We all understand the importance of planning ahead when it comes to travel. You always want to make sure you have your flight and stay ahead of schedule and that you know all the necessary things to pack. Some of us go as far as having a full itinerary for each day planned out, which is definitely a plus, but could potentially be costing you more than you know when it comes to excursions and activities. Here’s a way to save on some cash and never pre-book your vacation activities online. Never.

Once you have traveled to one or two island destinations and coastal countries you can recognize the similarities in the products all of these tourist destinations sell. Websites like Viator, Tripadvisor, and Expedia take advantage of newbie travelers any chance they get. Offers for private drivers, jet ski tours, and speedboat trips to smaller islands near the coasts of your destinations are listed at a markup of possibly three times the actual price of what it would be at your destination. 

My advice, and if you’re nervous about scheduling “on the go” or upon arrival, is two things: 1. Reach out to someone at your destination such as the front desk person or concierge at your hotel or Airbnb stay. Stress that you want the best price for those activities and make sure you bargain with them as much as you can. The more activities you select to do, the cheaper the price should be. 2. Wait until you’re actually at your destination and hit up one of the main local tourist areas. There is always a vendor or three with a huge picture board and map of all the activities you can do at your destination. You should also bargain the price as well since they know you’re from out of town they are trying to get the most they can out of you but since multiple vendors sell the same products you actually have the leverage to get the best price available. Then at the end of the activities you decide what you would like to tip each member of the services that were provided to you. And please remember unless it isn’t customary in the country you are visiting, you should always tip the service people after your activities and getting a bargain.

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So the next time you’re booking scuba lessons, bus rides, hikes, boat tours, or jet ski rentals, just wait till you get to the destination or call the host of your stay. You’ll be sure to save a few hundred dollars on your next getaway.