Traveling helps expand your mind and offers direct insight into the amazing cultures found outside of your home country. To maximize your travel budget, here are a few well-guarded secrets on how to save money on foreign travel.
Send Foreign Transaction Fees Packing
You might think that foreign transaction fees are nothing to worry about, but since these fees can inflate your purchases by over 2 percent on average, it’s in your best interest to avoid them whenever possible. Fortunately, there are a large range of credit cards, such as the BankAmericard Travel Rewards and the Capital One Venture Rewards credit cards, that don’t charge these fees.
Be Proactive About Parking
While it’s ideal to have someone drop you off at the airport when leaving the country, some people simply like having their vehicle immediately available when they get back. This means using airport parking, and if you’re doing this, you should definitely book in advance.
Like most other things in life, booking airport parking in advance will save you money. As your departure date approaches and less space is available, the price of parking for any length of time will go up. By planning ahead, however, you can save a fair amount of money when your vehicle can’t go on vacation with you.
Monitor Your Eating Habits
“Don’t eat out all of the time.” This is a time tested rule for saving money. However, when you do choose to eat out, try to eat local. It’s very tempting to visit a restaurant that has the comforts of home on the menu, but you’ll usually save money by eating at the restaurants that locals enjoy.
Watch Out for Big Name Travel Sites
Purchasing your flight or hotel online is a great way to save money on foreign travel, but you should always compare pricing in order to get the best option for your money. Many people choose a site like Travelocity, Priceline or Airbnb to find what they think is the lowest price for their travels.
What they don’t realize, though, is that the same hotel in Amsterdam could have varying prices between these sites. Fortunately, there are travel aggregation sites that search each of the major sites and provides their lowest prices in one spot. This can help save time and money when planning a budget abroad experience.
Even if you took the time to research and save money on hotels in Paris, Capetown and other international destinations, you’re still going to want to get the most out of your trip. This usually means hiring a tour guide or at least taking a few advertised tours.
However, mobile apps like PocketGuide can act as an offline or online tour guide. If you’re traveling through Paris, for instance, it will track and alert you of sites that are nearby. It also provides audio guides, which act just like a real tour guide, and information from locals themselves. You’ll undoubtedly save a bundle this way.
Traveling abroad can be one of the most rewarding experiences you ever have. Thankfully, you don’t have to overspend to enjoy your travels. With just a little forethought and preparation, you can have a low-cost foreign vacation fit for royalty.
This post was posted by Fiona Moriarty on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on July 13, 2015