The last thing you want to worry about when you go on a vacation is your budget.
But you could easily overspend money and leave yourself short if you don’t think about it in advance.
It’s super important to save money while travelling as this might give you a chance to extend your trip. And it’s good to do this wisely. VisaFirst has been assisting travellers for many years now, and we’ve learned some useful tips that we want to share with you.
Here are 10 easy tips to save money on international travel.
1. Be flexible with your travel dates
If you want to score the cheapest flights, you must be flexible with your travel dates. If you are open to different options, you will have more leeway to choose the day with the lowest price.
Also, if you don’t have specific days, you will be able to search for flights using the “Low fare calendar” search feature that most airlines offer, which will show you the cheapest days to fly. When you let price determine on which days you fly you can save a lot of money from tickets.
Don’t book your tickets too early or too late. Most of the travellers book their tickets too early because of a misconception that the earlier you get them, the better. Another misconception is that the flight prices lower when booked at the last minute. Book your flights three or four months in advance – not sooner or later.
2. Travel in the “off” season
Book your flights in the low season. If you travel off-season, you’ll find better bargains. Avoid weekends and organize your travel from Wednesday to Wednesday rather than from Friday to Friday. Avoid travelling during the holiday season as well as before and after the major holidays like Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving.
Everything will be cheaper from souvenirs to accommodation and flights if you travel to your chosen destination in the season when fewer people are going on vacation.
3. Pack an empty water bottle
You can pass the security at the airport with an empty bottle. After this, you can fill it from a water fountain which can be found anywhere and this will save you $3-4 multiple times a day.
4. Book a room with a kitchen area
Instead of a hotel, try staying in an apartment and see how much money you save on food.
Room service or eating outside all the time can be pricey, so why don’t you prepare at least your breakfast in your room? What’s more fully equipped apartments can be cheaper than hotel rooms and the bonus is that you will feel more like home.
The other option is to consider a hostel that offers a free breakfast. Private room at a hostel is still a cheaper option than a hotel.
5. Be aware of the location where you are staying
Transportation can add up to your bill, so staying in a central location is one of the keys to planning a frugal vacation. Start looking for accommodation, at least one month before you travel. This can help you find a place at a central location for a decent price. If you wait until the last minute, prices will be higher or central locations will be sold out.
If you stay in the suburbs, you will need public transport to the city and in case you stay out late at night, you will need to pay for a taxi.
Ideally, a place from where you can walk everywhere will be the best option. Walk wherever and whenever this is possible. Walking is an enjoyable way to explore a new city, and you will see things that are often missed when you travel by car, bus or train and at the same time, you’ll save some money on public transportation.
6. Save on foreign currency exchange
You can save a lot of charges on foreign currency exchange. Using a debit card is cheaper than using a credit card but you will be charged on top commission fees if you want to withdraw money abroad. So, it might be wiser to avoid withdrawing money abroad, if taking off a larger amount of money.
Also, never exchange money at the airport. The best option is to order the foreign currency you need from your local bank before you travel abroad.
7. Eat like a local
Eating at restaurants might be too expensive. Save money by shopping in the local supermarkets for lunch where you can find restaurant-quality local dishes that you can warm up in the microwave. Or, if you prefer to eat outside, move away from the main streets and search for beautiful local restaurants which charge a fraction of the cost of tourist eateries.
8. Ask local people for everything
Locals know their city best. So, ask them anything you are interested in – where to find cheap accommodation, where are the nice restaurants and bars, what places to visit nearby etc.
9. Use search engine Rome 2 Rio
Are you wondering if you should take a bus, train or a plane to your destination? Rome 2 Rio is one of the best search engines in the world and it will tell you straight up what are your options to reach your destination and which is the cheapest way. It will give you a breakdown of the distance, travel time and price for each route.
10. Use ride-sharing apps
Transportation is always a huge expense. То save money, you could find rides with locals in ride-sharing websites like Blablacar or message boards like Gumtree.
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