There is no denying that traveling to a foreign country can expose you to interesting cultures, people, and locations. However, the trips can often be quite expensive which is also one of the main reasons why so many people steer clear from traveling abroad in the first place.
If you want to travel to foreign countries with friends or even solo, then you can do that even on a budget. The following are some of the ways you can save money during your foreign trips:
Use the Right Credit Card for Travel
Credit cards are popular as they make life easier and make personal finance simpler. In fact, there so many choices in credit cards that you can easily find one that can meet your requirements. However, the problem with them is that when you use them in a foreign country, then the card issuer can charge a hefty fee on the transactions (around 2% to 4%). That said, there are some credit cards that can offset this fee that don’t incur foreign transaction fees. The right travel card can be used to pay for a variety of things, save money, and skip the hassle currency exchange when you run out of cash. Plus, there is a slew of options that you can compare to pick the cards that offer maximum benefits.
Stay at Hostels
If you want to save a lot of money on your vacation, then you should avoid lodging in fancy hotels and resorts. Instead, find decent hostels and dorms where you can spend your nights at jaw-dropping prices. These are perfect if you are traveling solo, and if you will do your research, then you can even find places that offer exciting amenities like live music, swimming pool, etc. Just be sure to learn the do’s and don’ts of staying in a dorm and learn about the things you need to keep in mind when you settle in a place in that.
Exchange Currency at the Right Time
It’s smart to carry credit cards when you are traveling. However, you can’t just not carry any cash at all. This is because there will be situations in which you won’t get to pay with a credit card.
No matter which foreign country you are visiting, you should get some of the local currency right away, either at your bank before you travel or at the airport when you arrive. However, pick the time carefully to exchange most of your money as you want the best currency exchange rate.
Pick Cheaper Means of Transportation
Cars and taxis are some of the most common modes of transportation. However, you don’t need to depend on them on a vacation as they can hurt your budget quite a bit. Instead, you should try to use the local buses, or look for ways to save money by picking the cheapest means of transportation for every location. For instance, you can look for discounted train tickets for travelers. In London for example, you can enjoy discounts using the London Travelcard or Oyster card during non-peak hours.
Research Travel Deals
Rather than planning the trips yourself, you can find some of the best travel deals to save time, money, and the hassle of planning. There are many places where you can find them easily. For starters, there are many travel websites like TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com. You can also find interesting deals on social media or by following the handles of top travel brands like Expedia and Marriott.
Learn to Haggle
If you are traveling to a country like India, China, or Mexico where there are all kinds of local markets are full of interesting and useful items at low prices, then you should be prepared to haggle. Otherwise, the vendors can try to rip you off and sell overpriced products. The good news is that you can easily learn how to haggle online and get tips on finding the best products in local markets at the right prices.
If you don’t want to pay airline fees including overweight charges, checked bag charges, etc. then try to travel as light as possible. You can also learn the techniques of efficient and smart packing so that you are able to carry a lot of items in limited space.
Carry a Refillable Water Bottle
You will be surprised to learn about the kind of money you spend on vacation buying packaged drinking water bottles. So, rather than buying one bottle after another whenever you start feeling thirsty, it’s better to carry your own reusable water bottle. You can fill it wherever you go-hotels, malls, restaurants, etc. and save a lot of money this way. Reusable bottles are healthier than plastic and better for the environment. You’ll be amazed how many plastic water bottles you can replace with one reusable bottle.
Pack Lots of Nutritional Snacks
When you are in a flight or on the road and feel a rumbling in your stomach, then hunger can easily take the better of you and force you to buy any kind of food that’s readily available even if it’s expensive. A better way to deal with this problem is to carry different kinds of snacks with you. This way, when you feel hungry, you can just take out a packet and suppress the hunger until you have reached a good restaurant that offers delicious meals at low prices. Dried fruit and nuts can give you a great boost of energy when you’re on the go and pressed for time. Visit a grocery as one of your first stops and be prepared for an unexpected situation.
So, there you have it- some of the smartest things that travelers do to save money on their trips. Follow these and see for yourself how they can help!