There are a lot of things to consider when traveling somewhere. And while it’s not the easiest thing to do in our current economy, everyone should have the right to get out and enjoy themselves, budget permitted. With that being said, there are a few things that anyone should consider when they go on vacation – regardless of whether they have to budget or not.
One of the most important things to do is to make sure you know where your money is best spent. In any city or country noted for being a tourist attraction, you are bound to find places designed to attract tourists specifically. The way they do this often involves appealing to them by featuring… well, I’d say “lowest common denominator” products, but that’s a little too insulting. The products usually aren’t bad, but they exist to represent the area. For instance, go to Paris? A tourist shop is going to have a LOT of Eiffel Tower merchandise. Stuff like that. Before you take the trip, be very diligent to find places that are a little more out of the way and less pandering – you will thank me later.
Next is to make sure that you can afford to shop at the places that you end up going to in the first place. Tourist trap destinations may try to nickel and dime you, but are generally designed to be mostly affordable; ease of access is not the only appeal of these kinds of places. It is an important balance to strike between finding the best places to visit and finding prices that fit into your budget. You may want to have something worthwhile to take back home with you to show off, but you don’t want to get pulled into one of the pricier places. At the same time, it is entirely understandable that you may want to eat some place and enjoy the native cuisine of the area, and to get the best impression of it, you may find yourself paying a little more than you would like. But if you are resourceful enough, you will find ways to still eat cheap while on vacation.
Of course, for as good as these spending tips may work out to help your budget, one of the best ways to keep your trip as cheap as it possibly can be is to try and avoid frivolous spending. You would not believe just how many things you can find and experience where you do not have to spend a single penny to enjoy it (short of costs to reach those places, usually through public transportation). In the end, for all of the souvenirs that you can collect, such things cannot beat some great memories and experiences. Going on walks or drives around the place you are visiting with a nice camera can create some fantastic memories, and ultimately, a photo is both free and yet worth more than just about anything that you could find in any store for any price. A photo is also a lot more likely to maintained a sustained value; it is difficult to figure out whether you will enjoy a certain item.