How to Optimize Your Money and Time for The Next Vacation

13 ways to save money and time when traveling



save money for travel

Look at all the possible options to save money and time here. There are many ways you can do. You just need to be a bit creative…



1. Prioritize your time or place

When your destination is not negotiable because being there is the whole purpose of the trip, you can be flexible on the schedule to save money. If you have no choice with the schedule, you can be flexible with the destination. Often, a minor tweak like scheduling the trip a week before your original date may be all you need to do to avid crowds and higher costs.

For example, you want tropical beach vacation in March and the original destination was Hawaii. You found the cost is higher than your budget. You could look at other places like Cebu in Philippines. March is the lowest season for traveling Philippines and is not rainy season.

If your schedule is flexible, travel when it is not peak season in your preferred destination. Usually, the biggest expenses like airfare and accommodation are cheaper during the off-seasons.

With this kind of flexibility, you don’t need to compromise a lot of your dream vacation.


Need planning guide and tools? Check Travel Planning Guide



2. Avoid Trendy Tourist Destinations


Getting into crowded place will take much more time to do anything and cost more. Be aware of newly discovered trendy destinations. Your experience in those places are a bit more commodified…



3. Get Travel Insurance

Of course, you need to spend money upfront to purchase a travel insurance. But, if you cancel your trip for a covered reason, it will pay off. You could purchase directly from a travel insurance provider to avoid paying commissions, but we recommend going through a travel agency. Make sure to understand what is covered and get a right one for you.



4.Get credit card with no foreign transaction fee

If you are traveling overseas, you should definitely look at this. The foreign transaction fees can be 3% of every transaction. Also look at travel rewards credit card. When you make purchase with rewards card, you will have some returns or valuable free offers.



5. Compare with less crowded city

Sometimes, one round-trip flight cost more than three one-way flights. You could take advantage of it and plan your vacation with two destinations. However, we recommend direct flights if you are not going to make the stopover an another destination. You will reduce your carbon footprint by choosing the shortest distance. 

You could also find a smaller city to land in the country with a cheaper flight and take ground transport to your main destination. Train could be faster than airplane depending on the travel distance and train ticket is usually cheaper.



6. Minimize luggage

Packing List

Pack light and less as possible and avoid checked bag fees. If you are not frequent traveler, you could borrow a travel bag or a carry-on from your family. Make sure the bags fit your airline’s size and weight limits.

How to pack all in a carry-on and personal item



7. Refillable water bottle

Refillable water bottle is good for environment and your wallet. If you are traveling in a place where water quality is not good, bring iodide tablets as well.



8. Rent your house 

While you are away, find someone who can look after your house. If your trip is longer than a few days, you could also rent your house. See if you could list your house on platforms like Airbnb.



9. Don’t get cash in transit

Prepare some cash before you go or visit a local ATM that accepts international debit cards. Many ATM at the airport charge higher fees. Local currency bureaus charge up to 8% fee.



10. Food

cooleeme lunch at restaurant

While you are on a move, bring a plenty of snacks and avoid buying food in the airport, train station, and inside accommodation. Find accommodation that has a kitchen and reduce spending on restaurant meals. When you eat out, find places locals go. There are cost-effective options that deliver excellent local flavors such as street food, coffee shops, etc.  Another trick is eating lunch in a restaurant instead of dinner. Almost always lunch is cheaper than dinner.



11. Be aware of scams

To avoid scams targeted to travelers, do your research abut common things in the destination. Also, have a translation app like Google Translate handy and understand signs and local information.

Here are some travel scams you need to be aware of:

      • Taxi: Common ways are setting the meter at a higher rate, adding surcharges, and taking indirect routes
      • Bag: Many porters are fine, but it is wise not to trust anyone with your bags when you can’t verify their identity.
      • Bar tab: If you can’t see the price, avoid leaving your bar or restaurant tab open. Pay for each purchase separately.



12. Get unlocked phone and local SIM or Pocket Wi-Fi

If you are traveling some countries in Europe or Japan, Pocket Wi-Fi may be available. Usually, you reserve a mobile router and pick it up at the airport or get it delivered to your hotel. If it is not available at your destination, bring an unlocked phone that accepts country-specific SIM card. Or check with your carrier service provider about international data plan.



13. Use Public Transport

Figure out public transportation at your destination before arriving so that you don’t waste a time standing in front of a map. If you need a car rental, use 

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