New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong – the list could go on. These are destinations which are utterly desirable to visit, but unfortunately this comes at a price.
We’re not talking about the air fare either (although sometimes, this might be an issue as well). Instead, we’re referring to the enormous accommodation fees and the gigantic cost of living. In other words, once you arrive, you’re constantly thinking about your pocket.
Particularly if you are utilizing some of your precious annual leave from the day job, this is the last thing you want to do. Instead, these countries need to be enjoyed to the maximum and while you might still have to be financially savvy in some regards, it’s still possible to visit all of them in a budget if you’re shrewd.
Let’s now take a look at some of the best ways to combat expensive holiday destinations, so you don’t have to take out a second mortgage to cross them off your bucket list.
Indirect flights can help you start things in the black
We said that a lot of the financial problems don’t tend to affect transport, but there’s no doubt that you can at least start things off positively by just being a little smarter with your choice of flight.
Sure, the direct flight might save you six hours, but let’s not forget about the financial repercussions here. Studies have shown that indirect flights can knock approximately 15% off the cost of travel and suffice to say, when it comes to some of the destinations in question, this isn’t loose change and can make a huge difference to your vacation.
Opt for DIY excursions
This is one of the principle ways that your budget can be eaten away. While some people might not be interested in the slightest in visiting all the major attractions that a destination has to offer, for many, it’s the main reason they have chosen that place.
As such, not traveling to these sights just isn’t an option. What is an option is the method in which you travel to them.
You should always be looking to resist the urge to “take advantage” of local and national tour companies who promise to take you to these attractions for a cut price. While you can barter these companies down, it’s never going to be cheaper than the DIY approach.
Particularly with public transport in the big tourist areas being so easy to use, there’s no excuse for not being able to use this successfully. If the attraction is based at the other side of the city, bus and metro services are a doddle to use. If a train is necessary – it will still be cheaper than the tour option.
Unfortunately, due to the varied nature of these attractions, it’s impossible to put hard and fast savings on this tip. If you’re traveling as a family, it could go into the three figures though.
Don’t underestimate the cost of Wi-Fi
In comparison to some of the suggestions we have spoken about, this is a much smaller tip. When choosing your hotel, always be conscious of how much you need to be connected. If it’s 24/7 access you require – triple-check to ensure that your chosen hotel has a free Wi-Fi facility. If it doesn’t, some of these expensive destinations can levy huge daily charges onto your bill – and suddenly the total cost of your accommodation has increased substantially.
No, we’re not telling you to go against basic dietary advice and skip this meal completely. Instead, we’re referring to the practice of dining in your hotel.
Some of these establishments will charge enormous fees for breakfast – all in the aim of attracting those “lazy” guests who are looking for as much convenience as possible.
While the DIY approach is obviously the most beneficial option in the interests of cost cutting, you can also sample a local cafe for a cut-price meal as well.
For breakfast at least, unless you are in a country where this meal is world-renowned, making it yourself is hardly going to impact your holiday.
Take a bag of basics
Following on from the last point, don’t be afraid to take basic provisions to cover your stay. This will largely depend on your form of accommodation, but taking the likes of salt, coffee, tea bags and even washing powder can save you much more money than you might initially think. Particularly if you are having to use a launderette facilities, the bring-it-from-home approach is incredibly savvy.
Always look round the corner
Again, if you’ve chosen one of these pricy destinations, we’re going to assume that there’s numerous attractions. This time, we’re not going to focus on the price of directly visiting these attractions, but more the price of being near to them.
Most restaurants and bars in close proximity to these attractions attempt to take full advantage. In other words, they will charge the world, whilst venues round the corner are a fraction of the price.
It means that when it comes to food and drink, you need to venture off the beaten track when you visit one of these attractions.
Do you really need a car?
If you’ve gone with the mantra of traveling to one of these destinations on a budget, we’re going to assume that you’ve not booked a car. If you have, it’s time for a rethink.
Forgetting the actual costs of renting the car (which will most probably add hundreds onto your final bill), there’s the smaller matters of parking, toll roads and all sorts of other hidden gems.
In relation to the parking, the fact that it can cost over $500 a month to park in New York explains just what huge figures can be added to your final bill.
Again, in a bid to preach public transport, a lot of these so-called expensive destinations have fairly priced transport systems which just make this mode of travel an absolute no-brainer when compared to car hire.
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