7 Simple Money Saving Strategies For Budget-Minded Travelers

10-30-23 Split, Croatia

Whether you travel alone or with friends, here’s a simple checklist to cut your travel budget.

Book a Hotel With a Free Breakfast

Waking up and heading to the hotel dining room for breakfast is quick, convenient, and a great way to save cash. Most hotels that offer a complimentary breakfast have a buffet. This means you have a few hot foods along with fruit, breads, lunch meats, cereals, and pastries.

And along with coffee, tea, juice, and milk. Most hotel breakfasts are sufficient to get your day off to a good start. It’s cheap, and there’s no hunting for a restaurant or paying too much in the mornings. And a hotel breakfast lets you eat and see the city first thing in the morning—a sure time saver, too.

Get a Room With a Refrigerator

A refrigerator allows you to buy and store foods safely in your room—like milk, lunch meat cheeses, and cooked chicken. You can purchase lunch and dinners at the grocery store and keep them till they are ready to eat.

Buying lunch meat, cheese, and salad fixings is a great way to decrease costs. Or if you can buy things like rotisserie chicken and hot dinners at a grocery store, you can store leftovers for another meal.

Buy a Water Bottle

Water bottles are a must for every traveler. Having water without spending money every time you are thirsty can save you plenty. And if you are in an area with safe tap water, you can fill your bottle there each morning and take it with you.

It’s great to bring on airplanes, trains, and buses because most carriers charge a premium for those who need more preparation. But more than that, it makes excellent ecological sense. Because you’re not contributing to the worldwide mass of plastic bottles thrown away every day.

Carry a Knife, Fork, Spoon, and Bowl.

If you’re staying in a place with a refrigerator, having a knife, fork, spoon, and bowl will give you many options. First, buy a small roll of hard salami and cheese cut off just what you need, and refrigerate the rest.

Having utensils allows you to cut sandwiches in two, along with cutting up chicken or other foods you may find at markets or grocery stores. A fork is excellent in a backpack to eat out of a can or eat cooked foods you buy. Remember, not all grocery stores offer free utensils with cooked meals.

A spoon is perfect for yogurt or making coffee. And with a bowl, you can buy cereal and milk and make your breakfast every morning. These are just a few ways having basic utensils will save money and make life more convenient when traveling.

WARNING: Do not carry a knife in your airplane carry-on!

Learn the Mass Transit System

Most cities have good to excellent mass transit systems that can get you around cities and save you money on Uber or cab fare. Whether I’ve been in Istanbul, Paris, Rome, or Croatia, the bus and subway systems helped me travel the city with ease.

There are many places I would have never visited in cities if it weren’t for their mass transit systems. I could take a bus to Klis fortress in Croatia for 3 Euro. I went to a walled fort with a moat, a castle, a church, and an inside in Paris. And it was a five-minute walk from the subway exit.

Public transportation can also save you money getting to and from your arrival station to your hotel. Plus, you can book a hotel a little ways from the costly downtown areas. But get there with ease with a token or a couple of dollars.

Best of all, most city buses take cash. Most mass transit systems have you buy tickets as you enter the subway. In Istanbul, I bought a card for 50 cents and refilled it with money as I needed it. I could go all over Istanbul with the swipe of a card.

Get a Data Plan vs. Phone Service

Having a data plan for your phone allows you to operate all your apps. It gives you access to maps and lets you find attractions on your phone. It’s cheaper than paying international fees with your phone carrier. And you can get a month’s worth of data for about $25.

A data plan allows you to contact people back home using WhatsApp. Plus, you can access your email along with making reservations at hotels and restaurants. A data plan lets you travel with ease in our high-tech world.

Also, you can store all your vouchers and tickets on your phone and have instant access when needed. New phones allow you to buy and install e-sim cards, which you can buy online. See my blog post about the benefits of data plans.

Buy Combination Tickets or Museum Passes to Attractions

Most cities offer museum passes that save you a lot of money if you plan on seeing a lot of sights. Paris has an excellent museum pass with over 70 museums. Vienna, Austria, had a museum pass with boat rides, train rides, and entrance to most major museums.

Plus, many of these passes have maps on their apps and websites that help you navigate the city to get the most out of your museum pass. You can buy most museum passes at your first attraction, but the best deals are usually online.

I hope I helped you find ways to save a little money on your next great adventure. And again, saving money is all about planning when you book hotels and plan to visit attractions.

If you have any questions, comments, or anything additional to add, don’t hesitate to contact me on the form below.

Until next time, enjoy life’s journey.

Joe OBrien

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