When we traveled abroad, we often looked for ways to save money while having fun doing so.
Here are a few good tips to share with our fellow travelers:
Travel during off-peak season in a particular country or region.
You can save much on the admission tickets and accommodation during off-peak season. During our trip to China, we purposely traveled in November, which was the off-peak season. The admission tickets to the Great Wall, Forbidden City, and many others were nearly half-priced. In addition, the tourist’s attractions were not as crowded; you can take your time to enjoy the attractions better. Given that we live in Minnesota, we were well-prepared for the cold weather in Beijing during November.
Buy food at the local markets and bring it with you for a picnic.
When you travel to Europe, such as France or Italy, I would recommend you to check out the markets for local sandwiches, bread, cheese, fruits, biscuits, and beverages to go. Purchase and bring them to a beautiful, relaxing garden for picnicking. Gardens are abundance in Paris, France. It is a fun way to enjoy the art, sculptures and flowers in the garden while enjoying the local market meal at a descent price. Be creative with your food options. You’ll have fun with it.
Travel long distances by night train.
The cost of night train ticket with a bed is similar to a hotel price. It is a great way to save time and money. We saved one night of hotel accommodation by traveling from Beijing to Shanghai on a night train. The train came with four individual beds in one compartment, individual TV, headset, coat hanger and a small table to share. The condition of the train was surprisingly clean, neat, and decent. It costs about the same price as staying in a hotel. When we arrived at Shanghai at 7 am, we’re ready to travel and explore Shanghai; it saved us time and money.
Avoid buying for convenience.
You’ll be charged a lot more when you buy stuff for convenience; for example, purchasing food and refreshment on the train or souvenir shop at the museum. To avoid that, you can purchase snacks and bottle water from local grocery store to bring it with on your trip, so you don’t get charged at premium rate when you arrive at tourist destination. It is an extra weight to carry; however, it fills your stomach whenever you are hungry and keeps you hydrated when needed. Moreover, you get to eat the local snacks, whereas at the tourist attractions, you might see more international snacks.
Use your student/teacher/seniors ID card for discounts.
Certain tourist attractions offer student/teacher/senior discount on admission tickets. Practice the habit of asking and take advantage of the discount program when it is available.
Visit museums and attractions on reduced or free admission days.
If you are visiting Europe, such as France or Italy, I would advise you to find out when the free admission day is for certain museums. Most places in Europe offer free admission either on Monday or Tuesday. Plan your trip accordingly, and you will enjoy a free admission day to a great museum. Some places offer 3-days pass, 5-days pass or one week pass to several museums, which is cheaper than purchasing individual tickets.