Staying within your budget on vacation can be tough. Especially when you’re thinking about souvenirs and other trinkets. We are sharing some of our tips and tricks to staying on budget during your vacation.
Buy Local Transportation Cards
You can purchase local transportation cards for the duration of your stay. It’s typically a lot cheaper than paying outright for your tickets each time you need to go on the subway or take a bus. We bought an extra Oyster Card in London and $25 gets you around 3 days worth of travel.
Check Uber Prices
Using Uber can inadvertently give you a local tour guide! Plus Uber’s are super cheap. I would definitely check costs to each of your destinations before committing to anything else!
Book a Guided Tour
We are doing a guided tour and using public transportation in Dublin. (it was awesome! We highly recommend Wild Rover Tours)All Day tours can run anywhere from $40-$100. Just check the reviews and check where you stop! You can do an all day tour a lot cheaper that you can fill up a gas tank on a rental. (Remember that Europe sells gas by the liter not by gallon like we are used to!!)
Aside from lodging, food is going to be your next biggest expense. You can keep this number way down by following a few tips. If you follow these tips you should be able to splurge when you find something you really want to do **cough** Tale As Old As Time Afternoon Tea **cough**
Book a Hotel with Breakfast Included
With meals being anywhere from $13-$18, not having to worry about breakfast can save you tons! Plus you are given plenty of options that should easily hold you over until lunch!
Hit the Markets
You can hit the supermarket and get foods that don’t have to be cooked and can stay in your hotel room for the duration of your vacation. This will help you cut down on spending money for every meal.
Split a Meal
Splitting a meal can be a great way to save a lot of money. While we were on our trip, we split a lot of our meals and it came out a lot cheaper for us. We had extra money for trying local ciders and beers.
Hit the Farmer’s Market
You can also hit the Farmer’s Markets and they will have prepackaged meals that are super cheap. They will also have fruits and homemade goodies that you can store in your hotel room for your entire vacation.
Find a food truck! Food trucks are relatively inexpensive and it will be some of the best food you ever put in your mouth. Honest! Some Farmer’s Markets will have food trucks on site and you can kill two birds with one stone!
Put some energy bars in your backpack or purse. They will keep you from stopping at tourist traps and spending tons of money on food. If you’re renting a car, you can get a small temperature controlled bag from Aldi or another supermarket and keep some drinks and snacks in the car for when you’re out and about!
Ask a Local!
Asking a local where their favorite place to eat will not only give you some pretty tasty options, but they’re more than likely going to be what I call a “local dive”. That means that the place isn’t really touristy and will more than likely make it cheaper and more delicious. The best food I’ve ever had has come from either a food truck or a hole in the wall restaurant! I promise you if you take a local’s advice…you won’t be sorry!
Other Ways to Stay in Budget
Thinking about a tour or experience? Shop around! Don’t just jump on the first tour you see. Give yourself options at different price points! If we jumped on the first Harry Potter Studio Tour we found we would have wound up paying $75 more a person for a lot less than what we got with the tour we just booked!
Check into City Passes
Check out our post on CityPASSES and then check to see if your destinations have city passes in their cities! They’re a great way to save money. With the London Pass we are saving over $200.
Buy a SIM Card in Your Destination
I have Verizon and they have a plan that you can use your existing plan abroad with just a fee of $5-$10 a day for everyday that you use your phone. This can come in handy but I would check with local cell phone providers and see what they offer. Then you can just pop the SIM card into your phone and presto..a local phone!