You’ll be totally surprised at how much you can save while travelling. Travelling is a life enriching activity which makes it an excellent way to spend holidays either with family, friends or on your own. However, as enticing as it is, we cannot discount the fact that it may be taxing for other necessary objectives we may have. Therefore, planning for a less expensive yet relaxing kind of trip is a must. The idea may sound like it can take so much time, unless you already know how to go about it. The first thing we usually do when travelling is to look for a place where we can comfortably stay. This task requires at least basic information about the area which will guarantee the best deal possible. Here’s how:
- Check the destination’s government authorized tourist website for a more secure and reliable information. These websites usually have “.gov” at the end of the website address or URL. Most of the time, the site offers freebies and discounts for tourists, tour recommendations and the address for its nearest office from where you will stay. You may also check the site if there are hotel discounts you can take advantage of while booking the hotel room. Most countries have these helpful schemes to promote tourism.
- You can also check other government sponsored websites such as the one I found for Italy. On this site, I found a listing of hotels in Rome with prices ranging from a few hundred Euros to as low as 30 EUR. There is also a satellite map for the city and the entire country where the hotel locations are marked. The website allows a customized search according to your hotel specifications. I found a 2 star hotel, 150 meters from Termini Station, center of Rome for 40 EUR per night including breakfast, TV, direct dial telephone, mini bar and air conditioning. I checked the hotel’s home page and it matches the address and rate in the government listing. On another listing, I found a 1 star hotel with a Junior Suite for only 13 EUR per night, with WIFI and other amenities, 100 meters from Termini Station. However when I check its homepage, there is not a room type and rate listed under this category.
- Also, make sure to check and note where to find the closest ATM or bank branch that accepts your card for emergency cash.
- Other cheaper options are also available such as hostels for back-packers and short-term condo or apartment rent for bigger groups. Whichever your choice of accommodation is, make sure you’ve got everything booked. A list of back-up accommodation, complete with addresses and phone numbers is also handy.
An authentic local dish must not be missed as part of a great travel experience. We’ve all noticed that “tourist restaurants” have significantly higher prices, so take note that:
- Restaurants that serve authentic local dishes are usually located in regular places where the locals frequent the most. Also, restaurants in tourist spots have a tendency to deviate from traditional cooking to suit the visitors’ preferences.
- If you’re particular with ingredients, make sure you have a country-specific travel dictionary. Your card and other account memberships may also offer discounts for the restaurant.
- You can also check out the travel booklet that you received, and look for listings of restaurants serving local dishes to compliment your cultural experience. The booklet could also have discounts for the restaurants.
- For cravings during the wee hours, find out if there are convenient stores or 24 hour fast food. This way you can take advantage of strolling around the area to get a better feel for the area, plus this will save you a lot. Just make sure that your destination’s environment permits walking around at whatever time of the day and night safely.
Your vacation will not be complete without experiencing the marvels of the region. The directions for these must-see wonders along with modes of transportation should be available in the tourists’ booklet or on the Internet. If not, you can check Google maps or other navigation tools available. If the place is quite far, you can either take a bus, train or cab.
- Check the distance of the first desired location from the nearest mode public transportation coming from your hotel, as well the distance between each of the places you want to visit. It is also important to know approximate travelling time for each of the locations, especially if you’re taking the train.
- The advantages of taking a bus or train is that they have defined routes and their fares are significantly cheaper. Just make sure you watch out for the exact station you need to get off at. In case you missed it and it’s too far to walk back, do not panic. Get off when the vehicle stops at a populated area and check your bus or train guide before you board another one. If the guide is a bit confusing, go to a restaurant, this is where we usually find people who can speak other languages than the local dialect. Once you get a hold of the person, politely ask for directions.
- Also, smart phones these days have Internet access that you can use to get to where you need to be. You can also use Skype on most smart phones, so you can contact travel services for that country. On the other hand, you can use a public pay phone instead of your cell phone airtime. If it still does not work, go ahead and take a cab. If the driver doesn’t speak your language, show him the icon of the place in your booklet. As a usual precaution, inform family members or friends of the cab plate number you boarded.
A new shopping experience in a different place and culture is another thing that’s worth preparing for. Without preparation, we might spend one whole day looking for the brand that we want. And we might also miss out on great offers. So before travelling, it’s important to know a few shopping details such as the following:
- Yet again, you can check your credit card networks’ and other memberships’ websites for great discounts or deals. Most of the popular companies (credit cards, banks, exclusive membership and perhaps your own employer) have free travel services for their members which most of us are not aware of.
- If you have a specific brand in mind, check out its website first. Most of the time, special discounts are only announced online, where they ask for the print out of the promotions to be used at the actual store.
- Another thing to research for is a list of brands that are on sale for the month when you are going to visit.
Aside from having a great vacation, travelling offers so many more benefits for us, as well as for the economy of the country. In my opinion, most of us should travel more frequently. This is encouraged worldwide; hence great deals are made available for us. Looking for these money-saving deals may take some time. But I hope that these practical tips that I’ve gathered will make it easier for you to get the best deal for your vacation. So try it and start enjoying fun and inexpensive trips and start saving for more frequent get-aways. Star Hotel Deals.