You can plan a trip with some expectations that money will not be spend more than needed. Plans are done to stay at very cheap hotels, campings and even at the wild if needed, which is the cheapest solution. Plans are done also how to eat, the cost for the fuel and all. That was my case as I had no intention of spending a lot of money, furthermore because I didn’t knew how long the journey would take. Nevertheless, there are always some surprise costs that you should try to avoid. I tried to avoid them, but it seems that I didn’t avoid hard enough. This is why I know now that I could have saved some serious money, and also this is the reason why I’m writing this text for you.
Here goes some advices, for don’ts that you should and can avoid, if you really are into save some money.
When looking for a place to sleep, do it in time, quite soon on the day. You will not be very tired yet, and you will not have the pressure of the arrival of the night and your mind will be much more clear to take decisions.
To the end of my journey I would start thinking were to stay as soon as 14h, and at 16h I was at the place preparing my self to the night, shop, refuel, eat and some sightseeing. Before, I would extend the ride until twilight, and that leaded me to some very bad decisions. Even more if you are in possession of a Visa card. There were some days, almost dark and even with some rain, tired of driving all day, I would choose the first hotel to stay, just because I needed some rest and there were no time to look for another place to spend the night. That made me take some decision I later regretted, because the chosen hotels were very expensive, and the bill came later in the Visa account. If I did take some time, I could consider much cheaper hotels, or even look for a camping, and why not, sleep in the wild. If you go farther South and farther away of big cities, safer it will be to sleep in the wild. I never did, thought, because I’m a stupid traveller, but next time I will, I’m sure.
With food you can also be careful and save some money. Buy your own food at the local shops, make some sandwiches or even cook it your self. Of course be careful with what you eat when you are preparing meals yourself (more on that later). If you don’t want or can’t cook, and if you are in a real need of a hot meal, than stop by a local, no tourist, restaurant and eat a good meal. You will be surprised with the prices and quality of some of the food you can find. You cannot forget that everybody likes good food and that local people and their families live there and like also to eat properly. It’s easier to find expensive and bad quality food at tourist driven restaurants. The best meals I had during those days were at unsuspected, kind of side of the road restaurants.
Visa cards are both, the best and the worst friend of a traveller.
It can save you from some bad situations, but it can also make you spent unnecessary money. Use it as few times as you can because each time you use it you will debited international, exchange and other taxes and stuff. Also it’s easer to spend money when you cannot see it in your hand, but this is not new for anybody, I believe. Withdraw reasonable amounts of money from ATM machines, that you can find all over the place in this days. Almost all villages of some size will have at least one. Try to pay your bills with that money. Do not withdraw much money each time, though, because you don’t want to be robbed. You will have to find a compromise.
To be continued…here