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Budget Travel Tips for a Great Vacation

Spending freely on vacation doesn't mean you will have a better time than someone who spends less. Below are various simple ways to save in any travel destination around the world - from cheaper countries like Cambodia to more expensive countries like Norway. They will save you big money with minimal effort.


  1. Airline tickets – Plan in advance and monitor the prices of the tickets months in advance. With the proliferation of budget airlines, it could be an option as well, cutting up flight costs by up to 50%.


  1. Go off-season– Everyone wants to ski in Hokkaido in March or go to sunny Thailand in the winter. Consider taking your vacations during off-peak seasons; not only is it cheaper but it’s less crowded as well.


  1. Cheaper alternatives to hotels – Consider couch surfing or try out a home stay. These are much cheaper (sometimes free!) and staying with locals can make the trip a much richer experience.


  1. Cook your own meals - Avoid breakfast from hotels as they are usually overpriced. You can always take a short morning walk out to find a local cafe. Even better if you can stock up on some bread and deli ham or canned tuna from the supermarket and make yourself a sandwich anytime.


  1. Make use of tourism cards - Local tourism offices (such as London and Paris) issue cards for many of their attractions, tours, and restaurants. After paying a one-time fee, you get to enjoy free entry and substantial discounts on many of the attractions and tours in a city.


  1. Car Rental Insurance Coverage – Some insurers and credit cards have car rental coverage so take advantage of these when you rent a car overseas. All you have to do is pay with your credit card and you get insurance coverage for free! Just make sure you decline the coverage from the rental company when they ask.


  1. Duty Free Shopping Many airports have duty free shops that you can take advantage of. Don’t forget about tourist tax refunds as some countries let you take back all or part of the retail sales tax. You might need to fill out some forms and show the receipts but if you've made large purchases, it can come up with a fair bit of refund.