Having visited Italy numerous times in the past year I have come across some essential ways to save money and plan your travel budget and most of all, not forgetting the hidden fees you may forget about. Who wants to end cocktail hour early, skip a boat trip or miss out on a tour because you’ve accidentally overspent on something you didn’t budget for. Here are some top issues that travellers can face which will impact their budget, and how to avoid them.
The Dreaded Mobile Phone Bill
Nowadays we all take some form of smart device with us on holiday and the main one here is your mobile. Unless you sign up before you leave you will be charged extortionate fees by your network provider, although out of them all I’d say Vodafone are the most reasonable, which can push you over budget and not allow you to explore the country as you’d planned too. An alternative option to get before you leave is a SIM card that is set for the country you’re travelling to; you can choose the amount you’d like to spend so you have no worry of exceeding this. Opting for a prepaid local SIM card is the best option and dont forget to buy some mobile insurance
Unexpected Hotel Taxes
Usually if you’re travelling with a tour operator, they will inform you of any taxes due to be paid before you arrive at your hotel. If you’re a lone traveler then you may not find out until departure and then it’s too late. An example of this is in Italy where it varies on hotel rating, location and duration, find out more information here. Italy charge from 0.35 Euros per night, per person that stays in a 1 star hotel which is fine for a long weekend, but what if you have spent a fortnight there; that’s a lot of money you are legally obliged to pay and didn’t budget for.
Half board or self catering – Shop locally
When in a new location, have a look around first and don’t purchase the first thing you see. On our last long weekend we decided to go self catering (usually we go all inclusive) and headed to the shop across from the apartments. For milk and bread they tried to charge us 7 Euros! But by taking a short 10 minute walk we found a selection of shops where it was a lot cheaper and they had a bigger selection of food and wine – especially their cured meats and locally sourced wine.
Hire a car or a bike
We used to book excursions with our tour operator for years until we were told by an old couple, the best way to discover the world is to get lost. It’s a strange statement to hear, but when you hear or read the stories from other travellers you will see the common pattern of discovering something wonderful because they got lost. If you’re not confident enough to drive outside the UK, then don’t hire a car, go for a push bike instead – these are a lot cheaper and you can stop by local bars and cafes to take in the sights. Take a map with you and discover your own paths.
Top tip: Tell someone where you’re going and what time you think you will be back; tell a friend or hotel staff.
These tips used together or individually will help to save you money when travelling regardless of your holiday destination. Do you have any tips that have helped you save money whilst still being able to enjoy a luxury holiday?