There are plenty of blogs out there that tell you how to save before you go on your trip, but we all know the spending doesn't stop once you reach your destination. That's why we did a little research and are sharing 9 ways to stretch your budget while you're traveling.
1. Pack Meds You Don't Think You'd Need
Nothing's worse than being on a trip and suddenly coming down with a migraine. Suddenly you're in a scramble to find the nearest drugstore, hoping they carry your preferred solution. If you're at an airport it's even worse. The selection is small and everything is overpriced. You're stuck wasting your money on a small pack of pills when you could have used it on something else.
Before you go, make sure you're stocked up on ibuprofen or acetaminophen for headaches, antacids for heartburn, and Benadryl for any allergies. A handful of each in separate plastic baggies will have you fully prepared for any mild medical issues and will keep your trip on track. If you want to be extra prepared, have your doctor prescribe you a gastro kit. With medication for almost any affliction, it can save you money and hastle while traveling.
2. Get A Credit Card That Doesn't Have International Fees
Did you know that most credit cards charge a three percent transaction fee on international purchases? That means that every time you swipe your card abroad, you're going to have to add three percent to the transaction. One time might not seem so bad, but those fees are going to add up.
So how do you save your travel budget from being dissolved by transaction fees? Some credit cards are made specifically for travelers, meaning that they waive the international charges. These cards usually offer rewards based around travel expenses, thus saving you even more.
When looking for the perfect card for you, we suggest using WalletHub's list of Best International Credit Cards.
3. Carry Your Own Water Bottle and Snacks
No matter where you're going, bring your own reusable water bottle. Keep it empty as you go through airport security, and then fill it up once you're through. Keep refilling it (safely) throughout your trip to keep yourself hydrated. Not only is it economical, but abstaining from buying plastic water bottles is better for the planet.
As for snacks, you don't want to spend an offensive amount of money on the tourist trap concession stands and depressing airplane food. Instead, stock up on your favorite goodies, and always keep a couple in your bag no matter where you go. Then when cravings hit your wallet won't feel the pain.
4. Only Use Your Phone When Connected to Wifi
Usually one thinks of cellphone usage being costly when traveling abroad, but domestic travel can be expensive too. A lot of popular travel destinations, like the American Southwest, have terrible cellphone service. That means if you're trying to post that Instagram of the Grand Canyon, you may be hit with crazy roaming fees. Instead, wait until you get to a local cafe with free wifi to upload everything to social media.
When traveling abroad, cellphone service will cease to exist for you unless you're down for paying a ton of money. Check here for some ways you can get cellphone service abroad without breaking the bank.
5. Research Discount Days At Local Museums
The best part about museums in most major cities is that they have specific dates where they either offer free admission or "pay what you wish". Although most have their discount days on Sunday, do your research before you go. For example, starting March 1 the Met Museum will no longer be offering pay what you wish to out of state visitors.
Other museums have weekly and monthly offers. The Philadelphia Museum of Art offers pay what you wish after 5 p.m. on Wednesdays as well as the first Sunday of every month. During that time they also offer special activities for people of all ages. So, no matter where you go, look up their museums and schedule around that.
6. Visit A Local Supermarket Instead of Eating Out
Sure, going out to eat is a great way to see how the locals eat, but even the locals don't eat out every day. Instead, make a trip to the local grocery store. Take your time perusing the different goods and make an effort to get a bit adventurous.
Once you're done browsing, you don't have to eat in the privacy of your hotel room. Find a local park and have an al fresco picnic. You'll be making memories while saving yourself money.
7. Book A Room With A Kitchenette
If you're staying somewhere for a week or more, the kitchenette will come in handy with that grocery store haul. Then you'll be able to cook yourself a quick breakfast or late dinner to once again cut down on eating out.
If all else fails, make sure your room at least has a fridge and microwave. Then you'll be able to store leftovers and snacks. Plus you'll still have the means to heat up a cup of tea or a quick meal.
8. Don't Eat Close To Touristy Areas
When you do go out to eat, stay far away from touristy areas. These places are known to have overpriced food for a fraction of the quality. You didn't travel this far just to be served something that was popped in the microwave by an overworked cook.
Instead, look to see where the locals are going. Ask your hotel concierge or Airbnb host. Google top lists for your destinations. Taking the time to research before you go will save you from bad meals and bad prices.
9. Study How Their Public Transportation Works
If you're not used to taking public transportation you're going to want to prepare yourself. Even if your destination is in an English-speaking country, navigating public transportation can get confusing. So before you lose $20 to a metro card you're using once, do your research.
A lot of cities even offer passes specifically targeted towards tourists. They are usually discounted and some even offer free or discounted admission to popular spots. Be sure to research and reserve your pass before you go. It will save you time, money and stress.