Thursday, 21 February 2013

Tips for saving money on Travel By Boman Rustom Irani

With the ever increasing cost of living, it may get a bit challenging to cope up with the expenses of traveling extravagantly, for an economic class person. However, that should not restrict a person from going out on vacations and occasional retreats, at all.  The most apposite solution for such a situation is planning a modest budget and saving a reasonable amount of money while travelling.

As we all know, saving while traveling may get slightly complicated. Taxes and fees, unexpected needs, impulse spending, emergencies, etc. are just unavoidable. There is no doing away with these expenditures. However there are many other ways by which you can keep the overall budget balanced.

First and foremost, do a thorough research about the city or country that you are going to. Everything starting from traveling expenses, hotels, food, entertainment to amusement spots, currency etc. In this way you will get a rough knowledge of how much you are going to be spending on your trip.

If you are on a tight budget, travel during off-seasons. Scheduling and timing your travel may save quite some money, plus you don’t have to face the hordes of people everywhere.

Secondly, consider tours and travels packages. An all-inclusive deal that comprises of the air or train fair, accommodation, food, entertainment etc. are often cheaper than booking everything individually.

If you are traveling by flight, make sure that you pack your luggage lightly and weigh your luggage while packing. Usually 30-40 kilograms is the limit for free baggage allowance for economic class, make sure you don’t exceed it.

Book your room in advance to avoid any last minute issues. There is no need to plan your stay at a luxurious inn as most of your time will be expended on sight-seeing. Try negotiating with the clerk about the rates of the room or ask him for some sort of perks and advantages like a discount or a free upgrade. Also, make sure you book a hotel which has morning breakfast included in the cost so that you don’t have to go out every morning searching for a restaurant. This saves time and money both.

If you are staying for a long period at one place, you may rent an apartment on a short term basis as it may cost you lesser than hotel rooms. Whenever you are traveling, it is always recommended to carry copiously amount of food, snacks and drinks with you. In this way, you wouldn’t have to spend too much on local bistros, plus you get your regular stable meal in case the native food does not match with your taste buds.
At the destination, try to use the local public transport such as trains, buses etc. instead of renting a car. In this way you can experience the place just like any other native resident! Also get a map of all the local routes and directions just in case you get strayed!

Control your desires and urges to shop, especially the ladies! Try to find markets or bazaars where you get decent deals on local items such as apparels, handicrafts, toys, merchandises etc. Avoid shopping at malls and expensive shopping centers as it will only increase your expenditure and the overall budget.

Whilst traveling, you may need to be in touch with people back home. Instead of spending a fortune on roaming charges, buy an international SIM card. This will reduce your mobile bill by at least 50 per cent.
By taking these petty steps and precautions, you can save a decent amount of money. Follow the above mentioned advice and you will notice less of a trench on your bank account! – Contributed by Mr. Boman Rustom Irani

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