When traveling independently you will almost always do better in terms of price and quality if you veer away from the traditional places to eat and shops that the guide books mention. Going off the beaten track can mean you pick up a real bargain.
1. Restaurants
Follow the locals; if you head for a tourist orientated restaurant or shop you will find that the prices are substantially higher and often the food is not of the same quality.
Another good tip is to visit the local market where the local’s shop. Not only will you get fresh products at good prices but you will also enjoy the experience of mixing with the locals. Ask those around you where to go, after all, it is the locals that are best placed to tell you where to go for a good deal!
A good way of working out whether a restaurant is geared towards tourists or locals is to see when it is at its busiest. Tourists tend to eat a lot earlier than the locals in most foreign countries. Any restaurant that is empty until around 9 pm and then fills up is probably frequented by locals.
2. Car Rental
When it comes to rental cars the costs can vary widely and it really pays to shop around.
Sometimes you will be offered good deals as part of your hotel stay or airfare, consider these as combination deals will also be a lot cheaper than you could get on your own. Booking car rental when you have reached your destination is normally cheaper than reserving in advance if you have not got a good combination deal.
Make sure that you have suitable insurance, as an accident could make a huge dent in your holiday budget! There are good ways to save money, but insurance is not an area that you should scrimp on.
Always select the smallest car that is suitable for your needs, this will be cheaper and will cost less in gas. There is also a reasonable chance that you will be upgraded for free. If you are feeling bold, it is worth asking at the counter if there is any chance of a free upgrade, you never know your luck!
If you are booking car hire from a distance, look at the costs of car hire from the airport as well as from the city that you are staying in. Car hire companies will pay more to have an airport franchise and you may find this reflected in the prices that you are quoted.
Always fill up the gas before you get back to the car rental office. Car rental companies will charge well over the odds for any extra gas that they need to replace on your behalf so take the time to tank up before you get back if you do not want a large bill at the end.


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