I just got back from my New Zealand trip and it was amaaaaazing! I’ll be posting up pictures and recaps over the next few days/week!
But, I think everyone agrees with me that vacationing can be expensive. Whenever I plan my trips, I try to stick to my budget (aka budget travelling) but not limit myself to what a foreign city has to offer.
Skipping aside the generic tips on saving money (eg. finding cheap flights), here are some extra tips to saving money on your vacation(s):
Hostels can be your best friend.
I adore hostels. I mean, $30 per night?! Count me in! I don’t believe in spending $100+/night for hotels where A) you’re only there to sleep/refresh and B) it’s “stuffy” aka nothing fun to do. Hostels are cheap and fun! During my stay in Wellington, I stayed at YHA Wellington City and absolutely enjoyed it. Because the thought of sharing a community bathroom and room with 6-8 people terrifies me, I chose to chip in a few more dollars for an ensuite room where I shared a room with only three other females and had our own bathroom. If you’re interested in trying out hostels, check out this guide!
Skip the souvenir shops.
If you’re one to buy souvenirs for yourself and/or friends/family, this one can save you tons of money. In my local dollar stores, they sold a lot of Canadian keychains so when I was overseas, I checked the dollar stores for souvenirs (especially those dollar stores located in touristy streets). To my surprise, I found beautiful glass souvenirs for $2.50-$3.00 (whereas this would have costed me probably $8-13) and keychains for $2. I remember seeing a beautiful keychain for $8.50 and found a similar one at the dollar store for only $2.50! I did venture into souvenir stores for specific items I couldn’t find in dollar stores.
Speaking of souvenirs, carefully plan out who you want to get souvenirs for. Does Billy from two cubicles down really need a souvenir just because he purchased coffee for you a few times? I used to buy souvenirs for co workers and acquaintances. Now, I buy them only for close friends and family.
Travelling doesn’t mean you have to be outside 24/7. Stay in! I chose to stay in a few times during my trip in New Zealand and had no problem whatsoever. After x amount of days on our feet and damaging our wallets, one (or a few) days relaxing allowed us to replenish our energy and gave our feet and wallets a break. In Wellington, I chose to stay in at night time rather than window shop (and potentially spend more money) or hit the pubs. Plus, my hostel was doing movie night.
Don’t dine out for every meal.
During my vacation, we went out to eat for only for lunch and a quick snack from time to time. We never went out to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and rarely ate out for two meals a day. What we did was went out to eat for one meal and usually for dinner we hit the grocery store for stuff to cook or a huge precooked chicken that lasted for days. Just like dinner, breakfasts consisted of things found in the fridge rather than on the menu.
Pack what you have, don’t buy what you want.
It seems like a no brainer but I’m surprised by the amount of travelers that don’t pack what they already have (eg. towels, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc) and instead, buy them upon arrival. Some would argue it’s to save luggage space but you’re wasting money. I chose to pack what I need and in a small suitcase so it limits what I can buy on vacation. I think everyone is tempted to hit up the shops and see what fashion is trending in foreign cities. Because I had limited luggage space, I carefully chose what I purchased which helped me save a lot of money because I knew for a fact that if I had a bigger luggage, I would have purchased more. Yes, I had days dedicated to shopping during my trip but that didn’t kick me out of my budget.
Will you be travelling soon? And if so, where?
Share some of your money saving tips while on vacation!