No matter where you’re headed, money will always be a source of concern when you’re travelling. It’s always in your best interest to save money for the items and experiences that you actually want, and to avoid splurging on impulsive or impractical purchases.
However, some money drains are less obvious than others and are only known to perceptive or well-experienced travellers. Without knowing it, and without intending to, you may be burning a hole in your travel budget by spending on unnecessary things.
What are the most common money drains you’ll encounter when you’re travelling abroad, and how can you avoid them? To answer that question, here’s a list of five unnecessary travel splurges, plus some advice on what alternatives you can pursue:
Overly Expensive or Out-of-the-Way Accommodations
Your accommodation will likely take up a big chunk of your budget as it is, but you’ll spend even more if you choose overly extravagant lodgings or book accommodation located too far from the places you want to go. Keep your accommodation expenses modest by choosing rooms or rentals that are clean, amply furnished, and reasonably priced.
It’s also a good idea to book Singapore airport accommodation or lodgings that are close to transport hubs so that you don’t have a hard time getting around. If you’re headed to Singapore, for example, look for hotels near Changi airport to save on both accommodation and transport costs. You may just find a Singapore airport hotel going for a great price. Alternatively, you can also look for capsule-style or budget hotel rooms that will still afford you all the creature comforts you need.
Private transport options like chauffeur services, taxis, and ride-hailing apps can cost you an arm and a leg if you spend on them too often. Unless you’re pressed for time or need the extra convenience of private transport, try not to splurge on it.
Instead of relying on private transport, choose public transportation as often as you can. Look up the available modes of public transport in the country you’re headed to, and study the routes that you anticipate taking. In addition, find travel tips that will make it easier for a foreign traveller like you to get around, such as how to purchase multi-use transport passes and how to get to major transport stops.
Private Tour Groups
A third money drain that’s quite common is the private tour group. While it can add some structure to your travel schedule, it’s not the only way to get to know the country you’re visiting. That said, it’s certainly not the cheapest or the most flexible, either.
As an alternative to a tour group, see if the country you’re visiting has an affordable tourism program and offers perks like tourism cards. You can also do a little research online, like through travel forums or blog articles, so that you can draft your own free walking tour of your destination.
Expensive Food and Drink
Foreign travellers also tend to spend a fortune on consumable luxuries, like bottled water or food from expensive dining establishments. If you limit your food and drink options to only those, however, it won’t be long before you end up tightening your belt for the rest of the trip.
To save money on food and drink and to get an authentic experience of the country, eat what the locals eat. You can also cut down on costs for water by bringing your own water bottle and refilling from water stations or at your hotel. Staff from the airport, your hotel, or other sites you’re travelling to will be more than happy to refer you to sources of clean water.
When you’re travelling abroad, you need to have a way to keep in touch with your loved ones back home. Unfortunately, turning on your roaming data and leaving it on for the entire trip might not be the most practical thing to do. Before you know it, you’ll have accumulated a huge bill with your telco provider, and a nasty surprise will await you when you get back.
Luckily, thanks to the rise of the global travel market, most countries offer reasonably priced and convenient options for mobile data access and internet connectivity. All you’ll need to do is purchase a local SIM card for your phone and buy the internet package you want or rent a portable Wi-Fi device to carry around. Look up your options in advance and make it a priority to connect to a local telco service when you arrive.
Your trip will be all the more enjoyable for you if you know you’re spending on the right things. You may even find discounts for a hotel, a restaurant, or even tickets to a live event if you’re patient and know where to look. Keep more money in your wallet by heeding all the tips listed above!