What Kiwi doesn’t like saving money when possible? When it comes to travelling, it can easily become a huge expense. Between flights, accommodation, food and activities, travelling on a budget can seem like an impossible task.
However, with the right planning and strategies, you can easily bring down your overall travel costs. To help you on your way to travelling cheaper and smarter, we’ve rounded up what we believe to be are the top 12 ways to save money while travelling.
The first step to ensuring you save money during your travels is planning well in advance for it. Plan out where you’re wanting to go, where you’re wanting to stay, what you’re wanting to do while you’re there and how long you want to go there for.
Take note of all the standard expenses you’ll need to account for, such as airfares, accommodation, food, activities, spending money and travel insurance. By knowing the majority of your expenses in advance, you can budget for everything accordingly.
Although it is an additional expense, it’s important to never skip taking out travel insurance. Travel insurance can potentially save you thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars if something were to go wrong during your travels.
Depending on the policy you choose, you’ll be covered for medical expenses, personal liability, lost luggage, travel delays and trip cancellations. You really can’t afford to be without it during your trip, and it’s very simple to compare travel insurance plans online to find a great value deal.
It can be very tempting to splurge out and get a room in a fancy hotel during your travels - but generally, it’s not worth the big bucks!
Consider how much time you are actually going to spend in your room. If you’re just planning to sleep there, do you really need the biggest room? Is the ocean view worth the extra expense if you’ll hardly be there to look at it? Will you have time to use the complementary pool or fitness room? If the answer is “probably not”, it’s best to opt for a standard room.
While it may seem obvious, it’s important to be aware of the location of where you’re staying before making any bookings. Although you may find a really great deal on flash accommodation, a quick check of its location may reveal that it’s far from the city centre.
Transportation costs - especially taxis and Ubers - can very quickly add up, so finding centrally located accommodation is ideal. Even better, find a place where you can easily walk everywhere or use the public transport system.
The idea of cooking while on holiday may seem far fetched to some, however it has the potential to save you a decent chunk of money during your travels.
Having access to a fridge, microwave and/or stove-top allows you to easily dine in, instead of paying to eat out. You don’t have to cook all of your meals in your room, but even making your own breakfast or the occasional dinner can easily add up to hundreds of dollars saved.
If you’re not on a tight schedule for your holiday, it pays to be flexible when booking in your flights. If you can be flexible with both the time and days you fly, you’ll likely find a variety of cheap flight options for during off-peak travel times.
Even better, if you don’t mind a long layover, multiple stops or where you sit on the plane, you’ll see the cost of your airfares drop even lower. Small tweaks to your flight details can make a huge difference to the overall cost!
If you’ve purchased budget or cheap airfares, it’s likely that the meals are not included during your flight. The cost of buying a small snack on your flight, or even at the airport, can be quite extravagant. Costs can easily add up, especially if you’re on a long haul flight!
Be prepared by bringing your own snacks. Things like chips, muesli bars, biscuits and sandwiches will help keep your hunger satisfied, and make you less likely to purchase expensive airplane food during your flight.
Even if you have made a great budget plan for your travels, it’s easy to lose track of everything and how much you may have actually spent.
To help keep your budget plan in check, keep a track of all your expenses while you travel. This should include everything - from the small $2 souvenir you bought at a local gift shop to the $50 you spent last night on dinner and drinks.
Being able to see an ongoing tally of what you’re spending while help you adhere to your budget, or adjust it accordingly.
If you’re spending the day out exploring, always be sure to bring your own water and snacks. Depending on where you travel to, food and drink can be quite expensive to buy, especially in well populated tourist areas.
You’d be surprised as to what some places will charge you for even a bottle of water! Purchasing your snacks and water at a local supermarket at the beginning of the day will help ensure you’re not overspending while you’re out and about.
In some places around the world, local stores and farmers’ markets often lower the price of their food towards the end of the day. Not only does this mean cheap food,but it also allows you to get a taste of the local cuisine without having to visit a restaurant.
If you’ve chosen accommodation that gives you access to a cooking area, you can buy some local fresh food and enjoy it in the comfort of your own room. Ask the retailers you buy from what recipes they would recommend.
Although it may seem obvious, for some it’s only too easy to spend up large near tourist attractions. The prices of things near popular tourist attractions generally have much higher prices than you would find at a local market or shop.
For example - in Goa, anything you can purchase from a stall in Anjuna Beach is a lot cheaper in the local Mapusa market where less tourists visit.
Do a bit of research before travelling to find the ‘hidden gems’ of the places you’re visiting - many travel writers will have documented these in online blogs.
Even with your luggage weight limit in mind, a common mistake made by travellers is not packing well before they head out on their travels. By packing exactly what you need, you’ll prevent having to buy it on the road - which can prove to be quite costly in certain places!
During the planning stage of your travels, be sure to research your destination and create a travel packing list accordingly. Keep in mind that you may bring things back with you, so be sure to account for the additional luggage weight upon return.
A common question that gets asked when people are planning their holiday is “do I really need travel insurance?” And the short answer is, yes.
There are very few instances where travel insurance isn’t absolutely necessary. One instance, for example, is short time travel where you might be flying domestically for a one-day business meeting. There is still risk involved, of course, such as being out of pocket for a delayed or cancelled flight.
No one likes to think about worst case scenarios during their travels - but travel insurance is there to provide you with peace of mind that if something were to go wrong, you are taken care of.
With some of the top insurance claims in New Zealand being made by Kiwis while they are overseas, it goes to show that if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel!
When you’re ready to find a travel insurance plan to suit your needs and budget, we’re here to help you get the best deal! We help you easily compare insurance policies from New Zealand’s leading insurance providers, like Southern Cross, AA Insurance, AMI Insurance and State Insurance.
Head on over to our free and easy to use travel insurance comparison tool - we’ll help you find the best policies available within minutes!