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A busker plays his guitar on Quay Street in Galway

Spend Less, Travel More: 9 Money-Saving Travel Tips

Traveling on a budget is easier than you think. These nine money-saving tips will help you spend less every step of the way, so you can relax and enjoy that trip you’ve been dreaming of.

by Kevin McGraw

When you start planning a trip, you start thinking about how you’re gonna pay for it. And when you start thinking about how you’re gonna pay for it, you start sweating. Please, there’s no need for that—you’ll ruin your shirt.

The truth is, paying for travel doesn’t have to be stressful. At EF Ultimate Break, stress-free travel is kind of our thing, so we’ve got nine money tips and tricks to consider when you’re planning your next big adventure.

1. Choose a trip with everything included

Plan a trip on your own and you’ll likely run into unexpected costs along the way. Avoid surprises of the financial variety and let us take care of all the planning. When you book an EF Ultimate Break trip, accommodations, guided tours, metro passes, and so much more is taken care of. And when it’s time to travel, all you’ll need is some spending cash, also known as gelato money.

2. Pay over time

Travel’s a big purchase, and you might not have the funds ready to go. No biggie. Book an EF Ultimate Break trip and you can pay for it over time—no interest, no fees, no catch. Just put $150 down, then pay little by little until you set sail. Breaking up the cost of travel into small, manageable payments will help you stick to your budget.

And if your dream trip leaves next month, you can go on that trip and continue paying when you’re back when you sign up using our financing partner, Affirm. With Affirm, you can pay over 6, 12, or 18 months—no matter when your trip leaves.

A group of women holding up wine glasses as they overlook a cliffside in Greece.

3. Book your trip early

The earlier you book your trip, the less you’ll pay. That’s because trip prices increase the closer we get to departure dates. If you’re planning a trip for next year, get ahead and book now. Plus, the longer you have until your trip, the less you have to pay per month, the more money you can keep in your pocket—or bank account (does anyone carry cash anymore?).

4. Travel with friends

Traveling with friends can save you all kinds of money. You can split hotel room costs, taxi fares, and dinner bills. Get some friends to come along on your EF Ultimate Break trip, and everybody could save up to $200—or you could earn your spot for free. Doesn’t get much better than that.

5. Look (like, really look) at your spending habits

If travel is truly something you want to experience, it’s time to start prioritizing it. One of the biggest culprits when it comes to wasting money? Unused gym memberships. If that’s you, ditch it and start putting aside money for your dream trip. Another culprit? Sweaters for your cat in every color. Okay, we made that one up, but you get the point, right? Take a closer look at your expenses, and do your best to cut out all unnecessary spending. It’ll be worth it when you’re kicking back on a Greek island beach or pub-hopping in Ireland.

Italian food

6. Eat where the locals eat

Seriously, follow the locals. Not only will they lead you to the most authentic eats, but it may even cost you less. Street food—whether it’s noodles in Thailand, crepes in France, sausages in Germany, or gyros in Greece—is a great, not to mention delicious, way to get to know a country. And if you don’t feel like stalking the locals, just ask your EF Ultimate Break Tour Director. They’re experts when it comes to, well, everything.

7. Consider a credit card without foreign transaction fees

If you’re in the market for a new credit card, consider one with no foreign transaction fees. That way, you can use it freely while you travel without those pesky fees that really add up. Keep in mind, credit cards won’t be accepted everywhere, so cold hard cash from an ATM should always be your backup plan.

Kilwan's Lane in Galway, Ireland

8. Document more, buy less

The best ways to remember a trip? Take photos, videos, or even keep a daily journal. A few souvenirs can be great, especially when it means you’re supporting local economies, but do you really need an overpriced snow globe from the Vatican? Years down the road, nothing will transport you back to your travels like a video of you sword fighting with a baguette in front of the Eiffel Tower.

9. Protect your money

This one might be obvious, but it’s oh-so important. Pickpocketing is real, especially around major landmarks in big cities. Never carry all of your cash with you and leave valuables back at the hotel. If you’re carrying a bag, hold it in front of your body. As long as you keep your guard up and stay aware of your surroundings, you’ll be just fine.

Well, that’s enough money talk for now. Hungry for more? You can read about our payment plans, check out our latest trip deals, or chat with a Trip Expert about anything and everything related to deals, trips, and more.

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A man and woman smiling at each other in front of white buildings on a cliff by the ocean.

by Kevin McGraw

Kevin is a copywriter at EF Ultimate Break. He loves drinking chocolate milk, looking at photos of his parents’ dog, and, for some reason, running for hours at a time. His favorite place in the world is Mürren, Switzerland.

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