Traveling is usually pretty expensive, regardless the destination or length spent abroad. A lot of backpackers tend to stretch the length of their adventure until the last dime in their wallet. Who wouldn’t want to know how to spend less on their travels? Read the following 6 tips to save money and stretch your dollar even further while you travel. These tips won’t influence any of the fun and adventures you’ll experience when traveling, but merely your spending habits.
1) Do not buy useless gadgets or other souvenirs before your trip even starts
In many cases, you can already start saving a lot of money at the beginning of your travels. When you head out to a new and unknown continent, it’s logical you want to be well-prepared. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t fall for the massive amount of gadgets and souvenirs thrown at you. Whether this is at the airport upon arrival or at a large shopping mall in your area, you can find useless things to buy anywhere when you go abroad. You will be surprised how easy it is to waste money on such items. Therefore, abide by the following tip: save money until you are actually at your final destination.
2) Dare to go on adventures
A significant number of tourists book their holidays through well-established travel agencies and other organizations, making sure everything is completely being taken care of. On one hand, this would give you a feeling of comfort and safety. However, on the other hand, the price you have to pay for this level of comfort is usually extremely high. An easy way of saving money would be to challenge yourself and go for an adventure instead. For example, dare to go places you won’t see many other tourists. Don’t be a sheep following the herd; try something different…something new! I’m sure you’ll be able to find a cheap but decent hotel in less popular areas and have dinner for half the price of what you’d pay in the city center. The food is probably better there too; look for places that a lot of locals are eating at. You’ll never know if you never try.
3) Don’t party too often
When you’re traveling, you want to party, you want to enjoy yourself and you want to get the most out of it. Obviously, and there’s nothing wrong with that! After months and months of hard work or long study weeks, you want to give your brain a break. At parties and events abroad there’s a lot of drinking involved and people just want to lose their mind in all craziness. It’s easy to get carried away in the relaxed vibe and drink too much, resulting in an empty wallet and disappointment in the morning. Summarized: partying is fun, but know your limits – it’s expensive.
4) Local vs. international health insurance
Assuming you have a local insurance plan before flying out, you need to be sure it offers international coverage. Most local insurance companies don’t cover health expenses abroad. Due to the fact you’re traveling to a different continent, different bacteria, crazy traffic, and different health standards can all put you at risk of insuring yourself or falling ill; you want to be covered for any situation. These are just a few examples that could affect you. In a case of serious illness or accidents, you want to make sure you’re fully covered for this. Therefore, make sure to cancel your insurance plan in time and get a proper international health insurance plan prior to departure. You don’t want to potentially be paying your own medical bills out of pocket, right?
Another simple way of saving money while traveling is one that requires some courage and determination. It’s perfectly normal in most non-Western countries to negotiate prices of products or services. In case you don’t possess the courage to negotiate prices, you might doom yourself to become a victim of buying highly overpriced goods or services. A lot of tourists pay way too much, willingly or not. The fact is, the sellers know this all too well and will try to squeeze every single penny out of you. The same rule of thumb is applicable here: You never know unless you try.
6) Avoid Western food
Are you traveling outside the EU or US? There’s probably an entire new world opening for you. Non-Western countries generally put a lot of value in their culture and habits., unique landscapes and extraordinary art. It might be a culture shock to some. Furthermore, this is often forgotten, locals like to have their own non-Western kitchen. Yet, many tourists make the same mistake by ordering western food outside their own continent, just because it’s familiar and they trust it. Globalization has allowed a franchise such as McDonald’s or Burger King to open up a branch in South-Africa or Asia. If you really want to save money, just avoid these places. It’s for the best. The local kitchen has an amazing taste and on top of that, it’s so much cheaper! Easy choice if you ask me.
About Marcel de Jong – Marcel de Jong is a digital nomad living in Asia for the past 12 years. He’s a specialist in individual, family and business insurances for over 10 years. His passion is traveling and to deliver relevant information and easy-to-use online tools for international travelers, expats, and companies. Since 2013 he’s blogging for International Health Insurance helping thousands of people to choose the best and most transparent insurance plans. Now Health International provides excellent international insurance plans.