travel & lifestyle blog by ruth dela cruz

Personal Finance | Travel

10 Ways I Save Money During Travels

September 29, 2022

We all heard the life advice that we should spend money on experiences. As a minimalist, I collect memories and experiences, but the truth is traveling can be expensive.

I personally treat travel as a vacation to indulge myself and enjoy the food or attractions unique to the destination. We all have different travel styles – be it luxury or backpacking, the goal is to make the most of our money and time.

I have a Travel Fund, which is separate savings account for my Emergency Fund. I use Savings Calculator to help me project the savings goals, including the amount of inflation.

Sharing with you tips and stories on how I save money during travel.

  1. Plan ahead. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Although I love adventures, I prefer to research and understand the destination and costs involved in visiting a destination, including how far it is and what mode of transportation I would need to get there. Oftentimes, emergency situations can cost us a lot.
  2. Invest in good luggage. Traveling with broken luggage is a stressful situation we don’t want to be in. We do not want to deal with insurance paperwork during our vacation.
  3. Buy a local SIM card (instead of activating a roaming service). I usually buy a local SIM card with Data Plan so I can stay connected online during travel. You can also rent a pocket WIFI; but I personally prefer local SIM card so I do not need to worry about charging an additional gadget and returning it before my flight back.
  4. Bring a tumbler or water bottle. Water bottle expenses can add up. Just bring a tumbler or water bottle, and refill your water in the hotel. Mother Earth would even thank you for it.
  5. Eat a heavy breakfast. Make the most of the breakfast buffet (if you are booked in a hotel with free breakfast). I always have breakfast when I travel to give me the energy to explore. I can then enjoy a late lunch/coffe break or early dinner, and not waste half the day queuing at restaurants and waiting for food during peak hours.
  6. Withdraw money from ATM vs Exchange USD. When visiting some countries, I usually just withdraw money from ATMs. Just enough cash I would need to pay for small purchases. I used my credit card to pay for store purchases/shopping. This way, I do not end up with an extra money stash that I would be compelled to spend before flying back. I also get to save on loss on currency exchanges.
  7. Book with points. Some credit card companies and frequent flyer membership cards offer mileage accumulation every time you use the cards. Make sure that you take advantage of these rewards.
  8. Enjoy Airport Lounge Pass. If you are Platinum Credit Card Holder, you can enjoy free lounge access to different airport lounges. You can enjoy a good meal and drinks while waiting for your boarding time. I always go to the airport early so I can enjoy my time at the lounge. Check my experience here.
  9. Join Free Tours. Check with the hotel concierge and ask for tips on where to go for free walking tours. Hotel lobbies are usually filled with discount coupons from different establishments.
  10. Take Overnight Trains or Bus. When you are traveling to a new location, you can take an overnight bus to save you one night of accommodation. This is exactly what we did during our travel to Vietnam (Da Lat to Hoi An) and Myanmar (Yangon to Bagan).

It is always a fun experience to travel and explore while we are still young. But, make sure that your future self will thank you for your retirement savings. Check out this link to find out how much money you need to retire comfortably. You can also message me for questions and assistance.

Enjoy life and always be present.

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