With the travel season soon approaching, now is a great time to start thinking about how to minimize your vacation expenses while maximizing your opportunities. It’s a given that you’ll more than likely shop and compare discount travel sites to find the best airline ticket deals and hotels for your next getaway. But how will you save money once you get there? Some travel advice might help.
If you’re anything like me, you want to experience your destination from a local’s point of view. In other words, the tourist attractions won’t cut it. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to save hundreds of dollars on food, hotels, transportation, and other expenses without sacrificing your vacation. Here are some wallet-friendly travel advice to consider before planning your next vacation:
Travel Advice To Maximize Your Travel Experience
1.Travel during the off-season
If you can avoid it, don’t head to Japan for Christmas or to Germany at the start of summer. Travel agencies call the post-vacation time the “shoulder season.” It’s a term that’s used to describe a time between the bad weather months and the peak of vacation times. A time when the weather is fine, but no one is traveling or trying to book vacations.
Traveling off-season will guarantee better bargains. Much of Europe, for instance, still has gorgeous weather during the month of September, and since kids will be back at school, flights will be cheaper. That means your destination will also be less crowded.
2.Figure out how to pay for things before you get there
For most people, preparing for a vacation within a budget doesn’t sound like much fun. If you’re traveling outside the United States, call your bank and/or credit card company before your departure. This won’t only prevent fraud alerts and possible freezes on your account, but you might also learn about additional hidden fees that might apply to each transaction.
For debit cards:
Although most ATM’s machines charge a $3 to $5 transaction fee to withdraw cash, most banks, in fact, also charge an international fee. The best thing to do in this case, is open an account with a bank that waives these international fees, or at the very least, try and avoid making multiple withdrawals. You can also consider pulling out all your travel expenses prior to leaving the U.S., however, this isn’t always the best travel advice since you’ll be traveling with a large amount of cash making you more vulnerable to theft or robbery.
For credit cards:
While you’ll always need some cash, primarily using a credit card for all your expenses can simplify your overseas travel. Consider applying for a credit card that does not charge for foreign transaction fees.
If for some reason you’re going to exchange money upon arrival, travel writer and best-selling author Matthew Kepnes advise travelers not to do it at the airport.
You can avoid exchange fees altogether by using your debit card and withdraw cash from an ATM machine near you.
3.Communicate by use of Wi-Fi
Believe it or not, texting and calling abroad can easily add up, so it’s important to turn off your data roaming and cellular data as soon as possible. Some carriers, for example, charge users 50 cents for each text sent when overseas and 20 to receive one. Doesn’t sound like a lot right? Well, next time you’re in a group message, take a look at how many text messages you receive and you’ll see why avoiding these charges is a good travel advice.
A rule of thumb: Always check in with your cell phone carriers about international text and calling charges to avoid additional charges. Be sure to also, avoid using public Wi-Fi.
4.Consider cooking your own food
A big part of traveling is trying different food. But this can be costly if you aren’t prepared. Meal prepping won’t just save you money at home, it will also help you stick to your budget. Cooking whenever possible is an excellent way to cut back on spending, which is especially true when it comes to snacking. Roaming around in a foreign city can be more exhausting than you realize. So if you find yourself without food, hunger can push you to spend unnecessary money, buying whatever’s convenient. These make-ahead snacks can give you some ideas.
5. Pack medicines you think you’ll need
Medicines like, Ibuprofen, vitamins, cough drops and allergy medications are often times overpriced if you purchase them from the airport and convenient stores in tourist areas.
In order to avoid the headaches of paying double or triple the regular price, in some cases, pack a small bag of medication you think you’ll need for the journey.
Caroline Eubanks, another travel blogger recommended keeping prescription and other medication in its original bottle. Prescriptions liquid medications are not, subject to TSA restrictions, according to an administration’s website. With that being said, however, be sure to follow the extra steps to avoid any issues in the long run.
Have fun on your vacation!
Thanks for the read! Did I miss anything important? What are some other traveling advice people should know about? I’ll be checking for comments, so feel free to leave comments below.