6 quick tips to save money when traveling abroad
Traveling abroad is always an exciting adventure no matter the destination. But taking a big trip can be a costly venture if you’re not careful, which is why we are here to give you 6 quick money saving tips for your next trip.
Planning is key
If you already know your destination, pick your time of year wisely. Flight costs vary during different parts of the year known as “peak seasons” and “off seasons.” For example, if you plan on visiting Paris this year, the busiest and most expensive times hover between June and September. Waiting until November or December would drop the cost of a plane ticket significantly, so if you can wait a little longer to visit, then you can save instantly.
Travel in style with Airbnb
Peak season hotel costs far more during peak seasons compared to the low-key offseasons. Book ahead, and reap the benefits. Also, if you want to make your dollar stretch even further, you can always look into Airbnb for room or home rentals as well.
Get ready to exchange currency
If you are visiting another country, you will be most likely be using a foreign currency. What most people don’t know is, it costs to switch over your money. Whether it’s cash you are converting or paying with a card, it will cost you. With cash, you will end up paying a fee to convert your money over which could be a percentage of the total amount or one flat fee. If you plan on using cash for everything, contact your local bank beforehand to see if they can help you make the switch. Some major banks will allow you to order and exchange cash as a service so that you so that you don’t have to wait until you get to the airport (or to your foreign destination).
Use plastic credit if you have it
If you don’t want to take the risk of traveling with a large sum of cash in your pocket, you can always use plastic. Many credit cards have something called foreign transaction fees that can easily creep up on you if you are not expecting it. Foreign transactions fees range from bank to bank, but most commonly are around 3%. If you think you’ll be spending about $1,000 you could be looking at an additional $30 just for using your own card. There are many companies that promote zero-cost foreign transactions. Comparecards.com has a list of the top credit cards with no foreign fees attached to help you save while spending overseas.
Stay “plugged in” the affordable way
In today’s world, staying “connected” is an important part of life with texts, calls, and emails coming through constantly. What you may not know is many service providers charge for international service fees. In some cases, you pay a fee for the month, in others, you pay by the text or call. Some companies even charge to receive texts internationally and can be about 20 cents each time. If you think about all the people you talk to on a daily basis, this can add up really fast. To avoid the fees (and potential extra monthly payment) is to stick to using your phone on WiFi. Finding restaurants or stores with free public WiFi is a great way to stay connected and stay within your budget during a big trip. Use apps like Skype or Facebook messenger to communicate with your friends or family while you’re away.
When in Rome, tip as the Romans do
Consider other cultural differences. In many countries, it is not customary to tip for services unlike here in the states. This is a great way to save a few dollars while enjoying the finest of foods, drinks and taxi travel. Some European servers are paid above fair wage to do their job and will not accept tips.
Ready to get started on your new adventure? If you’re not quite financially ready and don’t want to empty your emergency cash stash, a LendingPoint loan may be a great option.
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