Saving More and Spending Less While Abroad
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Vacations are an important way to de-stress, and some of the most exciting vacation opportunities are found abroad! But whether you’re overseas visiting family, for school, or vacationing, there’s typically one thing you realize very quickly: it’s expensive!
Between currency conversion rates, the cost of transit, tours, and entertainment, the bills can really rack up when you’re in another country.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to cleverly cut costs on travel! We’ve put together some of the top tips and tricks to help you save more and spend less while abroad, no matter where you might be traveling to.
Pick Your Travel Times Wisely
If you spend several thousand dollars getting overseas and paying for lodging, you’re going to have less to spend once your there! One of the oldest money-saving tricks in the book regarding traveling abroad is simply to not travel during peak seasons. Flight tickets, transit, and lodging will all be much more expensive during peak travel seasons.
Of course, there will be some cases when you simply can’t change the dates you need to be some places. In these cases, you can save money by making certain to buy tickets and lodging at least 90 days in advance and scouting out sales and coupon codes before purchasing. And while a 5% discount might not seem worthwhile, even small savings like that will add up and help you pay for meals out, museum tours, and more!
Rail Ticket Tricks To Save Cash
If you’re going to Europe or other areas of the world with wide rail networks, there are a few simple tips and tricks to help save money. In general, rail passes bought before you arrive only make sense if there are concerns about specific trains selling out of tickets, and you need to be at certain destinations by specific times. But you’ll pay less (sometimes substantially less) by simply purchasing train and rail tickets once you arrive.
A good rule of thumb is that Eurostar, Thalys, high-speed, and TGV trains often sell out of reservations, and should be gotten in advance. And if you want to be certain to pay the going rate for these kinds of trains, skip the ticket re-sellers and go straight to the national rail company websites.
Save Money On Longer Trips
There are plenty of ways to save money on longer trips! For example, if you’re visiting Canada and want to send some cute Canadian trinkets and gifts for family, avoid paying high prices at local gift shops. You’re better off using Canadian online shopping stores to find the gifts you want at a much better price. Typically the savings substantially outweigh the cost of shipping!
Refrain from eating out very often, and if you must eat out, avoid heading to restaurants which advertise that they speak English! They’ll charge more than restaurants which deal in the local language. And eating picnic-style and getting food from a grocery will be cheaper yet!
If you’re staying in any one place for longer than a few days, skip a hotel and rent a vacation apartment or use an Airbnb. For a week long trip, these can save you as much as half the price.
Skip the currency exchange altogether, and get money from an ATM once you arrive in the airport of your destination country. If you call your credit or debit company, they’ll let you know which other bank’s ATMs you can use without any additional fees. Another important tip? Try and take a credit card with you which doesn’t charge any fees for doing business internationally. This will ensure you don’t unwittingly rack up larger bills just for using a debit or credit card which does charge.
Be Frugal… Not Unhappy
There’s a big difference between saving money where it’s reasonable and losing opportunities to have fun and relax on vacation. Especially if you’re traveling with friends or family who want to get the most from their experience abroad, try to have a good metric for what experiences you’re willing to be cheap on… and which would be fun to splurge on.
Photo courtesy of: Didgeman
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