Duty-free shops at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. Taken by Wikimedia Commons user David Shay.
Rarely is a holiday considered a way to save money; rather, it is a binged concentration of money-spending, done to relieve accumulated stress, often times. But there are some instances where certain aspects of the trip, if not the trip itself, can relieve financial burden, even though they may seem petty.
1. Satisfy your indulgences abroad
Many of my friends, on the week prior to any large vacation they may take, go out to cut their hair, get a manicure and pedicure, etc. Defending their actions are excuses, like they want to only relax while away, and they want to get in that holiday mood. But, many times, a mani or pedi abroad can be much cheaper than your place back home (as long as you don’t get them done at the airport). Check out cost-of-living charts of your destination country and compare it to home; it may be worth taking a few hours of your trip to get many of these services done abroad.
2. Shop for things abroad
Similar to getting several hygienic services accomplished while on vacation, there are certain items may be worth picking up while away. Again, consult the cost-of-living index for your intended destination, and compare some costs to home. Some things may be worth schlepping back home for the savings. For example, I smoke (don’t remind my mother). I also live in New York City. Packs of cigarettes here are about $13 USD per. I used to travel often to Bogota, Colombia, where cartons (10 packs) of cigarettes were only $17 USD! No further explanation needed. Oh, and don’t forget duty-free shops, where many expensive liquors, perfumes, handbags, and other things may be found sans tax.
3. Rent out your home
Using a site like Airbnb.com, a traveler can list their home for a temporary sublet while they are away. This is a great way to recoup much of the travel expenses, and if you list your house or apartment high enough (within reason), it may even net you some cash after all the travel expenses are over. Let’s say I wanted to take a month-long trip to Indonesia, I might list my New York City apartment for something like $700 per week, since the market is such here, and if someone were to book the entire month, I could actually have money left over, since the cost of the ticket is the only major expense of that trip.
4. Perform expensive operations and services overseas
Some countries may offer quality medical services at a cheaper rate than your home country. A root canal may cost over $1000 USD per tooth in New York City or London, but only about $100 in India, at one of their most reputable practices. Another example would be plastic surgery – in Egypt, the same operation could cost up to 75% less than in the U.K.
5. Write about it!
Similar to what I am doing here on this website, if you travel, why not write about it? Travel often enough and perhaps you can start your own travel blog, or skip the hassle and write about particular aspects of your trip and submit them as a guest writer to travel sites such as the Matador Network. Sites like this typically pay anywhere between $10 and $60 USD for each other accepted by them for publishing. Sign up for a few sites and write a few articles for each per each trip, and you could have enough to almost pay for your vacation!