Cruising is one of the most affordable holidays you can buy, but after you’ve paid for your cruise fare there are a number of extras you usually have to pay for – and which can add up. One is getting online to check your email and share your photos on Instagram. Instead of using shipboard facilities, which can be expensive, make the most of what’s on offer at your ports of call en-route. Many cruise ship terminals have free Wi-Fi hotspots and dedicated international telephones, or an internet café where connecting will be considerably cheaper. Another option is to check out hotspots in town such as shopping centres, cafés and bars, where you can use Wi-Fi for free, at the latter in return for buying something such as a cold drink. When it comes to laundry, most ships have self-service launderettes, and they provide washing powder free of charge or for a nominal fee. But if you don’t want to DIY, and who can blame you, you re on holiday after all, save all your laundry up for the end of the cruise and take advantage of any special offers, such as filling a laundry bag for washing and drying at a special rate, or discounted dry cleaning. Tours are an integral part of cruising today, but you can enjoy substantial savings if you buy tours independently from local companies at your ports of call, or from websites such as www.viator.com. Remember, however, that if there’s a change to your itinerary, or bad weather forcing a cancellation, you could lose your money. Another very important point to remember is that if you are on an independent tour, your ship won’t wait for you if you’re late back to the dock. Other money saving options for touring include hiring a local taxi driver for the day to take you sightseeing, or grab a local map on arrival, and explore independently on foot, or by renting a car or bike. If you’re keen to shop, onboard boutiques sell duty free goods and hold special sales during a cruise, typically on a sea day or the last day, but check the prices at home first, and be mindful of the exchange rate when you cruise. When it comes to essentials including sunscreen, toiletries, over-the-counter medications, camera batteries, and nappies, bring them from home as they are expensive to buy on board.