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Tips To Save Money On Holiday

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Zenith, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. Zenith

    Zenith New Member

    As a spin-off from the most expensive cities thread I was wondering if anyone had any tips or tricks to save money while travelling round Europe? It may be a tip for just one city, or common across most.

    To start things off, I never buy drinks or food for travel at a station. In London you can spend £2.50 of a bottle of coke in a major station, but if you walk outside, the same bottle at a newsagents on the same street as the station will cost you under a pound. Everything else is much the same. To really save, buy in the local supermarket and take it with you. It isn't just in London, as Germany was similar, with huge price hikes inside the transport hubs and a massive drop right outside.

    What cost-saving tricks do you use to make money last longer on holiday?
  2. Quazi

    Quazi Member

    If I'm staying in lodgings that has no self catering facilities I make sure to take this device where I can boil up rice/tinned meats/puddings/veg in (I posted more information in another thread if you search my posting history :) ).
    Not eating out saves you a whack!
    I do the same as you advise when changing at Reading - although I used to pop into the Irish bar next door to the station which used to eat up any savings :p

    Just generally being prepared is the best way of saving money, and using a credit card when abroad for peace of mind. They generally offer more protection against dodgy transactions :)
  3. Valerie

    Valerie Active Member

    Ah, I've gotten quite good at saving money abroad. Living in Tokyo, one of the "most expensive cities in the world," I'm somehow getting by on under $800.00/900,000 Yen a month--which is quite miraculous considering the cost of things. Here's what I learned:

    1. as others have said, never buy drinks and food from pit stops. A drink in the fridge might cost $1.80 but when you walk outside to the vending machine it's a $1.20.
    2. Make sure of dollar stores (100 yen stories here in Japan). Sure, some of the things are poor quality, depending on the country; but in USA and JP, dollar stores offer a wide variety of goods that are decent quality for way less than department stores;
    3. In Japan, if you don't mind it, I recommend capsule hotels and manga/internet cafes for short-term stays. If the country you're headed to has something like them, use them.
    4. Don't rent cars (unless you really can't use anything else) and opt for public transportation or walking. A lot of cities also have bikes you can borrow, like the NYC Citi Bank Bike.
    5. Research free attractions and festivals.
    6. Travel on the off-seasons for that region.

    I feel like I know more, but I'm tired and can't think lol.
    Myrr likes this.
  4. djordjem87

    djordjem87 Member

    Hostels or camping would do the trick but you really need to be into this. I like nature and I would always choose to go around and explore the area then to go to some night clubs. I have night clubs at home town as well so that would be a complete waste of my time. I am not a big spender and I am a cook so I often make my own food so I rarely eat out. That is a big plus to your pocket. Travelling off season is a good idea as well.
  5. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 Active Member

    Well for me it's always the flight and accomodation which make up for the majority of the cost, so saving on those is both easy and makes a big difference. Maybe you can travel one day earlier / later and save on the flights. Maybe you can sleep in a hostel instead of a hotel (often hostels also have cheap rooms if you don't like a dorm!). Lots of tips on food already, but yeah if you can get a hostel with a kitchen then of course it's easy to eat there instead of eating out for each meal.

    Ohh and WALK. It's free, you get a bit of excercise to burn away all the yummy food and beer you will be having and it will allow you to discover parts of the city/town you are in that you would completely miss out on if you took the metro or bus.
  6. Myrr

    Myrr Member

    Hmmm...most of the posters have mentioned almost all the things that one can do to save money on trips. Well, one way of saving money is by going on a holiday during the non-peak season. The hotel accommodations, as well as the flights are much cheaper during those times. And one of the best ways to save money is not to go shopping or overspend on shopping. Just stick to the budget or don't go shopping at all.
  7. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 Active Member

    Ahh yes that's also a good one, don't buy stuff that you don't need. Often people feel more or less obliged to grab a lot of souvenirs and other "local stuff" (which they will most likely find in the gift shops in the tourist areas) and the majority of those items will just end up in a drawer somewhere.
    Myrr likes this.
  8. Quazi

    Quazi Member

    Made a stupid mistake once that people can learn from.
    At the end of one of our trips we were heading to the station when my partner and I remembered that we hadn't picked up gifts for our family.
    We popped into the gift shop/news agents at the station.....DONT DO THIS!......everything was stupidly overpriced and rubbish. And of course that's the plan, they expect people like me to have to use them so they charge what they like
    Valerie likes this.
  9. ellajanelle

    ellajanelle Member

    I agree. The price of food and drinks in airports and stations are almost 100% higher than their suggested retail prices. It's always a bad idea to buy from there. You have to buy before going. Another tip for travelling is to find if you have a friend or relative in the place you're visiting, so maybe you could stay in his place if he'd allow it. When my parents went to France they had no problem looking for a place to stay because my aunt lives there with her husband and they even accompanied them all the way to Italy (free transportation, too.)
  10. Myrr

    Myrr Member

    Yeah. I was like that when I was younger. I would buy every trinket that I can get my hands on. Especially on bazaars or flea markets, where the goods are relatively cheap. Afterwards, when I got back to the hotel room, I calculated all the the money that I spent, and I found out that I went over my budget. And what's worse, I needed to check in an extra luggage for them. That was one of the lessons I learned from my travels.
  11. JusApee

    JusApee New Member

    Well, if I'm on holiday, I usually take enough money to also satisfy whatever twisted needs I might have. However, things may get too pricy and I also have to save some money. When I'm in this situation, I usually:
    • Stop spending money on totally unneeded things. This includes clothes mostly and amusement parks (I'm one of those people who buy hats or clothes when going to the sea). Whenever I'm in need of money, I stop buying such things or going to amusement parks and focus on stuff I need, like food, drink and souvenirs.
    • Look for cheaper souvenirs. However, this happens only if I'm really low on money. I usually sum up everything I buy to check out if I can afford them. Souvenirs are usually a must-buy for me in holidays, so most of the times I keep money especially for this.
    To actually avoid being in such a situation, I usually:
    • Avoid luxury hotels that I know might cost a lot. Also, avoid eating at expensive food in restaurants and, if possible, cook my own food.
    Most of the times (everytime for me) a cheap 2-3 star hotel and a typical menu at a restaurant made me have enough money for actually having fun and buying really nice souvenirs.
  12. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    This is a great thread, especially when you really want to maximize the bang for your buck that you're getting for your vacation!

    There's a few things I do. Research, research, research when it comes to accommodation, airfares and so forth. Saving money on those things are probably the biggest expenses you're going to encounter, and that can leave you a lot leftover.

    I agree with trying to stick to public transport. Cabs can be super expensive in some parts of the world, and a lot of the time places will have good deals for public transportation (one that springs to mind is the JR passes they have in Japan) so I think it's good to research things like that.

    I try not to eat from restaurants for every meal - that really adds up. If I can buy things from grocery stores and make something, it tends to be cheaper. Or, depending on the country, hawker stands are awesome and inexpensive. Probably cheaper than buying stuff from a supermarket!

    I don't buy unnecessary souvenirs either. I might buy something small for myself, like a piece of jewelry or an item of homewares, but it needs to be something with a purpose. My main souvenirs are the pictures I take - then I can get them printed and enjoy them on the walls of my home!
  13. GemmaRowlands

    GemmaRowlands New Member

    Deciding where to eat and drink is by far the most important decision with regards to money saving, because you will find that in certain places it is much cheaper to eat street food - for example in many parts of Asia. I find also that doing this allows you to experience the country fully. I have a friend who went "travelling" and then refused to eat in anywhere but Western fast food outlets, which I think would have spoiled the trip for me! Also make sure you take a look at any discount or season tickets on travel, depending on how long you're going for, and always compare accommodation options before you leave.
  14. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    As I had posted in another thread, we had been saving money on food. In our first trip to Hongkong, we would buy dimsum in the street carts for our dinner. And since bottled water was very expensive at that time, we would boil the hotel's tap water and use it for drinking.

    But in our recent trips, we made it a point to spend for good food so we would fully enjoy the trip. Our only saving tricks is to buy drinks in the convenience store so we wouldn't avail of the expensive drinks in the refrigerator of the hotel (the price is more than double). With water, we always have that drinking bottle which we replenish whenever we have the opportunity. Saving on drinks is easy but substantial especially with drinking water.
  15. sararas

    sararas Member

    Always think LOCAL. If you can do as the locals do, then you'll really going to save a lot. That translates to doing local transport as the others suggested. It might not be for everyone, but walking to me is also something you can do. Not only will you be able to explore more of the country you are visiting, you actually get exercise, too. I understand that it might not be the wisest of idea, but I've saved a lot just by walking. In that way, you get to see unexpected nook and crannies that serve delicious food at less the cost. Take advantage of freebies in your hotel/hostel. I'm sure some hostels provide free breakfast. Might not be substantial but you can still save from it. On my early trips, my friends and I are usually uber excited that we would leave our hostels/hotels early only to end up buying breakfast meals outside. Over the years, I've learned to take advantage of these freebies.
  16. Try to find some accommodation deals online. There are quite many online services that will search for the best discount and get you a pretty much great overall package of hotel room, airtickets and car rental at a very competitive price.
    Other than that, while being in London for example, you could avoid dining at restaurants and instead cook your own meals and of course visit supermarkets that are outside London to get better prices.
  17. maxen57

    maxen57 Member

    Thanks for the awesome tips. I've been considering working in Japan once I'm able to take a nursing aide course. Nursing and caregiver jobs today are in demand since the population of Japan's elderly is rising. I am often told how expensive living in Japan is that even the local population is struggling to cope. But it's always been my dream to go there and to enjoy the various activities there as well.
  18. nenjiavero

    nenjiavero New Member

    One thing I noticed in all the cities I've been to is that the prices are much lower if you don't buy stuff on the main streets.

    For example - in Rome, a Pizza cost around 20€ near the Spanish Steps. But just two minutes away is a small side-street, where awesome Pizza was around 10€.
    Also, never buy souvenirs in the first shop you find. Always go to other shops too, and you will almost always find lower prices for the same magnets, shot glasses etc.

    Staying in hostels has also proven to be a good idea for me. I've been to Ibis budget hostels, traveling with a group (travel agency organized), and the prices were really good.