There is a wealth of advice about saving for the trip itself, so let’s talk about saving money once you’re there. This week’s topic: Avoiding the Trap.
It’s a (tourist) trap!!!
With all the beauty in the nooks and crannies of the world, onslaughts of conniving gimmicks accompany them. Be careful: they were meant to trick you. Popular destinations have long been in the tourism game, and the sad reality is that they will often cater their offerings toward a naive worldwide demand. As a traveler, you should strive to experience a place for its heart and culture, not for the show it puts on to satisfy our false expectations.
Keep in mind: there’s no wrong way to travel, but there is always a way to save money, which isn’t easy. So we’ll refer to our friend Admiral Ackbar for some basic guidance:
-If a bottle of wine by [insert famous landmark here] costs 19x more than an eerily similar bottle at the sketchy shop down the road…
-If there is more English than the local language on signs…
-If you can get the same deal from the carnie at Six Flags…
-If souvenirs are identical to the last shop you were in…
-If a tour/museum is based entirely off a stereotype (i.e. the Leprechaun Tour of Dublin)…
You don’t go to Rome because some 34 year-old man will suit up as a Gladiator and pose in your picture for a hefty price. If you’re going to pay that much to see a grown man play dress-up, just order Gladiator on VHS for $0.74. You can take a picture of literally any brick in Rome and it will be totally cool and totally free.
Pictured: A brick in Rome. I told you so.
Avoiding the Trap
There are those traps we willingly walk into, and that’s okay. Sometimes, the only way to get a selfie with a cooperative fish in Australia is to fork out some cash. Freakin’ pretentious fish.
This, of course, is a subjective matter of worth to each person. Our bucket lists may consist of those boxes we can only check by doing something campy. In these instances, use your best judgement and don’t get scammed.
The best way to do this? Talk to a local. This simple step is key to the authentic and inexpensive experience you traveled for. Talk to many, if you can, and ask them about their favorite places to eat, hang out, or generally have fun. It might lead you down a winding passageway, away from the crowds and to a hole-in-the-wall’s hole in the wall, but you can rest assured: you’re walking away from the trap.
Do you have any tips/tricks to save money while you’re traveling? Share your favorites with us, and we might feature them in an upcoming post! Stay tuned to Travel Stuff for our next money-saving topic: Hang on to your stuff.