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The following is a guest post. Enjoy!
Regardless of where you like to take your vacations or the kind of activities that you like to take part in while away, it is fair to say that most people have something in common when booking their holiday – a want to save some money. Listed below are some great tips to help you save some money on your next holiday:
Remembering just a few simple phrases can easily help you save some money. You may be able to negotiate a taxi fare, a price in a shop, or even the room rate at a hotel. At the very least, knowing a few phrases will probably curry some favour with the locals and help you to get fantastic service when dining out or using facilities.
There are lots of fantastic mobile phone applications and websites available that can help with languages when abroad. For example, Bussu.com offers seven different language applications that allow you to learn some of the most common European languages (to a basic standard) completely free and in the minimal amount of time possible.
When you are in a strange place, it can be difficult to locate an eatery that is suited to what you want to eat at that time. But, there are lots of fantastic mobile phone applications that can help with this. ‘Urbanspoon‘ is the main one that springs to mind, as it allows you to choose your eatery by price, location, and even food type, so you can be sure to find something that is suitable for your requirements before you even head out to the streets to locate a place.
If your home is the United Kingdom and you are looking for a fantastic way to work out how much something costs in Sterling while on vacation out of the UK, then why not download the ‘currencyapp,’ which will allow you to see, at a glance, how much something works out from over 100 different currencies back in to your home currency. You do not need internet access, once downloaded, to use this application, so it is a fantastic way to check how much you are going to be spending even while away from an internet connection.
If you are looking for a way to keep track of the money that you have spent while abroad, then why not consider downloading ‘Expensify‘ or one of the other similar applications available on the market at present. This will allow you to document the items that on which you have been spending, like flights, hotels, and eating out and their cost. It is a fantastic way to see, at a glance, how much you have currently spent and therefore work out how much remaining from your budget you have.
While you are away, you may want to keep in touch with people back home. One such way to do this is to use a web based voice service, such as Skype. This allows you to talk to people, anywhere in the world, free of charge, via webcam and microphone. This is a fantastic way to check in with people and you can even add some credit to your account that allows you to send text messages and call mobile phones and landlines rather than computers for a very reasonable fee.
There are literally thousands of applications available on mobile phones that will allow you to budget your money, find locations to visit on holiday, and do numerous other things that will help you stay organized and hopefully, save a fortune while on holiday!
How about you all? What mobile phone apps do you currently use that help streamline/simplify your traveling or even save you money? Did you have to pay for these, or were they free?
Share your experiences by commenting below!
Jacob’s Thoughts – Listed below are my random thoughts as I was reading this article.
- Interesting post here! Thanks for sharing, as I’m always interested to find out about new technological tools that people can use to save money and streamline their finances!
- Personally, I don’t yet have an Apple iPhone or other type of smart phone, so I’m not able to access all of these sophisticated apps. But, they sound like they could be quite useful when a person is on the road.
- One potential problem I do see is that when people are traveling, they often have limited access to Internet hotspots or cell phone/3G service in general. So, there may be a case for people making sure they don’t rely too heavily on the apps from their smartphones while on vacation.
- @ Knowing the local language helping you to save money on vacations –
- It’s definitely also been my experience that if you know at least a little bit (or try to speak a little bit) of the local language of the country/place you’re visiting, you’ll be shown much more respect by the people you’re paying to buy things or to provide you with a particular service.
- This is especially true since the price of so many services and goods are indeed quite negotiable.
- And, if you at least attempt to speak some of the local language it shows the person that you’re trading with that you respect them and their culture. And, in my experience, this almost always is helpful in making sure you don’t get charged too much.
- After all, would you not feel the same way if you were in their shoes?
- @ Finding affordable restaurants while traveling abroad –
- So far, when I’ve traveled on vacations, I generally use hard copy versions of travel guidebooks to find appropriately-priced restaurant options.
- However, I could imagine that referencing a smartphone app would provide slightly more up-to-date information about the local flavor.
- @ How I handle calculating the approximate cost of items using currency conversions –
- Typically, when I am traveling abroad, I don’t worry about my spending down to minute penny amounts.
- Instead, what I do is develop a general easy-to-remember mental formula for equating the price of items in the foreign country to my home currency (US Dollars) by dropping some of the zeros from the exchange rate.
- For example, the last foreign country my family and I visited was Chile in January 2011. Currently, the exchange rate between the Chilean Peso and the US Dollar is ~500 Chilean Pesos = 1 US Dollar.
- So, if a bottle of Chilean red wine was 3,500 Chilean Pesos (a fairly common amount for a moderate bottle of wine), I would drop the zeros, and divide 35 by 5 to find out that the bottle of wine was about $7 US Dollars. Pretty easy, right?!
- @ Question about spending tracking apps –
- Unfortunately, I’m not very familiar with the spending tracking smartphone apps available on the market today.
- As such, I actually had a question for the readers out there – do these spending tracking apps hook directly up to your bank account or credit card transaction reports and update automatically? I would imagine that would streamline things a lot!
***Photo courtesy of http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2731/4416977499_4a9f255bb7.jpg