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Monday, April 29, 2013

How to save money in Turkey

Going on holiday is great - you get the chance to relax, unwind and explore somewhere new. Unfortunately all this excitement can come with a hefty price tag and you could come home to a light wallet and an angry bank manager.

To prevent you from having the post-holiday blues, here are some hidden costs to look out for and ways to save money in Turkey.

Food and drink
Booking an all-inclusive holiday is the best way to keep spending under control if you’re on a tight budget, because you know you won’t go hungry even if you do run out of cash.

If you do want to get out and enjoy the local cuisine, here’s how. You can get a tasty three-course meal at a traditional restaurant for around £10-£15 per head and it’s best to eat where the locals eat.

You can get a filling main course with soft drinks for around £4 per person. Watch out for alcohol. It’s heavily taxed so even supermarket brands are more expensive than it is at home. Expect to pay around £15 for a bottle of Turkish brandy, £10 for an average bottle of wine and upwards of £25 for a decent bottle. So step away from the booze and try traditional apple tea or freshly squeezed fruit juices instead.

Phone charges
Your tourist visa will cost you £10, which you can buy at the airport when you arrive. You’ll find calls and texts more expensive in Turkey than within EU countries because the roaming charges aren’t capped.

In short, it’s probably best to put the phone away unless it’s an emergency.

Transport
Renting a car is going to be a major Turkey travel cost. You can expect to pay around £33-£45 per day during the off peak season and seven days high season rent on an average car will cost you a minimum of £250.

The best way to save money is book through a tour operator where you could get one week’s hire for as little £185 throughout the season.

Unless you’re going off the beaten track it’s probably best not to bother with the car rental. Taxis are cheap, minibuses will take you to all the local attractions, and Turkey excels at coach travel. You’ll find a terminus in every town and a variety of coach companies are available to take you to every corner of Asia Minor.

Helping you look after your lira! 

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