7 Ways To Save Money When You Are Traveling In Tropical Countries
Perhaps you have always fancied traveling the length and breadth of Thailand or maybe you are on a tour of Asia, skipping from Vietnam to Laos and then onto Cambodia.
Whatever route you have planned, you will want to stretch your money as far as possible and also ensure that you take the right things to enjoy your trip, without being weighed down.
Here’s are seven ways to save some money on your travels, whilst at the same time making sure you have everything you need to make the most of your getaway.
1) Bin the boots
One of the first things that many people purchase when they plan on taking a long trip is a pair of sturdy hiking boots. These don’t come cheap and to get a decent pair could easily cost £100 or more.
Whilst these should be the first thing in your backpack if you are planning on visiting tough terrain such as Nepal or Peru, in more tropical countries you will just end up with smelly, hot and sweaty feet.
If you plan on seeing the sights of Thailand, or any other similar Asian country, you will find a pair of sturdy walking sandals will make you far more comfortable – as well as being lighter to carry and a loss less expensive to purchase!
2) Leave the sleeping bag at home
Whilst traveling to more temperate countries, a sleeping bag is an essential to get a good night’s kip; you simply won’t need it when you’re in a tropical location.
By all means take along a sleep sheet or maybe a sarong or two, but leave the sleeping bag for chilly camping trips in the UK.
3) Nosh like a local
When you are a long way from home, grabbing some home grub might sound like a great idea – and what is more familiar than a traditional English breakfast. Unfortunately in countries that don’t normally eat this kind of food, away from typical tourist locations, you aren’t likely to end up with a plate of fried delights. Plus it is likely to cost you a small fortune as the ingredients aren’t something they will hold in great supply.
You will save a packet of money – plus enjoy a more culinary pleasing experience – by picking what the locals eat such as some delicious fried rice or a bowl of tasty noodle soup.
4) …but some things can wait until you arrive
Whilst you will undoubtedly want to sort out as much as you can before you set off, there are some things which are better to organise once you are there.
Visas to visit neighbouring countries can be applied for when you are at home but they will cost much more. By waiting until you arrive, you could nab yourself a much better deal. This is particularly true in regions such as Asia.
5) Money, money, money
If you plan on wandering far from typical tourist hot spots, you could find it quite tricky to find a place to get local currency. And even in the towns, you might well find that the charges and exchange rates eat into your hard-earned cash.
Rather than waiting until you arrive to sort out your holiday money, using an online comparison site before you go could turn up some surprisingly good offers. With currencies available from all over the world, you might find you save yourself a packet by using an online currency broker – leaving you more cash to enjoy on your travels. Prepaid travel cards are also an excellent idea.
6) Enter the digital age
If you are a keen photographer, you may well have a professional camera which takes stunning pictures. However keen you are to take as many snaps as possible whilst traveling the world, this isn’t the sort of equipment you want to pack in your bag.
Not only will it be a prime target for thieves, the chances are you will have simply hundreds of images to develop when you get back. This will cost you a small fortune and you won’t have the opportunity to screen the pictures in advance to see if they are worth the price.
Investing in a good digital camera will allow you to snap away to your heart’s delight and will not only allow you to check you’ve captured the picture you were hoping for, when you get home, the cost of getting your pictures developed will be much less.
7) Its good to talk
Your bank manager may not be the first person you think of sharing your travel plans with, but it is a very good idea to let them know that you will be out of the country.
Many fraudulent transactions occur from individuals based overseas so if your bank suddenly sees a flurry of foreign purchases, they may flag it as fraud and freeze your account….leaving you stranded.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to make sure you aren’t relying totally on your debit or credit card and keep a supply of local currency at all times. However, by letting your bank know you are going traveling, you should be able to avoid a nasty surprise when you try and use your card to pay for goods!
The idea of spending some time traveling around warm and tropical countries, experiencing exotic sights and sounds and immersing yourself in local culture is a delicious thought. However, if you are short of cash, you might end up spending more of your trip counting your pennies, Thai Baht or Vietnamese Dong than you would like. By following the above tips and by ensuring you get the best exchange rate before you go, you can forget about any money woes and enjoy a once in a lifetime experience.
Written by Samantha, an experienced Financial writer and keen world traveller. Photo by SIXVASER.