Travel can be costly, and international travel can be downright expensive. You have likely been saving for your trip out of the country for a while, and you don’t want to blow your budget on areas where you can save. Fortunately, there are ways to be frugal during your international trip while still having a great time. Below are five things to remember to help you save money.
1. Save on Transportation
You have probably already booked your flight and hotel accommodations using the cheapest means possible, either through a site or by using points. However, you can still save on transportation once you get to your destination. Taking cabs everywhere can get costly. Research your destination and see what your best transportation options are. For example, if you are going several places in Europe, you may save by getting a rail pass rather than buying your tickets individually. Also try to take advantage of mass public transportation in cities – it is likely to be cheaper than private transportation.
2. Talk to the Locals
Just as you know the best places to get a value in your own town, the locals will also know where to go shop and eat at the best value. While a travel guide may steer your toward a pricey restaurant that could turn out to be a tourist trap, a local can tell you where to get a cheap meal that is also delicious. You can also save money by purchasing food at local markets and cooking for yourself when you can. You can search the internet for tips, or better yet, make friends with the locals when you get to your destination. As an added benefit, you will get better cultural experience than you can get from a guidebook.
3. Save on Communication
While you are gone, you will probably want to stay in touch with your family and friends and share the great time you are having. However, if you are not careful, you can wind up with a huge mobile bill when you get back home. Talk with your mobile company about international options or consider renting a SIM card while abroad. As always, use free wifi when available. Using free wifi to make calls instead of your mobile minutes can save a lot of money.
4. Be Educated About Currency
The currency exchange rates can change from day to day, so you will want to make sure you are getting the best exchange rates wherever you are. If you don’t, you could wind up losing money here and there, which adds up over the course of your trip.
5. Shop Smart
If you plan to shop at local markets, make sure you are getting the best value for what you buy. Items are often priced higher so that you can haggle with the seller.