps.
One good trick for finding authentic meals is through apps like Trip Advisor. Go through the local restaurant reviews and weigh them up against the price guide. You’ll soon enough find a local gem that’s high on quality but low on price – just how it’s supposed to be.
#3 Leave the Pennies at Home
I cannot tell you how much this has saved my life. In fact, I love it so much that I talked about it in another post as well – Life Hacks on Packing Efficiently for a Weekend Away, which you can read here – leaving cash currency behind has saved me so much hassle. Not just hassle, either, but it’s actually saved me MONEY. My saviour? Revolut.
Instead of withdrawing money – spending some of it and ending up with pennies and pennies of currency that I didn’t understand, and eventually spending it just to get rid of (does this sound like you, too?) I have everything in an app on my phone that I can access immediately, review immediately and top-up/exchange immediately. It’s a total lifesaver. And then, at the end of my trip, I can transfer the money back into my main account with the click of a button and absolutely no added fees in sight.
Even better, if you’re looking to withdraw cash while on holiday, travel cards like Revolut don’t cost you ANYTHING extra to withdraw with. No matter where you are! Goodbye added charges, hello easy access to money!
If you’re interested in Revolut (and why wouldn’t you be!) then here’s their website. I honestly recommend you read up on them – they will change your life. (And this post isn’t sponsored by them, I swear! I just love them that much!)
#4 Shop Smarter for Flights
I did a whole blog post on this tip, which you can find here – The Thrifty Traveller’s Guide to Finding Cheap Flights.
A lot of people spend waaayyyy too much money on flights. And that’s because we’re made to think that we should pay an arm and a leg for them – when they’re actually a lot cheaper than that.
For the best tips and tricks I definitely recommend checking out that post, it’s full of advice to ensure you’re only spending what you have to on flights and nothing more!
#5 Know When to Go Public V.S. Private
Often overlooked, but when experiencing another culture – what’s better than experiencing it more authentically and traveling like you live there? Instead of forking out for taxis, look at metro or train passes. Buses, too. Public transport will ALWAYS be cheaper than private, and you can be shocked by how much cheaper they can be.
A lot of metro or train/bus services offer ticket packages, also. Giving you multiple days for a heavily discounted price. A lot of them (the Roma pass, for one) also give you free access to certain museums/city attractions just for purchasing them! Two birds, one stone!
It’s no secret that a lot of private transfer companies can take advantage of the fact that a lot of tourists rely on them, too, and inflate their prices to match that. Which absolutely sucks, meaning you can end up spending double or even triple the cost of what that journey ACTUALLY costs.
(For example, the city of Rome itself charges BY LAW that all taxis driving into the city can’t cost you more than 30 euros per trip from the airport to your hotel, but it’s not uncommon (and by that I mean it’s scarily frequent) that companies will rely on the fact that tourists won’t necessarily know this information and cost you upwards of 40 to 50 euros. That’s already the price of a good meal gone, just because of a law that a tourist wouldn’t necessarily know!)
#6 Go Straight to the Source
Finally, turn to peers on the net. Read blogs, like this one. One app that is absolutely fantastic and was recommended to me by a good friend is called Like a Local.
Like a Local is essentially a travel app designed by locals from a variety of cities around the world. Looking for the best food in Paris? There are locals on the app who have written their favourites. The same for tips and secret tricks on viewing the city in the best way – the local’s way.
Through reading blogs and researching apps you’ll get ahead of the curve with knowledge on the cheapest places to go, the best sights to visit and the easiest way to see the cities of your dreams. It makes travelling the best it can be: which is just as it should be.
If you have any other thrifty travelling tips or tricks I’d love to hear them!
Make sure to comment below, or tweet/Instagram me @mileinmyglasses!
As always, thank-you so much for reading.
I hope you have a wonderful day,