If you can scrimp and save a little on your spending while travelling, you'll have more cash to splash on the fun stuff. Linda Meads has a few pointers for how to save a buck or two on the road.
Turn your data roaming off
Even quickly checking Google Maps or an email costs a bomb if you're roaming data — check with your provider if you can buy daily data packages through your plan or, if you're somewhere for a while, invest in a local SIM card.
Top tip: If you're on a cruise ship follow the staff when you get off at port — most of them know where there's free Wi-Fi, cheap coffee and good food.
Download offline maps
It won't work with walking directions, but if you download an offline map on your Google Maps app when you have Wi-Fi, you'll at least get a general idea of where you are and what direction you need to head in if you get lost. This is also really handy if you're on a bus and wondering which stop you need to get off at.
Download the local rideshare app
Taxis can add up, so make sure you're signed up to Uber or whatever the local version is — in Southeast Asia, for example, this is Grab. And while you're at it, you may as well see if there is city-wide bike or electric scooter hire — as well as being an economical way to get around, it will also help you get your bearings and experience life like a local.
Suss out the public transport
Even better, learn the metro system and buy tourist passes that will give you unlimited access over a certain time period. If the subway is good enough for the likes of Kevin Bacon and Sarah Jessica Parker, it's good enough for you too. Most major cities have good ground public transportation to and from their airports, which can save you lots of dosh on cabs or shuttles.
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Use a laundromat
Hotel laundry services may be convenient but they will bleed you dry — instead ask the concierge where the nearest self-service laundromat is and save yourself some bucks. Some of the newer ones even have automatic washing liquid dispensers built in.
Top tip: If you're really trying to save cash, pack a few pegs and a bit of rope, track down some washing liquid at a local supermarket, wash your essentials in the sink and fashion a clothesline in your hotel bathroom.
Ask the locals where to eat and drink
Any bar or restaurant heaving with tourists is probably not your most economical option for dining out unless it's a tourist destination in its own right, such as Gonpachi, the Kill Bill restaurant in Tokyo. Instead, strike up a conversation with a friendly local and hit them up for their favourite hotspots off the tourist trail.
Use the markets and supermarkets
Eating out three times a day really adds up, especially if you breakfast in your hotel. Instead get fruit, vegetables and deli items at the town market and buy basics from a supermarket for breakfasts and lunches. And it goes without saying that the minibar is off-limits.
Research the outlets
The US in particular excels when it comes to outlet shopping, and some places such as Los Angeles even have airport shuttles that will pick you and your luggage up, take you to an outlet mall for several hours of shopping time, then pick you and your new purchases up again in plenty of time for you to check in for your flight.
Learn the coffee etiquette
If coffee really is a deal-breaker for you, travel with your own small pot so you can make it just how you like it and save your money on the undrinkable. If you hate generic coffee machines in hotel rooms and don't mind instant coffee, coffee bags and packet creamers don't take up much space in your luggage.
Top tip: If you get a takeaway coffee in the US you're not expected to tip for service, while in Italy you'll pay more if you sit down to drink your brew.
Carry a reusable drink bottle
Help the environment and don't waste money buying endless bottles of water; instead carry a couple of reusable bottles with you at all times. Check with the hotel whether it's safe to drink the water from the tap — you might be pleasantly surprised — and if not, ask where you might be able to find free filtered water. We love that in Portland, Oregon, you can drink your fill from dozens of bronze fountains, known as 'Benson Bubblers', donated to the city by businessman, philanthropist and temperance movement enthusiast Simon Benson in 1912. There are more than 60 drinking fountains in Copenhagen and England has pledged to ensure there are free water refill points in every major town and city by 2021.
Consider alternatives to hotels
Using Airbnb is one obvious way to save money on hotels, especially if you're with a group of people. If you're travelling solo, however, don't disregard hostels — many offer private rooms so you don't have to share a dorm with a bunch of strangers, and some can be really nice alternatives to soulless chain hotels and give you the opportunity to meet like-minded people too. Beware that some of the pod or capsule hotels may seem cheap but may have hidden charges such as for bag storage before official check-in time. Ouch.
Be smart with your hotel strategy
Online travel agencies such as Booking.com and Expedia may make life simple but hotels hate them because of the margins they take. You might be able to get a better rate if you book direct with a hotel and if you sign up to its rewards programme you'll gain points and other benefits such as free Wi-Fi that may save you cash in the long run. While you're at it, make sure you're signed up for airline points, which can add up surprisingly fast, especially if you travel for work.
This is an easy one — do you really need to pack five pairs of sneakers? The more luggage you have, the more risk of exceeding your allocation from the airline. Then you have to decide whether to chuck stuff away (wasteful) or pay extra for another checked bag (painful). In the US you are charged per bag, like on the budget airlines, so the fewer you have, the better it is on your wallet. Plus, luggage is a pest to lug around anyway — travelling light is the way to go.
Take duty-free booze
If you're heading somewhere like the Pacific where you'll be in one place for a few days, use your duty-free allocation to take alcohol into your destination so you can make your own cocktails in the comfort of your own bure. This can extend to food too, especially if you have cooking facilities — a well-packed chilly bin and a few bags of snacks can save you a fortune.
Suss out the best use of your money
Try not to buy currency at airports or at tourist-heavy locations — it's unlikely you'll get a good rate — and be mindful that using ATM machines for frequent cash withdrawals will result in crippling fees. Preloaded cash cards can be useful, but while the fees might be low or non-existent, rates can be terrible, and in some countries they're not widely accepted. Several Australian banks now offer foreign transaction fee-free debit cards, so surely they can't be far away from being available to New Zealanders.
Book shoulder seasons
Going to Europe in high summer might sound like a great idea but in reality it can be quite hard work — the heat can be overwhelming and prices for accommodation and activities are generally higher. Plus, lots of destinations such as Italy and Greece shut up shop for several hours in the middle of the day for siestas, which is fine if you don't mind doing that too but not so great if you're trying to maximise your time on the ground. It also might be worth taking the kids out of school a few days early to avoid rammed airports and increased flight prices for the holidays — after all, travelling is educational too, right?
Research local discount sites
Websites such as Groupon, which offer discounts on local activities, goods and services, are available in many countries, so if there is a particular activity you'd like to do, it's worth jumping online and doing some research. If you're desperate to see a theatre show in New York or London but don't want to pay full price, there are many ways to scoop up last-minute tickets.
Top tip: If you're a member of the AA here in New Zealand, your card gets you roadside assistance benefits in countries with reciprocal agreements, including Australia and Canada, while in the United States discounts apply anywhere you see the American Automobile Association (AAA) logo, including at some theme parks. Check the AA website for details.