It’s easy to believe that traveling is the best way to spend your money, but it’s not always as glamorous as it seems. Sure, you may want to spend hours and hours planning out your itinerary and budget, but there are ways to save money while traveling that will help you stay on track with your financial goals for the year without sacrificing any of the fun. From bringing your own water bottle to packing snacks for the plane ride, here are some tips on how to save money while traveling.

1. Pack your own snacks

It may seem crazy to pack your own snacks, but it will save you money in the long run. It can be very expensive to purchase pre-made or overpriced food while traveling, especially if you are last-minute shopping at an airport. If you are flying make sure you are actually allowed to bring in those snacks with yourself so it doesn’t cause an issue when boarding the flight. If you are particularly fond of a spice that you are not sure is sold abroad, bring what you can with you, so you can season your own food when preparing meals!

2. Use travel rewards cards

To avoid paying the expensive fees to rent a car, try using an online travel rewards card instead. These cards allow you to accumulate points for each purchase that you make and turn them into miles to use towards your next flight or hotel stay. You can also take advantage of their various discounts and special offers to save even more money when booking travel.

3. Take advantage of rewards programs

Just like a travel rewards card can help you earn points for your next trip, many credit cards also provide their own reward programs when using the card. For those looking to travel on a budget, AMEX travel will let you accumulate points or miles on every purchase that you make with the card and once you reach a certain number of points, you can redeem them for either gift cards or credits towards your next flight.

4. Bring your own water bottle

If you’re planning on spending the day out and about sightseeing, chances are good that you’ll be doing a lot of walking and sweating, which means you’ll need to stay hydrated. Instead of spending a small fortune on bottled water, bring your own reusable water bottle and fill it up before you leave the hotel.

5. Look for last-minute deals

In order to save even more money when traveling, always check into last-minute deals that are offered by hotels or travel sites. These may not always be the most luxurious accommodations ever, but they’re one of the best ways to save money when traveling.

6. Pack light

You don’t need to spend a fortune on heavy luggage and other travel accessories when you can achieve the same goal by simply packing lightly. While it may seem like a great idea to bring everything and the kitchen sink, chances are good that you’ll be stuck hauling it around everywhere you go.

7. Invest in a power strip

Have more than one electronic device to keep charged during your trip? Bring along a power strip instead of several different wall plugs and chargers and watch how much money you’ll save.

8. Use price comparison apps

There are several great apps available that allow you to compare prices between hotels in the same area. So if you’re not attached to a particular hotel, use an app to see which one has the best price before booking your room for the night. You can also use this type of app to compare the prices of meals and activities before you leave for your trip.

9. Take advantage of free tours

Many cities and towns offer free walking tours that allow you to visit several popular sites and attractions for absolutely no price at all. These tours are one of the best ways to learn about a town’s history, architecture and culture and can help you save hundreds of dollars on admission fees.

10. Don’t drink pricey coffee drinks

If you aren’t careful, your caffeine fix could quickly become costly when traveling. Instead of dropping cash on expensive coffee at cafes, bring along a travel-sized container to use at the hotel or ask for a mug of hot water at the restaurant so you can make your own.

11. Take advantage of free events

If you aren’t sure about the costs associated with some events, check online for information on everything from concerts and shows to festivals and fundraisers that are completely free to attend. Sure, they may not be as extravagant as the ones that require an admission fee, but they can help you have a good time while saving hundreds of dollars on travel expenses.

Traveling can be expensive. From pricey coffee drinks to heavy luggage fees, you’ll likely spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your trip if you aren’t careful. Luckily for you, there are plenty of ways that you can save money while traveling without sacrificing any fun in the process. With these tips and tricks at your disposal, saving money when traveling will become easier than ever before!

Published on Holr Magazine