Dalia's note: My friend Naomi Prioleau, of the blog Kansan Girl Chronicles, is one savvy traveler. She's not yet old enough to rent a car, but the girl sure does find ways to get around! Her passport includes stamps from Spain, Morocco, England, France, Italy and Mexico, and she has a trip to Argentina in the works. Naomi's international journeys have made her a smarter traveler stateside, too. Below she shares some of her best money-saving travel tips.
When it comes to traveling, I know how to save money. A majority of the people I encounter use the excuse that traveling is too expensive. Well, after I give you these four tips, you may be singing a different tune.
1. Book ahead.
Even before you begin planning your travels, book your plane ticket ahead. WAY ahead. Have you ever heard stories of people who booked a trip to Turkey for only $700 dollars round trip? That’s either because they booked ahead, found an airline website that gives good deals or know someone in the industry. By buying a plane ticket months in advance, you’re saving money before you travel. If you need assistance in looking for good deals there’s always websites like Kayak, Airfarewatchdog and others that will help you save money.
2. Eat like a local.
As a tourist, you can get swindled out of money without even knowing it. How? Food. When it comes to food you have two options: make your own food or dine out. Sure, you may think you’re acting like a local by asking where the “locals” eat, but most likely, you’re being led to a touristy restaurant aimed at taking your money. It’s all about asking the right questions. Rather than “Where’s the best place for a romantic dinner?,” ask “Where would you take your significant other to eat on your anniversary?” Trust me, you’ll get a COMPLETELY different answer and insight into the refreshing and hidden cuisines that can save you money and fill you up.
3. Low-cost transportation.
Why spend money on a taxi when you can use your two feet for free? Taxis are easily the most expensive modes of transportation you can use when you travel. Buses, trains, bicycles and walking are the easiest ways to cut down on unnecessarily having to spend money because they can get you anywhere at a lower rate. Some cities, like Miami and Punta Gorda, offer low-cost and even free bike share programs. Cheap transportation and a workout? Yes, please!
4. Shop smarter.
Shopping is my favorite part of traveling, and there’s a strategic way to shop and save money. You can be overwhelmed by the amount of stores, souvenirs and vendors on one street and even may fall victim to overpriced gifts. However, go off the beaten path and venture into the unknown (just don’t get lost), and you’ll be able to find more authentic and reasonably priced gifts for yourself and loved ones.
So now that you have these four tips, what are you waiting for? Get out there! Florida is waiting to meet you.