Whether you’re going international or sticking with domestic travel, there are always ways to save money. However, keeping your bank account flush takes a little research and preparation. Follow these tips the next time you pack your bags.
A big money suck around the world is from ATM fees. It’s best to exchange your money at a reputable source, such as the exchange counter of any airport, and keep this cash in a money purse or locked in the safe of a hotel. However, most places you travel now accept debit and credit cards. Some banks, such as Charles Schwab and China Trust Bank, do not charge foreign transaction fees. If you’re in the market for a new credit card, no foreign transaction fees should be a priority if traveling abroad is in the future.
Timing is Everything
Traveling during the off season can you save a substantial amount of money. Countries that are tourism-driven often feature hotels with double rates during the tourism season. You might notice that some hotels even list different seasonal rates on their website. Whether you’re a retiree or an attorney, saving money is always a smart move.
It’s also important to remember that airlines prices will be much higher during public holidays. Avoid traveling via plane on Eidl Fitr or New Years to keep costs down. Instead, take advantage of these holidays by taking a road trip to a drivable destination. One major benefit of retirement is the freedom to travel during off-peak times where you won’t just save money, but also avoid the crowds.
A Little Investment Up Front
Purchasing travel insurance is a little investment that can go a long way. What happens if you get into an accident overseas? Check with your current insurance agent to see if stolen possessions will be covered while you travel. You may be able to add on additional coverage for a very small amount.
It’s also a good idea to invest in a money belt and sturdy locks if you’re traveling in a busy country known for pickpockets. Rome is an especially prime example of this type of destination. Never go into public with flashy gadgets like a smartphone or a watch that’s simply too tempting for a thief. Instead, purchase a cheap, replaceable phone that won’t hurt much if you lose it. For extended stays, pay as you go local phones are often worth a small investment.
Picking the Tourist Traps
The most well-known destinations are also the costliest. You can lower these costs by opting for non-guided tours and taking advantage of published guidebooks. It’s also a good idea to look beyond the popular sites and go a little off the grid. If you’re on holiday in Hawaii, do you really want to go on the plantation train tour, or is spending a day on the beach with your family a better option?
Food is another money waster when traveling, so prepare yourself. Ideally, choose a hotel with a mini-kitchen so you can cook meals. A trip to the local grocery store should be a first stop, and don’t forget to check out local diners in lieu of chain restaurants. Choose wisely, plan ahead and happy (frugal) travels are ahead.