How to save money and dodge spending traps

No one wants to spend money unnecessarily while travelling. A decent holiday will cost you, but it shouldn’t be an exercise in money wasting. You shouldn’t pay too much and you should not have to waste money because you simply didn’t know better. Here’s the House of Samsonite guide on how to save money by avoiding common travel traps.

Visa fees

Did you know that South Africans can visit 99 countries without a visa?

Why then are you willing to pay (often huge) visa fees to visit a country, when there are dozens more you can travel to, visa free? Saving those costs can not only help stick to your budget, but it also offers you the chance to spend that money on something else in another country. Perhaps you can upgrade your accommodation or spend a bit more on some remarkable sightseeing opportunities?

Drop-off charges

Keep an eye open when dealing with airport drop off charges.

Try research the costs ahead of time to avoid surprise hits on your budget. It’s going to cost you a bit to get to the airport as you leave ( unless a friend takes you) but it will cost you a lot more to head home via an aiport drop off. Know the price, research the various lift services and look for free remote drop-off areas and courtesy lifts to the airport. The small inconvenience is worth the extra cash.

Baggage fees

Baggage fees are always going to be expensive. Clever packing and smart luggage purchases can keep you away from those pesky costs.
An expandable case for example can pack quite a few additional items in, as opposed to having to check in another bag. Some airports are niggly about extra luggage and prices are steep, especially in foreign terms. A great cabin carry on for tighter budgets can also work – and if it’s just for a short trip –it could be all you need.

Roaming charges

Data has not fallen, yet. Until it does, the cost of calls, messages and data usage will remain high and that’s before we talk roaming. Cell roaming charges add up quickly and the surprise bill is not something you want or need, post vacation. Unlock your phone and buy a sim that works within the country you are visiting. A few bucks for a local sim can save you in the long run. Also, sim cards in the EU work throughout most of the EU countries.

Souvenirs

Your money does not deserve to be spent on a key ring at an airport.
Those last minute.com buys for loved ones can cost you. Save money by thinking clearly and avoid those end of trip buys.

Rather, look around, there are deals everywhere. Rule of thumb. If you see other tourists like yourself gathering, don’t buy anything from there. Tourist traps are just that, traps. Negotiate, walk away if you must and shop a few blocks away. Same goods, half the price.

WiFi

WiFi should be free at the hotel you are staying at. Seriously. It is free at your local restaurant, it should be free at the place you are resting your head at. Shop around. If you are doing business on the go, the costs of data can add up so picture it as a business prerequisite.

Minibars and airport water

Rather don’t. Your bill will skyrocket. Head to a local store and stock up on waters, beers and wine from there instead.

Why on earth should you fork out (often crazy prices) for water? Save money by taking an empty bottle with you, fill it up from a local fountain or watering point as soon as you can. Problem solved, dozens of rands saved.

Taxis

Do not get into a taxi that is not metered.  Save money by seeing it as a business trip which should be regulated. Ask if the in car meter is working before you head off. Rather take a metered taxi or Uber/Taxify service than chance a non-metered and therefore unregulated taxi.