"Saving is in the detail"
- 1. Plan every detail way ahead of your trip - When preparing for a trip abroad, we play closer attention to details because simply put, it's riskier to run out of money or options when you're abroad compared to traveling in your own country. That's why before we go on a trip abroad, we spend months of research and crunching numbers in Excel to make sure that every detail and expense during our trip will not go over our set budget. It helps that I'm very OC in planning for our trips and that Beep helps me assess my budget planning.
The first part of the planning is for the accommodation, where we research the best-value guesthouses or apartments and set up columns of metrics (price, location, transportation/accessibility, amenities, and reviews) that will help us come to a decision for our first, second, and third choice. The second part is planning our day-to-day activities, where will we go, where will we eat, how will we get there, and how much will we need to spend for them.
You might say that this takes out the spontaneity of our trips, but we actually set a buffer in our budget and in our schedule in case our Plan A doesn't go as smoothly as we want it to be. Don't make the mistake of planning a too time restricted itinerary or else you'll end up tiring yourself out rather than having a great time.
2. Buy groceries and and cook meals at your temporary home - We save a ton of money during our trips whenever we opt for this. Sure you want to eat the food of the country you're visiting as part of the cultural experience, but you don't have to eat out every time you eat. This is why when looking for an accommodation, one of our criteria is if we can cook meals and if there's a nearby grocery or market. We usually only eat out for lunch or dinner when we're out and about and make sure that the restaurants we eat in don't go over our budget for meals.
3. Take the cheapest but most convenient public transportation, locals do it, too - We can't stress this enough: Do not ride taxis unless there's no other option. If you really want to experience what life is like as a local and get big savings at the same time, travel like they do. That's why when we plan our itinerary, we research every travel option on how to get to/from our destinations and how much the fare would be.