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Travel Budget, Money Matters, Financial Talk Mom, can I borrow ten grand?! Gimme yo mastercard! How the heck can I pay for my trip?! Ideas for making money. How much dough do I need?

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Old 04-29-2006, 02:57 PM   #1
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Saving Money While Traveling

You have done so much work to actually put away enough money FOR the trip. Now...lets work on making it actually last! A few tips on stretching that dollar (or pound, euro, yen or peso etc... )

Budget traveling is all about gaining adventure and experiencing your wherabouts while spending the minimum amount of money. It may not seem like much, but making a conscious effort to save a few dollars for every day of your trip can really add up!

The following tips have been found from various travel/money related sites:

~Take advantage of little bonuses along the way, such as museums that have free visiting days once every week or month. Often in the summer months, cities hold cultural festivals or open-air concerts that are free and open to the public.

~If youíre interested in saving a penny or two, search for free entertainment wherever you may be able to find it. Street performances, public parks, and people-watching in interesting areas of town typically cost absolutely nothing, but hold a priceless entertainment value.

~If traveling with a group, you may wish to split accommodation and food costs. Multi-bed rooms almost always end up costing less per person than singles would, and food usually costs less when shared.

~Shopping in supermarkets, in addition to giving you the authentic experience of seeing packaged meats and shining produce in your vacation area, can be quite a bit cheaper than eating out every day.

~To save on the cost of sheets, bring a sleepsack (a sheet folded into a rectangle and sewn together on one short end and one long end, making a little tube-like enclosure for your body): they feel undeniably adventurous, and they cost nothing if you make them yourself.

~If youíre feeling particularly intrepid, you can save cash by doing your laundry in the sink, but be sure this is allowed in your establishment before doing so.

~Everywhere you go, even if you're not, tell them you're a student. Student rates are great and most museums and attractions have special discounts for students.

~Above all, remember that as important as sticking to your budget may seem, donít go crazy: your safety and basic comfort should always come first. Spending a bit of money on a taxi at night to get home is MUCH safer than walking by yourself!

Please feel free to add any additional tips you guys have picked up during your travels.

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Old 04-29-2006, 03:26 PM   #2
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Along with eating in--

Drink in. Its soooo much cheaper and usually you're just fine drinking in the hostel common room. If you have a need to go out, get smashed beforehand.

Ditto on the taxi thing. Once I was very drunk and very lost with my boyfriend in the streets of London. We couldnt find our friend's house to save our lives and it was freezing so after an hour or two he hails a cab which took us exactly three blocks to our destination.

Steal rides on the bus as much as possible. Blend in and dont buy a ticket. And its fun, too.
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Old 04-30-2006, 01:56 AM   #3
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But recognize that if you're caught without a ticket, there is sometimes a hefty fine. In Lithuania they have a creative one, I think - in addition to a cash fee, they post photos of ride stealers (called "rabbits" because of their propensity for "hopping" off when they see a ticket collector) on the buses.

More of a disincentive if you live there, of course.

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Old 04-30-2006, 08:59 AM   #4
 
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Yeah, I wouldn't consider it fun to pay the 60 euro fee that it costs if you don't have a bus ticket in Helsinki, or 30 quid in London. That could really kill a budget
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Old 04-30-2006, 09:29 AM   #5
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Bring a towel -- same idea as bed sheets.

Book swap. Don't buy more. Swap with others.

Go out in groups. Its safer, share taxi, and someone will buy rounds

Eat in groups. Make a trip to the store and cook communal meals. If you cook you can get others to chip in and end up making money!

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Old 04-30-2006, 09:32 AM   #6
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Good post Brooker (and additions Belle & TW ). We took advantage of France's "free" bus/transit system. Yeah, I was a little nervous we'd get caught. Never snuck on a train though!
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Old 04-30-2006, 12:38 PM   #7
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I got caught being a rabbit once on the london underground, but I pretended to be really drunk and supported by my guyfriend. Wasnt much of a stretch really. And they just rolled their eyes and let me through. Caught once on a bus. The woman stopped the bus and came upstairs looking for me, and threw me off. So I rabbited the next bus that came along in three minutes..
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Old 04-30-2006, 12:45 PM   #8
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Yeah the underground workers are pretty lenient to Americans. Just pretend like you dont understand why your zone 1 ticket isnt working in zone 3 and theyll pretty much let you through every time during peak hours just so they dont have to deal with you.

Also dont forget that when in Rome, do as the Romans do and never buy a ticket for the metro. Just open the exit gate and stroll through, the security guard will be too busy flirting with the ticket girl, and even if he saw you probably wouldnt care.
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Old 04-30-2006, 12:56 PM   #9
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And always keep an eye out for free food. If there is a festival or street fair or something, go and take full advantage of the free samples they always hand out. You can make the rounds a couple times and get a full meal out of it. Also do that same with free drink tickets at night in areas with lots of bars.
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Old 05-01-2006, 01:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Also dont forget that when in Rome, do as the Romans do and never buy a ticket for the metro. Just open the exit gate and stroll through, the security guard will be too busy flirting with the ticket girl, and even if he saw you probably wouldnt care.
Interesting, when we were in Rome, the ticket takers were watching the gates pretty assiduously...must not have been any pretty girls around to flirt with.

Too bad they weren't around when we were squeezing our daughter off a crowded train through doors held open by the width of my foot and hand...

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Old 05-01-2006, 02:43 AM   #11
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If you're taking a short train ride (not underground) in the UK, and you fancy your luck not buying a ticket, give it a go. If the ticket inspector comes round (and often they don't on short routes) you can just ask to buy a ticket from him and say you had to run to catch the train, so couldn't stop at the ticket office.

Of course, I've never done this, I like to keep my train travel legal! But I know lots of people who have, and it is perfectly acceptable to buy your ticket on the train... so why not?
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Old 05-01-2006, 10:27 AM   #12
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Make the budget, and stick to it! And then have a few bucks for the "discretionary" stuff that pops up. You'd be surprised how quickly that cash goes bye-bye!! If you absolutely have to do something while you're there, have that extra couple bucks for it. You'll thank me.

I can't tell you how my job got me to eat for free/cheap most nights. People hear I am a chef and they immediately offer to buy the food if I cook it. At first I was a bit reluctant, but I got used to it. And offer folks in the hostel randomly a spot on the "prep crew." They come in, throw a couple bucks to pool for food and booze, and go at it!

Talk to locals about transportation. You may meet a local that has a friend/cousin with a taxi like we did and the rate all the sudden becomes half what it was before.
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Old 05-01-2006, 10:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by lauren313@May 1 2006, 09:43 AM
If you're taking a short train ride (not underground) in the UK, and you fancy your luck not buying a ticket, give it a go. If the ticket inspector comes round (and often they don't on short routes) you can just ask to buy a ticket from him and say you had to run to catch the train, so couldn't stop at the ticket office.

Of course, I've never done this, I like to keep my train travel legal! But I know lots of people who have, and it is perfectly acceptable to buy your ticket on the train... so why not?
[snapback]116543[/snapback]
I do have to admitt that I have done this a number of times since I live about 15min to central london. The inspectors tend not to care if you reach for your wallet when they come by but I have saved quite a bit in my ilegal travels in london.
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Old 05-02-2006, 04:41 AM   #14
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hitchhike!! trains and buses are way too expensive. hitchhiking is fun, you get to meet people, you get to go to places you normally wouldnt see.

be friendly with people in small places, it might get you a meal and free accomodation for the night. it's great to meet some locals not just backpackers.
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Old 05-02-2006, 07:00 AM   #15
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^^ wow, hitchhiking... mmm no thanks.

go all oldschool and get used to eating your main meal in the middle of the day. Lunch is always cheaper as a lot of restaurants and eateries just have set lunch specials where as an evening meal can always get costly. so if you eat your main meal at lunchtime, then you can just grab some snacks at night. this works for me, but when I travelled with a (male) friend once he ate more than me at lunch then was starving by like 3 o'clock. there's a good money saving tip - dont finance boy's meals for them, they never stop eating!
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:02 PM   #16
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Be friendly with people, it can go a long way. When I was in Amsterdam eating out with my friend, we got to talking with these 2 older guys who were born and raised in our neighborhood, small world. They ended up paying for our meals. I mean it's rare that this will happen, but talk people up and you never know what will happen. At the least, you'll get some good conversation, maybe a few free drinks here and there or even some advice on where to get free/cheap things.
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