If you've saved up a hefty amount for your travels, surely you could still take a few of these tips to save a few dollars to add to your next travel budget. 

 

VISIT THE SUPERMARKET

One of the first things I like to do is visit the supermarket. I like to explore the aisles and see what the food is like, and to sample the local fruits and vegetables there. In Colombia, I became addicted to the GRANADILLA, which is similar to a passionfruit. You crack it's orange like skin to unveil thousands of tiny globs of delicious, sweet balls. Buy bottles of water from the supermarket. In Puerto Rico it was 69 cents for 2 liters compared to the $2.49USD for 1 liter. in the Walgreens. After a few bottles a day, the price adds up. Be sure to grab snacks, fresh fruits and waters for your adventures as opposed to any of the nearby corner stores or hotel/hostel. In Puerto Rico we bought enough healthy, filling snacks of local sesame treats, fruits, granola bars and Puerto Rican candies to cover lunch and we'd save our money to splurge for dinner.

USE GOOGLE

Search online for deals, you might be able to find short term discounts or package deals with a quick search. 

TOURIST CARD

If you happen to stop at the tourist information area at the airport, you might be able to get yourself a tourist pass. These usually include a card for public transportation or a card and card that offers discounts for many activities and restaurants in the new town. In Berlin, I bought a pass at the airport for 25euros and ended up getting 20 percent off many activities like the Fat Tire bike tour. 

EAT OUT, NOT IN

Never eat at the hotel or hostel. (Unless it's Jose Andres) The meals you get there are typically overpriced and a sterilized version of the native cuisine.  Go outside and look for some local spots or street food. Generally, I avoid asking the concierge or front desk for suggestions because they tend to give you tourist recommendations that they have a deal with, the food is usually..average in my experience. I much prefer to ASK A FELLOW TOURIST at the hostel. (Also a good way to meet people)  With Google, Tripadvisor and Yelp, you'll still get a lot of the touristy spots but at least you'll find places you may not have heard of. My personal favorite is to go into a shop and ask the person inside where do they eat or do enough wandering around, I'm sure you'll find a great spot. Usually signs of a good spot are when locals are lined up inside. 

USE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

One of the biggest cut downs you can make is to forego the cab to/from the airport once you land. Generally speaking, in South America the cost was not that much, but in Europe the price from the airport could cost anywhere from $50-$90USD. I decided to start saving money by taking public transportation from the airport instead of taking a cab. I would much rather spend that money on a meal than on a cab, especially if you are traveling alone.  It may take a little longer, but taking public transportation is fun because you get to see a little bit more of the city as well as the locals. The funny thing I've learnt from my travels abroad was that the amount of crazies that I've run into are far LESS crazy than anyone I've run into in NY! Already, you've saved $100USD by cutting down on airport fare. You can also use public transportation to get around the city if you are exploring. 

FREE WALKING TOURS AND BIKE TOURS

Excited to learn about a new town? My favorite thing to do is to sign up for a free walking tour (you can learn about these in your hostel or hotel) or sign up for a bike tour. Not all cities have free ones, but I am sure they have affordable ones. These allow you to explore the town and learn about the sights from a trained local. Bike tours are my personal favorite and allow you to go further distances than you would by foot. Afterwards, you can always go back and explore the places you enjoyed most and/or didn't even know about till the tour. The tour guides can give you great tips on where to go, or shortcuts. Avoid bus tickets - I can't imagine being stuck in city traffic in a bus the whole time, can you? 

BARTER

Don't be afraid to barter. In most central and south american countries, bartering is the norm. In fact, they rely on tourists to take the bait and not barter, but my father taught me better than that. One time he talked our phone bill down and got a free phone just by staying in the store and talking to the guy for two hours. Bartering will become your best friend. 

When I first landed in Nicaragua, I had been warned that the cabbies at the airport would mark up the price tenfold to wherever you were going. I wasn't surprised to find a barrage of middle aged cabbies at the landing gate desperately shouting  "Taxi, Taxi, Taxi!" over one another. My spanish, elementary at best, wasn't strong enough to allow me to barter for prices, so I did what any other heartless person would have done. I turned two cabbies against each other.

I talked to one cabbie, and he gave me a price. I said, "uno momento" and asked the cabbie directly next to him, "Cuanto cuesta?" Pretty soon, the two cabbies started underpricing one another, allowing me to stand back and pat myself on my back as the plan worked itself out. Pretty soon I was in a cab haggled down from $75USD to $45USD. 

AVOID TOURISTY RESTAURANTS

If there's pictures of food in the menu avoid it.  If there's english on the menu, avoid it. If there's french fries or hamburgers, avoid it. If there is someone who's sole job is to pull people in, avoid it. If there's a man wearing Birkenstocks with sandals, avoid it! That is not to say, that these are absolutes, but if you can, I would suggest skipping them and searching for something a bit further away from the touristy streets. These places tend to have sub par overpriced food that caters to tourists.  I guarantee the food will be worth the walk if you try and explore. Try to have local food or aim to get off the beaten path.

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