Easy ways to save money as you travel

SHOPPING ALERT: Avoid souvenir shops or booths as the items are often priced too high. Head over to a local flea market and you could find a better or unique gift for a lower price.


    Sep 17, 2014

    Easy ways to save money as you travel

    IF YOU are in a foreign land and feel like a hapless prey when it comes to buying things overseas, you are probably one of the many tourists who are being ripped off.

    We tell you how to avoid paying too much for items that burn a hole in your pocket during your travels.

    The list below is a reference from travel website Totaltravel, combined with personal experiences.


    As tempting as they might be, you should not step into souvenir shops. Why?

    The most obvious reason is that the items are often priced too high. Instead of buying an overpriced "I Love NY" T-shirt or tote bag, head over to a local flea market and you will probably find a better or unique gift for a lower price.

    2. WATER

    When I went on my first visit to Eastern Europe two months ago, I could not find drinking water easily, so the only way was to buy bottled water.

    However, if you are in a country where you can obtain drinking water easily from the tap like in Singapore, there is no need to buy bottled water from the hotel.

    If you are apprehensive about whether the water is safe to drink, boil the water first. This is one way of saving yourself some money.


    Ask yourself: Do you really need to wash your clothing when on holiday?

    Unless you are on a month-long trip, spending money on the hotel laundry is not necessary. If there is a need to, however, find a Laundromat nearby. If not, re-wear your clothes. Trust me, travellers do it all the time!

    4. TAXIS

    Don't end up paying more for a ride because the meter has not been turned on.

    Once you get into a taxi, tell the driver to turn on the meter so you will not be overcharged for the ride.


    When travelling overseas, international roaming fees for your mobile phone can cost you hundreds, or sometimes even thousands of dollars.

    If calls need to be made, buy a cheap prepaid SIM card to use during your trip. If making phone calls is not a necessity, use the airplane mode on your phone.

    According to Apple, airplane mode helps your phone battery life to last longer.

    6. FOOD

    To search for cheaper food, move away from the main tourist belt of food places, even if it means walking a block or two down the street.


    Just avoid them.

    For those with a sweet tooth, head down to a local supermarket for a variety of treats you can get that the minibar may not provide.


    Shore excursions can be expensive.

    Although they have a structured itinerary, you should only go on such excursions if you do not mind paying more.

    Advice from Totaltravel: Let the explorer within you emerge by discovering places and sights on your own. You may find something special.


    Learn to pack as little as you can. Do not bring every piece of clothing. Period.


    Airport trains are normally one of the most unavoidable options when travelling to and from the airport.

    In order to save money on taxis, many tourists use airport trains.

    According to Totaltravel, many airports abuse this and charge high prices for this mode of transport. Alternatively, use the bus instead of the trains.