The summer is everyone’s favorite time of the year, mostly because it’s the time when many of us can finally go on our long-awaited vacation. For many people, vacation is one of the only opportunities to visit other countries – however, journeys are often not cheap. In addition to expensive plane tickets and hotels, travelers have to spend on dinners, excursions, daily transport, and souvenirs. Each expense may seem minor, but all told they can really wreak havoc on your wallet. Want to be a better vacation spender? Here are some tips to save easy money on your summer vacation.

Spend Wisely

In some countries, it’s quite common for vendors to raise prices for tourists. If you smell a rat and have a feeling that the thing you want to purchase should be cheaper, don’t be afraid to bargain, especially at markets and souvenir shops. Try to ignore big boutiques and instead choose small stores and shops where you can buy inexpensive and often exclusive gifts.

In addition, be careful how you acquire your cash. When you withdraw money from ATMs, take small amounts to find out the commission. It’s even better to pay for your purchases with a card so that you pay at the exchange rate set by your bank. Before the trip, you might want to look for a bank with lower foreign transaction fees and open bank account online.

When you depart from a country where you spent your vacation, don’t forget about the tax-free service which can help return 7 to 20% of the money you’ve spent.

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Plan Entertainment in Advance

Turn down excursions offered by a tour operator. As a rule, their cost is much higher than those of local companies. If you organize sightseeing yourself and use public transport, it may be a much more pleasant experience because you won’t have to depend on a tourist group.

Most museums have free days so find information about such days on a museum’s official website.

Save on Cafes and Restaurants

Be sure to make up a plan for your vacation in advance. If you’re not prepared, you might get bored and waste your time wandering around aimlessly until you find bars and shops where you may spend a fair part of vacation money.

Travel guides often publish information about restaurants with high prices, and you can certainly visit such places. However, if you want to keep your budget under control, it’s better to go somewhere just a few steps away from the main tourist routes.

Opt for Public Transport

It’s better to get to your hotel from an airport by shuttle because shared rides save both time and money. You can book a shuttle in advance and it will take you anywhere you want at an affordable price. Most European countries have a very developed system of public transport so it’s actually much cheaper than a taxi and sometimes even faster. With the help of Google maps, you can build any route in no time so you won’t get lost. Instead of one-travel tickets, you may find it cheaper to buy a multi-day ticket or a card. If you travel by car, be sure to choose a hotel with a free parking lot.

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By using these simple tips, you can save a lot of money for your next trip. Your wallet doesn’t have to get skinny every time you go abroad. All you have to do is plan in advance and learn more about a country you are going to visit. Happy travels!