So here we are, at the portion of our Turkey travel guide where we talk money. Planning your travel and the expenses of your travel might be the most important part of your entire trip. It will not only give you an idea of what you may expect to spend, but also what you can budget for. This chapter is going to offer tips on planning your budget within certain budget ranges, give you a sense of what everyday things cost in Turkey and more. Get out your pen and paper, this might even help you get your itinerary started.
Travel Costs & Organizing Your Money
Once you have organized your ticket to Turkey, it is best to start planning your budget for your accommodations and travel costs. It is helpful to know that the public holidays in Turkey are not always the same day each year. Find out if there are any holidays when you will be travelling and from there you can organize where you will be staying. If your stay happens to be around a certain holiday, it is recommended that you book in advance. Many hotels will fill and book quickly during these times and you do not want to be stranded. At the least have a general itinerary and a list of places you can choose from for accommodations in each region you would like to visit. If you have no set dates or plans, it helps to just have a general idea of what your budget might be. For Dalyan visitors, we have compiled a list of our favourite accommodation suggestions based on location, affordability and the high standards they have set to meet all their guests needs.
The next important thing to budget for is food. There are plenty places to eat and a wide range of venues, street food, family restaurants and upscale places. Food is one of the perks when travelling if you like to really delve into local culture and often times, next to where you will be staying is your biggest budget. There is something for every budget. Dalyan has a huge range of bars, restaurants and cafes to choose from, with cuisines from all over the world on offer. We’ve got our secret favourites which we’re eager to share with you…..
Where to Exchange Your Money
You can easily extract the local currency, the Lira, from many ATMs and cash machines, however, the rates may get pricey if you use them often. Some machines will charge around 3% per transaction. This does not include the fee from your own personal bank. Please check with your bank regarding transaction fees and exchange rates they use before you travel.
The best way to get local currency is by changing money when you arrive. The Currency Exchange Offices, or ‘Doviz Burosu’ can be found in many tourist and market areas. In Dalyan, the Post Office and Jewellery Shops or even most markets will give you a better rate than most banks. Changing money at the airport will give you the lowest rates. The main bank on the turtle roundabout also has a cashpoint for sterling withdrawal at a minimal fee if you would rather take pounds out and change them up instead of withdrawing lira.
Using Credit Cards in Turkey
If you do not like to carry a lot of cash with you while travelling, credit cards are accepted in most areas. You can use them for hotels, rental cars, dinner at an upscale restaurant and for airline ticket purchases. However, there is one detail you need to know. If you purchase most of your travelling expenses; train, ferry, bus, car rental or airline tickets before you arrive, be sure to have the credit card you purchased them with on you! If you do not have it, they can refuse to let you board! Due to fraud, which is common and terrorism, this is how they take extra precautions.
Of course, regarding all your credit and debit cards, be sure you have notified your bank and credit card companies of your travels to avoid any stop payment inconveniences.
Example Budgets for Travelling in Turkey
In the past, travelling around Turkey used to be the ideal location for those who normally travel on a tighter budget. However, over the last few years this has changed. This is not to discourage you if you still wish to travel to Turkey if you have a smaller budget. The following information can give you a general idea on what your day to day budget might be within certain budget brackets whether you are a backpacker or luxury traveler and all of those who fall in between. The budgets below are estimates of what you spend per day for accommodation and three meals. It does not include travel, tours or anything extra. Please be aware that Booking.com is not available to use as an accommodation booking platform for hotels etc within Turkey. Further information and details about this can be found here.
● Budget traveler (30-40 gbp) – This is around the cheapest you can manage in Turkey on a small budget. However, it is always a good idea to plan for a little bit more just in case. On this budget, you will can enjoy local street foods and local restaurants. You will have plenty to eat on this budget. Do not worry about starving. You accommodations for this budget will be in a hostel or dorm. If you can share food and/or sleeping arrangements with a travel partner, you may be able to make it by on the lower half of this budget and have some extra for some drinks and transport to do your own tours.
● Conscientious traveler (40-50 gbp) – On this budget, you can stay still stay at guesthouses or hostels. In some areas you may be able to afford your own private room rather than in a dorm room with multiple bunks. However, if you want to save some money for extra touring and even go to a nice restaurant, spend a little less at a hostel and you can enjoy more. Most of your meals can be enjoyed at local restaurants and cafes on this budget.
● Standard traveler (50-60 gbp) – On this budget you may be able to stay in a nicer double room at a hostel or budget hotel. You will sleep more comfortably and you can afford to eat at local restaurants and have some extra for drinks or day trips if you skimp on other things. Share what you can and make new friends where you stay. This budget may fluctuate slightly depending what region you are staying in.
● Upmarket Traveler (60-80 gbp) – On this budget you can afford to stay in a 3 – 4 star hotel or budget hotel so that you save money to go on a few tours during your stay and/or plan the half-day or day trips on your own. You will be able to eat out mostly at restaurants, but it still never hurts to try the street foods. If you skimp on some days you can enjoy a couple nights out and have a good time. If you stay in regions that are cheaper than say the Black Sea or coastline cities with popular beaches, this budget can go a little further.
● Luxury Traveler (80gbp +) – On this budget, you can stay at a nice hotel and in the upper parts of a luxury traveler spending 80gbp or more, you can stay at a nice boutique or four/five star hotel. You will be able to eat out occasionally or every meal at some top restaurants, take guided tours and travel when and wherever you would like during your entire trip.
Example Costs for Dalyan
Below are some prices on things you might expect to pay for on a daily basis.
● Hotel bed and breakfast – approximately 100 lira per person per night
● Kebabs at a local market – 10 lira
● Pint of beer/Glass of wine – 10-12 lira/12-15 lira
● Local restaurant meal – 50 lira
● Litre of water -5 lira
● Boat trip/Day Excursion – 125 – 250 lira
● Hiring a car per day – 125 lira
● Short taxi ride in major city – 10-15 lira
Easy Ways to Reduce Your Costs When Travelling in Turkey
One of the first ways you can save money when traveling to Turkey or anywhere is going during off peak tourism time. In Turkey, peak season begins in July and runs through September. Most hotels will increase their prices considerably during these months. As Turkey is ideal for travelling during the spring, you will be able to save some money during this time and beat the tourist crowds and traffic. April, May and October are the best off-season times to visit and if you shop around and do your research, you may be able to find some good deals.
Plan ahead as some walk-in rates are much higher than people believe. If you are staying on in Turkey more long term, say a month or more in one area, you can save money by renting out a self-catering apartment.
Depending on where you are in Turkey a certain type of accommodation may cost more in one area than another, even if they are the same service. This is why it helps if you can plan an itinerary to exact dates as much as possible, especially if you are on a budget. This way you can do the research you need to and have less surprises in what you spend on your hotel or other establishment. Expect to pay more if you will be in the Southeast and the Black Sea region.
A lot of tourists flock to restaurants that cater to tourists, but you can always expect to pay more in these places. A lot of people think they are ‘safer’ eating in these places, but often times they are missing out on the real Turkish experience and the food is not always that good or authentic. Eat where the locals eat and you can save more money this way and the experience will be much more worthwhile. Go to ‘locantas’. These are where the locals go and they serve cheap and authentic food. To give you an idea, you can get three courses for under 30 lira!
The next place you will want to save money if you can is on transportation. The cost of fuel here is some of the most expensive in the world. Hiring a car or renting a car can get super expensive. If you do rent a car, opt for a diesel model as this can save money both in rental cost and fuel costs. When you book your airline ticket, sometimes there are voucher codes that pop up with your purchase that can save money on a rental. Be sure to keep your eye out for any specials and savings.
If you want to fly, there are sometimes deals, but it is less-likely you will save money on domestic flights. Though it does not hurt to look. The best way to save money on transport however, is travelling by the local bus systems. The service is some of the best in the world for buses and they are very affordable.
Other tips to save money:
● Do not exchange your money at the airport or banks. In Dalyan you will get a much better rate at the market, post office or jewellery shops
● Talk with your bank about accruing charges if you use your debit or credit cards.