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10 Tips to Avoid Buying Unnecessary Things when Traveling

Keep travel costs low by not buying what you don’t need.

Vacations are great but they have a way of making your money disappear fast if you’re not careful.

We’re not talking about the major expenses such as airfare and accommodation costs but those seemingly little harmless expenses such as pricey souvenirs, café visits, costly snacks etc.

These are unnecessary expenses that can add up fast and leave your bank account in a sorry state after the vacation is over.

Here are 10 tips to help you avoid buying unnecessary things when traveling. Practice them and you’ll still have a happy wallet once the vacation is over.

  • Don’t Buy Bottled Water at the Airport

Let’s start at the airport where your vacation actually begins. Bottled water is mighty expensive when purchased at the airport. The price for a single bottle can sometimes be as much as you’d pay for a full case at a grocery store.

The clever airport entrepreneurs know that you can’t pass through security with bottled water and you’ll need water before you get on the plane, especially if you’re traveling with kids.

Carry along a reusable water bottle and fill it up at the drinking fountain before you board the plane. You’ll not only have a full bottle of water available during your trip but you will save some money too.

  • Keep off Airport Souvenir Shops

This is another unnecessary expense trap to avoid while traveling. Souvenirs bought at the airport cost much more than at a shop within the town or city. The selection of available souvenirs at the airport is pretty limited too.

Local artisans found in shops away from the airport have a wider selection selling at a cheaper price. Souvenirs are great but save your wallet some agony and get a better variety when you buy them in the city or town shops.

  • An Apartment is Better and Cheaper Than Two Hotel Rooms

If you’re traveling in a group or as a family, you may find it quite expensive to get two or more adjoining rooms in a hotel. The better and cheaper option is to rent a furnished apartment or condo. Most places have short-term vacation homes such as Airbnb that are way cheaper than hotels.

  • Book a Room With a Kitchen Area or at Least a Microwave and Refrigerator

I’m not telling you to cook while on vacation but you could at least make breakfast in your room and save on what you’d have spent at the restaurant.

If you love having your regular cup of coffee while relaxing at the deck, then be ready to part with a significant amount of cash every time you ask for room service. Room service was designed to be luxuriously pricey, whatever that means.

Why not eat-in for breakfast and lunch and then if you feel like splurging buy a fancy dinner. You can do it in a room with a microwave and refrigerator. You can even reheat leftovers and avoid paying more for meals.

  • Carry Personal Items to Avoid the I’ll-Buy-It-There Syndrome

Personal items such as toiletries, sunscreens and such can be an unnecessary expense when you leave your supply at home and buy them while traveling. Don’t be a victim of “I’ll-buy-it-there” syndrome and carry your light accessories along. They are usually less expensive at home than at your destination.

  • Carry Snacks During Outings With Kids

If you go out to explore the new city, your kids will ask for snacks every now and then. Carry along some granola bars and water to avoid unnecessary expenses during the day outing. You can always treat your kids to a fine meal later.

  • Carry Coffee. It’s More Expensive on the Road

Carry along an AeroPress or on-the-go French Press coffee pack if you love drinking coffee regularly. Frequent visits to the restaurant for a refill can be costly.  If you can get a bag of coffee beans from your local specialty roaster and grind them at home before you leave, you’ll be able to save a good amount of money.

  • Foot Tours are Cheaper Than Guided Bus Tours

Unless you’re in a completely foreign part of the world where the potential to get lost is high, explore the city or town on foot rather than pay for expensive bus tours. Some cities even have low cost guided walking tours.

  • Exploit the Available Free Wi-Fi

Don’t pay for internet-on-the-go when free Wi-Fi is available in most cafes, hotel rooms, and libraries. Just find one of these hotspots and enjoy free Wi-Fi. Free internet connection can be extremely useful if you need to apply for quick payday loan online to handle an emergency financial issue.

  • Ask for Meal Specials in Restaurants

Lunch and dinner expenses can be a financial drain while traveling. Always go for lunch or dinner specials which provide huge discounts. Don’t be afraid to ask the hotel staff if you don’t see the day’s special in their menu.


The tips discussed above can help you save money while traveling but the most important thing is to be smart when planning for your vacation.

Do you have more tips or comments about this topic? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below.


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