Save Money While Travelling pt. 1
With my big trip being just a couple of weeks away, I have been doing lots of research on how to save money while travelling. I have come across so many great tips, so I will have to split them up in a number of blog posts. Today, I will talk about: saving money on phone bills, avoiding paying too much for flights and saving money on food and water.
Avoiding unexpectedly large phone bills (well, unless you are on prepay). Did you know that if someone calls you while you are overseas, you will most probably get charged – even if you don’t pick up, AND even if the call goes to voicemail and the caller hangs up before actually recording a message for you? There are ways to prevent your phone from receiving calls – for example, if you’re a Vodafone customer on a mobile plan and you would rather not receive calls, you can divert them using your mobile’s “Divert All” menu feature. While Telecom doesn’t appear to have a similar option, they say on their website that you can always buy a SIM card from a place you are visiting and only pay the local rates. If you are with 2 Degrees, you can divert all calls to voicemail.
Remember that flight prices fluctuate on a daily basis: don’t go out and buy all flights on the same day, if it’s not urgent, of course. What I do is add an email alert on all routes I will need to get tickets for on Skyscanner (or any similar website) and monitor the prices for a few days – once the prices for a certain flight drops, I pay for it. And if you have ever wondered why the prices fluctuate so much, here is an interesting article that explains it all.
Restrict restaurant meals: according to Rick Steves, ten dollars can buy a nice picnic lunch for two people anywhere in Europe – compared to approximately 15 euros per person for lunch at a cafe. Not only that, but public parks and gardens can be a great source of free entertainment. Try bakeries or food kiosks. Avoid having breakfast at the hotel – it’s rarely a good value, unless, of course, it’s included in the price of your stay.
Although bottled water is generally cheaper in Europe than it is in New Zealand (who wants to pay $4 for something you can get for free?!), you can still save dozens of dollars by asking for tap water to be served with your meal, or refilling your water bottle with fresh water running from fountains.
P.S. By the way, one of the easiest ways to save hundreds, potentially thousands of dollars, is by avoiding being scammed – here is a great article from Rick Steves.