“When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.” Susan Heller
Do not use the hotel’s laundry service unless it’s really urgent or it’s free. Find a cheap self-service laundromat where you can do your laundry while on holiday. If you can’t find one, then wash your clothes yourself. I always carry some washing powder/detergent on long trips to wash essentials. If there is a bath tub I wash the clothes in there and if there isn’t I use the wash basin. Washing clothes also enables you to carry less luggage by wearing the ones you have with you more often.
If the country you’re travelling to has a good public transport system, use it, by all means. We use the buses and the metro wherever we can. The schedules and routes are not difficult to figure out. Avoid taxis if you can. They are expensive and/or are likely to defraud you. If you have to use a taxi, make sure it’s metered (and the meter is on) and the taxi driver has agreed to charge the meter price. Typical taxi woes include taxi drivers changing the price once you’ve reached your destination, telling you that they quoted you in US dollars which are much stronger than the local currency you thought you were being charged in and charging you extra for luggage which you were not told beforehand. I, and people I know, have been victims of these scams. So now, I avoid taxis as far as I can.
If you know what you’re doing, do-it-yourself. Unless they’re selling a pre-packaged special deal for specific dates, travel agents usually add a high mark-up. They do remove the hassle factor though - usually - so you’d have to weigh the pros and cons. My Malaysia trip cost me R21 000 for a family of four for accommodation in four cities over three weeks and transfers from city to city. Travel agents were quoting me R35 000 for the same arrangements using similar hotels.
If you decide that you would prefer to go with a travel agent, then consider doing it this way - book your flights yourself, then find a reputable budget travel agent in the country you're visiting (via a reliable travel forum) and ask them for a quote. Chances are that they will be cheaper than a local travel agent.
Read Part 1 on "How to travel on a budget" here.
Do you have any tips on how to save money when travelling? Please do share them in the comments below.
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