There are certain cities and countries that are so iconic, so glamorous, that living and visiting costs an arm and a leg. But don’t worry, there are always hacks to make your money go further!
Singapore was the setting for the film Crazy, Rich Asians, which should tell you everything you need to know about this little country. Between Marina Bay and Vivo City, you can expect to pay $20 for burgers and have an expensive cab ride to get to the burger. Nice hotels run about $300 a night, especially if you want to be near the action. Save money by looking for hostels with private rooms and head to local markets for food. Remember that no matter where you go in Asia, street food is always authentic and affordable!
New York City
New York City is the city that never sleeps. It’s also the city that will nickel and dime you for everything. Prepare yourself to spend a few hundred dollars per night on a hotel or Airbnb. And tipping is practically mandatory. You can save yourself money by staying in Jersey City or Yonkers and taking the train into the city for the day. While it’s fun to splurge on a fancy dinner, stick to bodegas and local cafes for breakfast and lunch. The Nomad might charge you $25 for a sandwich, but you can get a bacon, egg, and cheese for $3 at your local bodega.
In the city of love the costs can break your heart. The most expensive thing there is lodging. Even little apartments can cost $100 a night. But if you choose a place near public transportation, you can save a lot on cab fare and food. The subway is the best and cheapest way to get around and look for 1 euro coffee and croissant specials at local cafes. Museum tickets will also take a bite out of your budget, so it’s a good idea to cook at home. Most places in Paris have a little kitchen, so you can whip up a quick sandwich or bowl of pasta. Use the money you save for an extra tour of the Eiffel Tower or a boat cruise on the Seine!
If you come from a big city like New York or Paris, London prices will be familiar to you. However, if you’re from a smaller city or town, London can get expensive. For cheaper lodging, try to find a place toward the outskirts of the city. Staying in places like Knightbridge means you’ll be paying up to $500 per night. Yes, you’re close to shopping and museums, but you won’t have any money to buy anything after paying for the hotel! To save on food, you can buy cheap sandwiches at Marks & Spencers or head to a local pub for lunch specials.
Switzerland is one of the priciest countries to visit in Europe. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise. This country is known for its elegance, its hotel industry, and expensive, handmade watches. You can save on the plane ticket by flying into Paris and then taking the train into Switzerland. When you’re there, do low-cost or free activities such as hiking or just walking around the cities. The country is so beautiful and the Alps are always in the background. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to eat inside or hang out in a museum. Grocery prices are higher than most places in Europe, but it’s still more affordable to cook in your Airbnb or hotel room than eat out at a restaurant.
One final hack for all these places is to book a longer stay. You’ll often find places with monthly discounts, so a 30-day stay can actually be cheaper than a 1-week stay. This way of traveling also gives you the opportunity to cook-in more. Plus, you’ll be in less of a hurry to see all the “must-see” spots. You might find that strolling past the Eiffel Tower or seeing it from your balcony is enough for you.