You’ve worked hard and saved up for that luxe-for-less holiday you’ve been dreaming of, but if you want to make your dollars go even further at a destination there are plenty of ways to enhance your stay and save money at the same time. Top of the list is staying for more than one night, as the longer you stay, the cheaper your accommodation will be. Better still, why not spend more time in fewer destinations? Taking multiple flights, train journeys or driving long distances can really rack up costs, not to mention taking up precious holiday time, so instead of journeying from one end of a country to another, or racing through half a dozen destinations in a couple of weeks, why not slow down, stay put and get to know a place really well instead. If you’re in a destination for more than a few days you’ll have time to get insider tips from local people in the know, from the best places to eat to free sightseeing. Many destinations have museums and galleries which offer free days for visitors, or discounted days at worst. Ask around, check out the local tourism info, and make a list of what you can see and do for free. You can also obtain travel discounts and coupons for the areas you are visiting from brochure shelf at your hotel or the local tourist office (where you will also get free maps). Other good sources for coupons include the back of supermarket dockets, tourist brochures, and vouchers you can print directly from websites, as well as deal sites such as LivingSocial or Groupon.
Once you’re in a destination, the best way to get your bearings, as well as get around cheaply, is to walk as much as you can or rent a bike. This way you can experience more off-the-beaten-track places (making sure they are safe), explore local markets, and chat to locals to get an idea of what they enjoy doing in their own home town. If distances are greater you can use public transport, which should not only cost you less, but also offers a more authentic travelling experience. When it comes to food and drink, self catering is the way to go to save a lot of money in many destinations except for countries in Asia, for example, where food is already cheap, and you can enjoy picnics or BBQs in the great outdoors using food you buy from a local grocery store. If you do want to eat out, and let’s be honest it’s a great part of the travel experience, try to get some local knowledge under your belt and head away from the tourist sites and streets; sometimes just a few blocks away a cheaper and more authentic experience is waiting for you. And finally, by staying in one destination for longer, you can also do your own laundry. If you have an apartment or house, make sure there are facilities such as a washing machine and a dryer, and if not, check out local laundromats where you can wash your own or drop off for a service wash while you go to lunch or sightsee.