Vacations have a strange way of emptying out your wallet or purse. And we’re not just talking about big expenses like flight tickets and hotels. We’re talking about those smaller expenses that add up quickly, leaving you wondering where your last paycheck disappeared to. Luckily, there are some things you can do to save a few dollars on the road. Let’s take a look at some of them below.
Utilize Public Transit Systems
If you really want to travel on the cheap, ditch the rental car and utilize the public transit system in the city you are visiting. With gas prices constantly on the rise, taking a bus or train to your destination will be significantly less expensive than driving a rental car (and much less stressful, too!). There are many good reasons to use public transportation during your trip, including:
It’s Much Less Stressful
Let’s be honest, traveling can be extremely stressful. This is especially true if you’re traveling with young children or the elderly, as it can start to feel like herding cats. When you opt to take public transportation to your destination, you won’t have to worry about navigating a new city or avoiding faulty drivers on the road. You can simply sit back, relax, and let the train or bus driver handle all of the logistics.
If that’s doesn’t make you want to take public transportation, maybe this will: A recent study that was published by the journal of Transportation Research found that driving is the most stressful way to commute. When you take the city bus, however, you can plug in your headphones, read a book, or chat with your friends and family freely.
It Reduces Your Risk Of An Accident
Did you know that taking public transportation can reduce your risk of a car accident by 90%? When you drive in a new city, it can be difficult trying to navigate your way from point A to point B. You have to worry about the safety of the public and other drivers on the road in addition to finding your way around new landmarks, making it easy to have an accident. One accident in your personal vehicle or rental car can result in thousands of dollars of damages. Rather than taking this risk, buy yourself a bus ticket.
Many things can go awry when traveling abroad, especially when it comes to your credit and debit cards. Most ATM machines will charge you anywhere between 3 to 8 dollars per transaction. While this may not seem like much, you’d be surprised how fast ATM fees can rack up when traveling. Some banks also charge an international fee for pulling money out of your account in a foreign location. Because of these obstacles, we highly recommend that you bring cash with you everywhere you go.
Pack Medicine You May Need
You’ll definitely want to pack your daily prescriptions before your trip in addition to other medicines that may come in handy. Don’t waste your hard earned money on ibuprofen in Europe, when you could have easily packed the bottle from home in your carry-on. It’s also a smart idea to bring vitamins, allergy medicine, and cough drops as these items tend to be very expensive in the airport.
Take Advantage Of WiFi
If you’ve ever traveled abroad, there’s a good chance you already know how texting and calling can add up fast. The last thing you want is to come home from an amazing vacation, only to find a 3,000 dollar cell phone bill waiting at your door. Whether you’re traveling to Africa, Asia, or Paris, make sure you turn off your cellular data when you don’t need it. Look for WiFi at local coffee shops or restaurants that you can use to access your email, text, and to make calls.
Plan Your Trip In The Off-Season
Depending on where you’re traveling, you may want to do some research on the peak season (the most popular time to visit) of your vacation destination. During this time, it’s normal to see hotel room and resort prices skyrocket since these facilities know the influx of tourists is on their way. Timing is vital when it comes to planning your trip, so make sure you factor this into the equation. When looking at flights, consider these tips:
- Flights tend to fluctuate during the day. Studies have found that if you check flight rates in the morning, they will likely be cheaper than evening flights.
- Do your research and compare prices for one-way and round-trip tickets.
- When you book directly through the airline, you’ll likely get the best price on your flight.
Shop At Local Stores
No matter where you go, you can save a significant amount of money by shopping at local stores rather than tourist shops. Stop by a local grocery store to pick up food for the week instead of eating out at fancy restaurants each night. The locals will also be able to give you some insight on popular sites and monuments to check out (and when the best time to go will be so you can beat the rush).
Don’t Spend All Of Your Money On Alcohol
It’s easy to want to sip on something sweet as you soak your toes in the sand and relax on your vacation. Unless you’re traveling to an all-inclusive resort, it’s easy to spend an arm and a leg on strawberry margaritas as you lose track of time on the beach. Instead of spending your hard-earned cash on booze at local restaurants and resorts, take a trip to a local liquor store and pick up your own! This will allow you to spend money on activities you otherwise wouldn’t get to do at home.
If you’re planning a trip in the near future and you’re flying out of the Denver International Airport (DIA), consider parking your vehicle with ParkDIA. We offer the closest, most convenient airport parking lot near DIA, and with our affordable rates and options, there’s no need to go anywhere else.