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Last Updated on September 7, 2017 by NandiNN

We are extremely excited about this post. We happy to have the lovely Ivona Harčarová from Ivona Harcar Travels give us tips on how spend less than $500 on your next vacation trip! Who else needs a much a needed trip. With the holiday season upon us, I believe most of you need a vacation. Let’s dive into what she has to say about ow to save on your vacation! 

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Now let’s get started on how to spend less on your vacation! 

Many people choose not to go on vacation, because nowadays overspending is a very common issue. I know people who would rather spend their last $5 on a cup of coffee just because they happen to be at a cafe! However, with much needed discipline you can save for your next vacation and really travel for cheap. Vacation does not need to be a disaster for your wallet anymore. Here is how to do it, plan the perfect trip on a budget!

Ways to travel less than $500 and save money while on vacation

Create a budget and stick to it

Rule number one is to create a budget, always! And then determine the most amount of money you can or want to spend during the trip. Let´s say it is $500 and you are going on a one-week vacation, which gives you about $71 for a day, that is definitely more than enough to survive on. People say ´I am on a vacation, I don´t want to limit myself´ – well, you do not have to! Just always think twice before spending. If you can get what you want at a little cheaper price, then go for it. Creating a solid budget is the best way to save on your vacation. You will have a better idea on what you can handle. 

TIP!: When you really want a coffee, go and get one, just choose a place where you can get it for $4 instead of $10. Easy as that ?

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Your feet are the best mode of transport

You are on a vacation, go and explore! Heading out from your hotel room to explore the city that is 2 km away? You can walk and explore the life just like the locals. Personally, when I travel, I am always trying to look like a local rather than a tourist because, believe it or not, you have way more opportunities to get the authentic experience you are searching for. And it is also the best way to save on your vacation. Too tired to walk? Take the bus or other public transportation available to you. In case you are heading out into nature or to the suburbs, why not rent a bike for the whole day, or share a ride with some other people from your hotel?

TIP!: Do not use taxis – they are the most expensive option and I believe that buses and trains will take you places you need to visit.

Do your homework

When you are travelling somewhere it is A MUST to always do some research on the internet beforehand in order to get a rough idea of costs and requirements. For example, when I lived in Bali, I was renting a scooter for 600,000 IDR/month, while tourists were renting them for 600,000 IDR/week!!! Well, that is a huge difference! Especially in Asia, they will always try to give you a higher price to see if you know how match the regular price. Many people don´t, so even if they bargain, they still get a price much higher than usual and think that they got the best price. You always need to be a step ahead, because even if it sounds cheap for the country you are in, it still could be super expensive when you really think about it.

TIP!: Always try to adjust your lifestyle to the country you are in order to save on your vacation. In Asia you can easily eat in a good restaurant for $5 and it looks cheap to you, however, it is normal to get a meal for approximately $1! That can make a big difference when you need to stick to your daily budget.

Eat with the locals

I don´t know about you, but on my travels I loved to eat the local foods and I am always choosing restaurants with a lot of people rather than the empty ones. When I was in Asia, I was almost at all times eating on the streets or local markets. In China, many of my friends were scared to eat on the street, so they spent a lot of money at restaurants. At the end, they all got sick and were left with empty pockets after everything. And guess what? I wasn´t – why? Because the amount of people eating on the streets is much higher so the food is made fresh daily and prepared right in front of your eyes, while in the restaurant you have no way to control what you get.

TIP!: Eating on the street is not only cheaper but you can also gain some good local contacts or tips for other places to eat in the area.

Choose your accommodation wisely if want to save on your vacation

Usually the cheapest option is to book a room in a hostel if you really want to save on your vacation. Remember, the earlier you do it, the cheaper it is, plus there are always hundreds of websites so comparing prices is the way you want to do it. So far, I have had a good experience with, as the prices are the cheapest and you can also choose by the recommendations. Surely, there are places, where even hostels are super expensive. In Netherlands, I tried a new way of finding accommodation and it was not worth it. Everything was super expensive so I ended up just booking one night online, and booked the rest on the way as I went. This was great because I had a chance to adjust my route according to places that the rooms were cheaper and saved a ton. I was grateful enough to see romantic little villages I otherwise would not have seen. I don´t know about you, but this worked out for me!

TIP!: It is always better to book accommodation further away from the city center to get the best deals and to save on your vacation. When you find a hotel up to 4km away, you can be sure it will be much cheaper. Don´t worry about the distance. The tube will take you to the center within 15-20 mins!

Forget about organised trips

This never works when you are on a budget restricted trip. You will spend a lot of time adjusting to other people’s needs and requirements. With organized trips, you will be shown only the most important tourist attractions, and many times you will be forced to eat in specific places. Plan your own sightseeing trip, and go out there alone – eat what you fancy, see what you want, and have fun for much less! These organised trips tend to cost a lot more than necessary. 

TIP!: Don´t worry about getting lost. Usually you will find the best places and hidden landmarks when you step out of your planned route ? (At the same time, do your research and stay safe!)

Thank you so much Ivona for sharing with us your best travelling tips! You can find her on Facebook under Ivona Harcar Travels and on Instagram under: @ivonaharcar! 

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How to travel for less than $500.00