I love a good city break and I’m sure I’m not the only one. The more cities I have the chance to visit over the next few years the better. This is why I like to save a little money during these trips because ultimately it leads to more even more adventures and who wouldn’t want that?
My last few money-saving posts went down really well and I’m so pleased they’ve been useful. I’ve talked about how to manage your income, how to save towards your long-term goals and simple tips on saving money in the short-term. Today I thought I’d share another money-saving post but this time the focus is on travel.
Please remember that these tips are just a guide. Some people might need to use multiple tips to really cut back on their spending and others may need to use a couple. Whatever your budget is I think it’s always good to be mindful about how we spend our hard earned income.
10 simple ways to save money during your next city break:
Take a refillable water bottle: Buying bottles of water on the go can be expensive here in the UK and overseas. Taking a refillable water bottle will save you money and help the environment. I personally love my Water Bobble and the Eau Good from Black + Blum is fab. Both of these bottles help to reduce the chlorine in the water. However, it’s not always safe to drink the water in other countries and in some cases, it simply doesn’t taste good. So, I would suggest going to a local supermarket and buying a multipack of small or large bottles. You can then take those small bottles with you on your day trips around the city or use the large ones to fill up your refillable bottle.
Keep the mini bar closed: Don’t even bother opening it, you don’t need it. Pop out to a local shop or supermarket and stock up on water and any snacks you think you may need. It will be much cheaper and you’ll have a wider selection to pick from.
Let’s talk cash: When we went to Budapest we decided to get Revolut cards. Our friends Twfx and E had used them on a few trips abroad so we decided to join the club. You simply transfer money from your bank account onto your Revolut account and then when you use an ATM abroad it will convert your money into the local currency with the real time exchange rate. The card supports over 90 currencies so you can use this card every time you go away. I always take a little money out before I go on holiday so I can easily buy a travel card when I arrive in the new city. The Money Advice Service have a lot of useful info about the best ways to manage your holiday money.
Learn to pack like a pro: Opt for carry-on only when you’re taking your city break. We did this for our trip to Budapest and it turned out well. Both Phil and I managed to pack our suitcases for the week including all our cameras and techy stuff. You’ll save yourself a nice little sum by avoiding checking a bag and you can then use what you saved on an evening meal. If you’re keen to improve upon your packing skills I’ll be showing you how I pack my carry-on for my upcoming trip to Berlin later this month.
Foodie research: Spend a couple of evenings researching the best places to eat in the city you’re visiting. To do this your best friends will be Pinterest, blogs, Foursquare and Tripadvisor. I’m sure there are lots of other places so I’ll add them in whenever I discover them. You’ll be able to read reviews, check out the pricing and you can usually check the menus too. This is particularly handy if you want to find some budget friendly options or somewhere that caters for your dietary requirements. It’s also a good way of avoiding the main tourist traps. Once you’ve made your list of potential foodie faves I’d suggest adding these to a Google Map which you can then download onto your phone and refer to when you’re away.
Beware of roaming charges: Before you go away check if the country you’re visiting is covered by a special deal with your provider. If not, it means your phone will be using a different network to send and receive data. If you’re not covered by your provider then make sure you turn off roaming before you land otherwise you’ll quickly build up a big phone bill as it updates your social channels and emails. If you’re staying abroad for a longer period of time or if you visit the country regularly then it will be worth buying a local sim card.
Pack a picnic: Nothing beats grabbing some fresh bread and cheese from the supermarket (unless you’re doing an elimination diet like me), finding a good view and tucking in. It’s a simple, enjoyable and an easy money-saving hack. To be honest, even if you’re not fussed about saving money it’s still a lot of fun.
Get walking: If you’re based near the city centre then make sure you do a lot of walking. It’s the ideal way to see a city and you’ll stumble upon hidden coffee shops and beautiful buildings that you’d normally miss out on.
Travel pass: It’s not easy for everyone to walk around the city and often you’ll have a lot to fit into your stay. Jumping on a tram can save you a lot of time during your holiday. Buy a weekly travel pass or city card instead of buying a one-off journey ticket. Most European cities have these and they often come with extra benefits such as free museum entries.
It’s all about timing: This one is pretty obvious but when you can, travel during the shoulder season (the point between the high and low season). It’s actually my favourite time to travel and can save you a lot of money as well as ensuring you miss the busy crowds.
How do you save money when you travel?
This post was in collaboration with Money Advice Service.