If your budget is tight, you may think a vacationing to Turkey is out of the question. Think again! If you know how and where to save money, Turkey can actually be a great bargain for travelers. Here are seven tips for how to make the most of your money when you visit this amazing gateway between the East and West.
1. Choose the right time of year.
Like the rest of Europe, Turkey is busiest during the summer months when kids are out of school and everyone, including Europeans, takes vacation. This means the prices go up on things like airfare and accommodations. If you travel during April, May and October, you'll be able to take advantage of lower rates. You'll also get beautiful weather and you won't have to deal with very larges crowds.
2. Pack travel essentials.
If you run out of something vital while you're traveling, it can be costly to purchase it in a foreign country. Pack things you'll likely need while you're traveling, like over-the-counter medications for minor problems, laundry soap to rinse clothing in your hotel sink and batteries for any small devices.
3. Eat like a local.
Tourist restaurants know they can command high prices, so stay away from those places, and eat like a local. Your hotel concierge can help you find authentic restaurants with reasonable menus. Istanbul and other cities also have a wonderful selection of delicious, satisfying and cheap street foods. You can easily find kolantas, basic Turkish restaurants where residents eat hearty at a reasonable fare. If you're thirsty, try the local beer or wine instead of imports.
4. Be wise about transportation.
Instead of taking taxis everywhere in places like Istanbul or Izmir, try using public transit, or walking. You'll see more of the city that way and save a bundle. When traveling between cities in Turkey, use the bus system, which provides luxury coaches with free snacks and frequent stops. You can even travel overnight to some destinations, thereby saving yourself a night of hotel charges. If you have to rent a car, find one that takes diesel fuel, which is less expensive.
5. Manage cash carefully.
Turkey's currency is the lira. Rather than exchanging money at the airport, you can get a better rate if you wait until you reach your destination. Before you leave home, try to find an ATM and/or credit card with no foreign transaction fees, even if you have to purchase a temporary prepaid card. Don't feel the need to tip as much as you do in the States. Some service people don't expect any tip at all and others just a few coins; this is another good question for your concierge.
6. Enjoy cheap activities.
There are tons of fun things to do in Turkey that don't cost a lot of money. Inquire about outdoor festivals and concerts, wander the parks of Istanbul or go hiking in places like Bursa. Instead of watching that soccer match at the stadium, take it in at a local bar and save big bucks along the way.
7. Save money with the right lodging.
Your lodging in Turkey will naturally be a large portion of your expenses. Know that hotels in places like the Black Sea coast cost more and that cities like Istanbul or towns along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts have less costly accommodations because there's a greater selection there.
Look for a hotel with good value for your money, like the Hotel Büyük Keban. Here, you can get a safe, modern room in a hotel with great amenities such as a restaurant, a Turkish bath, and free WiFi.
Contact Hotel Büyük Keban today to make reservations for your stay in Istanbul, and we can help you find low-cost activities, so you can enjoy Turkey on a budget. We'll give you the best rate for our hotel that you'll get anywhere when you book with us directly. This way, you can save more money to enjoy other great activities on your exotic vacation to Turkey!