How To Save Money On Travel Expenses
Most would-be travelers nowadays are thinking about how to get more mileage out of their travel budgets. Veteran travelers know a variety of ways to save while globetrotting. One way to save on travel fares is to educate yourself about airfare cycles and about using alternate routes. Learn how airfare rates rise and fall seasonally, and don’t fly during peak travel periods to economize. Search for creative routes. Don’t just defer to the default search results when you use online travel agencies. Add in searching for flexible dates, and you’ll probably save substantially. A good place to start is City Discovery, where you can get the best deals for sightseeing, tours and attractions across the world!
Another money trap to avoid is spending a lot on souvenirs. Many travelers get caught up in buying souvenirs for everyone back at home, spending a great deal of money and time in the process. If you really feel you need to bring something back for everyone, remember there are simple ways to give them a piece of your travel experience. A framed snapshot of yourself standing by a famous landmark is a memento that will be treasured always. And purchasing souvenirs from local stores or from the countryside will not only save money, but you’ll come away with more authentic items.
Never buy from vendors in the areas most frequented by tourists, because these businesses take advantage of the location and charge the steepest prices. Go off the beaten tracks to the backstreets or find a street artist. Artists in many international cities sell their original works for a modest price, and these items are also easy to lug home.
You are likely to be approached by local guides in business for themselves, at airports and ferry and train stations. Don’t be afraid to hire these economical entrepreneurs, who can be very helpful and afford you an insider’s knowledge and safety tips. But remember that you’ve only hired them for a tour, and be aware that some of them receive percentage kickbacks to steer you toward certain souvenir shops, eateries, or tourist spots. This practice is not lawful in most countries, but sometimes the law goes unenforced. If prices for food or souvenirs seem high and out of line with those of other local businesses, tell the guide to direct you somewhere else. You will probably get an argument, but be insistent to save your cash.
You may save on lodging expenses and enjoy a more flexible situation if you rent an apartment, especially if you are traveling in a group. An apartment will likely have a kitchen, so you can eat in at breakfast and save occasionally on other meals. A growing trend for especially economical lodging is the house-swapping option. This way, you are capitalizing on your own assets, and you get to experience the true local lifestyle in the city you are visiting.
Forget using traveler’s checks, unless you really want to pay all those fees and deal with the headache of trying to exchange them for the local legal tender. A better way to get cash is to withdraw it with a debit card from the local bank machine. Always ask to be directed to a “bank machine.” The term “ATM” isn’t used internationally. The fees for this are not as steep, and in most cases you’ll get a good exchange rate. Shopping with credit cards wherever it’s possible will lower your need for cash in hand, and maybe you’ll build up those reward miles, also. Find out about your card’s fees for foreign currency conversion before you leave home. The fee shouldn’t exceed 3%, which will add up to less than all the costs of traveler’s checks.