“Local food is always cheaper than Americanized food,” Yeager said.
Yeager also saves money by bringing along a portable water purification system, which is built into a water bottle she carries wherever she goes.
“I can use tap water instead of having to buy bottled water,” she said. “This applies to when I travel in Central and South America and Asia, and it saves me a ton of money. If you’re spending $6 a day on bottled water, it can add up. And if I’m carrying water, I’m not buying soda or other drinks. To me it’s thinking about all the little expenses that can add up.’’
Longer stays can be more of a value than shorter stays and don’t be afraid to learn the native language since it could actually save you money, Yeager said.
“If you go to South America for 10 days, you can enroll in a language class for two hours a day, and it usually includes a stay in a family’s home for about $15 a day, including breakfast and dinner, laundry service and a place to sleep,’’ she said. “And the classes include tours of the local area.
“You’re learning the language and you’re meeting new people,” she said. “It’s the best deal out there.”
If you’re willing to get up early, local museums and cultural sites often have free morning hours allowing you to pocket the normal price of admission.
“This is a vacation for most people, so you want to have the maximum amount of fun without being miserly,” she said. “You can, in Europe, buy half-price theater tickets on the day of the shows. So if you’re willing to run the risk, you can get a lot of last-minute deals.
“I like to get a free city map and just walk around, which is a great way to save money and is a lot of fun,” she added.