12 Mistakes That Can Turn Any Vacation Into an Experience of Squandering and Waste
Vacations can easily empty a traveler’s wallet. Everyone knows that in order to save money for a plane ticket, it’s better to buy it several months prior to your trip, and the trip itself shouldn’t take place in the hot season. However, the profits that we make by planning ahead can be undermined by situations that can significantly drain our vacation savings.
We at Bright Side learned about travelers’ most unfortunate mistakes and found life hacks that can help you avoid unnecessary spending.
Mistake #1: Not informing your bank about the trip
Most tourists don’t take into account that they need to inform their bank about their upcoming trip. This is a big mistake, because your bank might block your card after flagging a sudden payment abroad as a fraud.
In order not to spoil your vacation, tell the bank that serves you in advance that you are going abroad. You can sometimes do this in the chat function of the bank’s app or by calling into the bank’s call center.
Mistake #2: Not clarifying booking details
If you see a cheap hotel room, make sure that the price you see is the total. Sometimes the full cost might also include taxes, internet fees, and a service fee. In some apartments or cottages in Finland, tourists must either bring their own towels and bed linens or rent them from the owners for a fee. Also, there might be a condition that says guests should clean the room themselves before leaving or pay an additional fee for this service.
In order to avoid overpaying, make sure to clarify with the administrator about whether you’ll have any additional expenses during your stay in their hotel.
Mistake #3: Not learning about the country’s bans and rules
Most financial issues abroad are due to the fact that tourists don’t read the laws and don’t learn about the restrictions that apply to the particular country they are visiting. For example, in Venice, it’s forbidden to lie down on benches or eat and drink in certain places. You can only do it in special zones. Also, you’ll be fined in Sri Lanka’s airport if you try to take mangoes and pineapples in your carry-on luggage with you.
In order to not get into an unpleasant situation, do your research. You can find information on special travelers forums or on the site of the country’s Foreign Ministry before your trip.
Mistake #4: Paying for water in French restaurants
The right to free drinking water is written into law in France. If you decide to have a snack, but don’t want to spend money on drinks, tell the waiter the following magic phrase: “Сarafe d’eau, s’il vous plaît.”
An important note: You should say this phrase in French. If you approach the waiter with this phrase in English, they’ll bring you a bottle of mineral water that you’ll have to pay for (checked by the Bright Side editorial personally).
Mistake #5: Overpaying for water in Dubai restaurants
It’s not just in France where this trick with water exists. When ordering water in restaurants in Dubai, make sure to inform the waiter of which water you want, local or imported. If you don’t do this, they’ll bring you a glass bottle of expensive Evian water, instead of the cheaper Masafi.
If you don’t want to pay for water at all — according to a new law, hotels and restaurants must offer their visitors free tap water.
Mistake #6: Forgetting about the tourist tax in Montenegro
A vacationer must register with the tourist organization or at the police station in the place they’re staying within 24 hours of entering the country. All the paperwork is the responsibility of the travel agency whose services you are using. If you are an independent traveler, the owners of the apartment you booked might forget to register you. In this case, you’ll be given a penalty at the airport.
In order to register, ask the owner of the booked apartment to write down their name and their address on a piece of paper, and then bring this information and your passport to the nearest police station.
Mistake #7: Overpaying for a cruise on the Danube River
A river cruise on the Danube is the perfect opportunity to see the beautiful views of Budapest. But you don’t necessarily need to pay $15 for it, because there are ferries in the capital of Hungary. The ferry is considered public transportation for the city, so you can get on it using a regular travel card. An adult ticket will cost you only $3. Moreover, if you have a reusable travel card, the trip will be free.
Mistake #8: Not renting a car in the Canary Islands
The Canary Islands are a paradise for those who like to rent cars. Despite the fact that the public transport system is well-developed, experienced tourists still prefer to drive around the island by themselves. For example, the cheapest car the Auto Reisen car hire agency offers, will cost you less than $100 for a week. It could be even cheaper if you are traveling with someone.
It’s better to book the car in advance, via the internet, because you can save money this way. Moreover, you’ll have a better chance of choosing a good option, instead of having to select a car out of those that are left in the auto park.
Mistake #9: Not visiting museums during “happy hour”
You can get into most museums either with a big discount or even for free if you look for the information about their “happy hour” on their official sites. For example, the Musée du Louvre has free admission for people under 26 on Fridays and for everyone on the first Saturday of each month, as well as on the 14th of July.
Mistake #10: Not having lunch at buffets
Buffets are cafes that serve dishes in public areas, while visitors pay a fixed fee and eat as much as they want. For example, one of the buffets in Barcelona offers this service for only €11.50 ($13.30) for one adult. The menu includes dessert, pasta, pizza, meats, and homemade soups.
For those who want to try everything at once, a lunch at a buffet is the perfect budget option. Don’t overlook it.
Mistake #11: Visiting popular hot baths in Budapest
Many tourists go to Budapest to enjoy the thermal hot springs. But the price of visiting these popular baths is too high. A ticket to Szechenyi Spa Baths costs $18.50, while a ticket to the Gellert Spa Bath starts around $21.
In order to not spend too much money and avoid crowds of tourists, choose the baths that are visited by the locals. The composition of the water in these baths is the same. For example, a ticket to Dandar Thermal baths will cost you about $6.
Mistake #12: Buying water in stores in Thailand
It’s a well-known fact that tap water in Thailand is not suitable for drinking. Thrifty tourists who don’t want to overpay for water follow the example of the locals and buy water from special machines. You can get 1.5 liters (0.4 gallons) of good drinking water for $0.03. You will never see these prices in supermarkets. 6, 1.5-liter-bottles (2.35 gallons total) will cost you $1.75. 30¢ for 0.4 gallons or 3¢ for the same amount? It seems that the choice is obvious.
Do you try to save money while on vacation? Please share your travel hacks with us.