Photograph: Shutterstock

Photograph: Shutterstock

Monsoon is synonymous with vacations. With airfares to international locations dropping fairly, most of us are all set to pack our bags and head for that annual holiday during this ‘shoulder period’. While we all look forward to these all year long, what we don’t look forward to is how well can we make the most of these vacations, financially. Here are a few travel tricks that translate to simple money hacks when vacationing: Also Read - Lift Lockdown Gradually to Prevent 'Second Wave' of Coronavirus, Experts Warn China As Wuhan Allows People to Travel



1. Look for cheap accommodation – Hostels/BnB/Couch Surfing

While staying at a luxury hotel with a private pool may seem something out of the dreams, you’ll be surprised to find how expensive it can get. Unless your idea of unwinding is simply staying within a luxurious villa, cheap accommodation options like hostels, BnB or couch-surfing make for a better option. Not to forget, they also provide you with the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. Also Read - Two Doctors of Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital Assaulted While Buying Grocery, Case Filed

ALSO SEE 5 tips to keep in mind when traveling on a shoestring budget in India

2. Cook your own meals and eat local

Every place you go may have something great to offer in terms of local produce. Make the most of this produce and indulge in some culinary experimentation with it. You’ll be surprised to know how much you’ll end up saving on your meals and even learn a thing or two about cooking styles. Also Read - Do You Have Celiac Disease? You May Die Prematurely



3. Book tickets in advance

Ticket prices start hiking 21 days in, before your final date of travel. While the best time to book your ticket for travel is at least 60 days in advance, if it’s a last minute plan, try and book a midweek flight. Picking connecting flights over direct flights can also help you save a chunk of money.

ALSO SEE How to book cheap flight tickets

4. Avoid impulse buying

It may seem only ideal to go on a shopping frenzy when travelling. But this can set you back quite a bit financially.  Always question the purpose of your purchases when you head out shopping.

5. Pack only what you’ll need

Traveling should be about experiences and not paying for excess baggage. Always weigh your luggage before you leave home. Packing light makes the whole experience a little too convenient, especially when you  have to carry your luggage by yourself within hostels or couch-surfing.

6. Travel insurance

No one likes missed flights, being burgled, suffer through illness or injury or encounter an emergency while travelling. A good travel insurance provides you support and financial backup in case of mishaps in a new country where you may not know anyone.

7. Take a no-charge credit card

While using credit cards over cash seems to be significantly simpler when traveling, it also entails a foreign transaction fee of 2-3% on each purchase.  Hence, when traveling, apply for a no foreign transaction fee credit card that won’t levy additional charges on ATM withdrawals and foreign transactions.

ALSO SEE 10 hacks to get the best hotel deals

8. Use public transportation during travel

Hiring private taxis or cars can you set you back financially. Using public transportation is a better financial alternative. Not to take away the fact that you will have little to worry about things like fuel or navigation, it will also allow you rest and enjoy when traveling from one place to another.

9. Use mobile apps

In the era of smartphones and smart mobile applications, it’s a good idea to turn to your device for all directions on maps, discounts, places to visit, etc instead of spending on paper guides or even a tourist guide.

10. Discount

Group discounts, discount cards, discount stores are very common when travelling. Some places even offer special discounts to students, children and senior citizens. Read up about these discount before you plan your trip and you may end up saving quite a bit.

BigDecisions is a NewsCorp company and is a leading personal finance platform for Indians, with over one million users per month.

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