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How to Save Money before and during Travel

Updated on August 5, 2015

Cash is King

This month, we are bound for Japan which is run on cash, according to websites and locals. Because of this, I intend to save as much cash as I can in order to enjoy more amenities when I get there. This is the same for any other country you intend to visit - cash is always invaluable for transactions. Most especially in a country where there is language barrier, having and paying in cash will give you peace of mind that you can just pay for what you bought and then go spend the rest of your vacation.

Tip 1 : Know the Weather

Knowing the weather before you get to the country will save you money because you will not be surprised with the rise or drops in temperatures. This means not having to buy an umbrella, summer hat, fan, towel, extra clothes, warmers and so on. Clothes may be cheap in some countries but not all. For other accessories, bring your own. Not only will you bring something you are comfortable with, you will accessorize uniquely because you are a tourist after all.

Do you know where else you can save just by knowing the weather? Medicine. If you have been in a tropical country and then all of a sudden you travel to a place where it snows, chances are, you will get a cold or a headache. You do not want simple illnesses to ruin your vacation so you buy medication. But since you are in a different country, medicine you are used to are most likely unavailable and are probably more expensive. So, bring small amounts of emergency medicine with you to combat colds, nausea, fever, LBM etc.

Tip 2 : Borrow Stuff

There are important items you need to bring to a trip to keep you entertained and equipment to take memories. Because I am an avid reader, I wanted to take a book to keep be busy. Unfortunately, I have read all the interesting ones and the others are too bulky to bring. Thanks to my friend who wanted to get rid of most of her books, I borrowed a very good book for the trip. We saved around Php400 for this. Because we sometimes want to take a couple shot with a good framing in the background, we know we have to have a selfie stick. Many of my friends have it and I borrowed one. This saved us Php300.

One of the most important things were were able to borrow for our trip to Japan is the Suica Card. This functions like the Octopus Card in Hong Kong. The Suica Card is a pre-paid card that will need a 500 yen deposit to obtain per card. Because I have a friend who has been to Japan recently, I borrowed hers and her friend's which saved us 1,000 yen or about Php400! If you are traveling to a country where a prepaid card like this is needed, borrow one and make sure that the deposit is still intact when you return it to the owner.

In this photo are the items we borrowed for our Japan trip. A selfie stick, a book (to kill time in the plane) and most importantly, the Suica Card.
In this photo are the items we borrowed for our Japan trip. A selfie stick, a book (to kill time in the plane) and most importantly, the Suica Card.

Tip 3 : Reuse Clothes and Items

This tip is linked to Tip 1 and is more useful if you will go to a hotter country. Because we are set to visit Japan during summertime, I took the chance to reuse my pants into shorts (finished product photographed above) instead of buying a pair which will cost about Php500 to 1,000.

Aside from this, I woke up the stuff I usually do not use to travel with me like my big backpack and my Vans. If I bought new ones, it will cost me Php 5,000 to 8,000 pesos.

I cleaned up my North Face Mainframe instead of buying a new carry-on bag.
I cleaned up my North Face Mainframe instead of buying a new carry-on bag.
Because I read that I will do lots of walking in Japan, I cleaned my Vans and decided to use it instead of buying a new pair of sneaks.
Because I read that I will do lots of walking in Japan, I cleaned my Vans and decided to use it instead of buying a new pair of sneaks.

Tip 4 : Weigh your Baggage before you Leave

This a no brainer for travel junkies but do not forget to weigh your baggage before you leave your country and the country where you are taking your vacation. This will help you avoid paying for excess baggage. As per experience, dirty clothes will weigh heavier than clean ones. We haven't done the science but we think it is the sweat and the dirt accumulation. If you intend to bring less and buy more clothes and souvenirs in the host country, take that into account.

Tip 5 : Take Advantage of All-Day Passes

As a tourist, you will most likely spend most of the day walking and traveling around the city. All-day passes are worth your money because you do not know the usual routes, chances are you might need to ride mass transportation more than once and even more when you are lost. Getting lost is part of the adventure and you do not want your pocket money budget being ruined because of misreading a map. All day passes are also tailored specifically for tourists which means that through these routes, you will save time sight seeing because the major ones are in this route already.

These are the two passes we used when we visited Tokyo and Kyoto. The Tokunai Pass (not our own photo) which allows easy access to major sights in Tokyo and the Kyoto One-day Bus Pass which is very helpful in accessing all major temples.
These are the two passes we used when we visited Tokyo and Kyoto. The Tokunai Pass (not our own photo) which allows easy access to major sights in Tokyo and the Kyoto One-day Bus Pass which is very helpful in accessing all major temples.

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