You’ve done the hard yards and stashed enough cash to afford your dream tour overseas, but why stop there? While all your major expenses, like travel and accommodation, are squared away on a TripADeal tour, there are some simple tricks that’ll help keep more dollars in your pocket along the way.
Print isn’t dead, it’s just bloody expensive compared to buying an eBook for your Kindle. Not only are the latest bestsellers about a third of the price of a paperback edition, but there are literally thousands of titles you can download for free. The cherry on top is that you can fit a whole library in your hand.
Tours are a cost-effective way to see the world – a little less so if you’re going solo. Due to most tours being based on twin-share accommodation, Larry Loner and Nadia No Friends will have to cough up an additional fee. The good news is you can easily dodge these by jumping on Facebook and joining a travel buddy group like this one.
You’ve heard the horror stories of people forgetting to turn off the roaming function on their phones and returning home with bills in the thousands. The easiest workaround for this is only connecting your phone to free wi-fi (most airports, hotels and cafes have it) and using apps like Facetime, Skype or WhatsApp, which are all free when you’re online.
Forget the cheques
While travellers’ cheques are the most secure way to carry money overseas, they’re becoming harder to cash, so you can waste lots of time trying. Best to carry a little cash for when you land and use your regular debit card at local ATMs as you go. Shop around the banks before departing for the lowest fees and don’t forget to tell them when you’re travelling, so it’s activated.
While most meals are included on a tour, there are still moments in transit when you’ll get peckish or parched. Not a major crisis, except that airports are one of the most expensive places to eat on the planet and the food’s average at best. Avoid these woes by packing a picnic for the departure lounge and a reusable water bottle (for everyday use). As for any proper meals you have to purchase, heed the ancient travel commandment, known nowadays as “the six-block rule.” This is where you avoid tourist traps by walking six blocks before stopping to eat – theoretically, this is the zone where restaurants are cheaper and better quality.
Image: Having saved precious space by packing an eBook reader, Garry was finally able to jam his favourite toy boat and novelty compass in his bag.