It wasn’t until I made my first solo trip abroad that I realized how traveling can be expensive.
Not only that but when you are on a once in a lifetime experience and yolo is your motto, it’s easy to overspend.
Well, it turns out there are ways to travel on a budget.
Pick a country with a weak currency
A very important factor that you should take into consideration is currency. When deciding which country to visit, you should find out if the country’s currency is weaker or stronger than your country’s currency. Depending on where you are from and where you want to visit, you have more or less purchasing power. Brazil is a great country to visit right now because the Dollar has a favorable exchange rate compared to the Real. On the other hand, a country like Sweden is more expensive for Americans because a Swedish Krona equals 0.11 dollars. When selecting a destination to visit on your next vacation, consider a country on the best travel destinations for 2018.
Be careful with credit card spending
When you use your credit card abroad, beware of transaction fees and the currency conversion rate. Be careful so that your credit card bill is not significantly higher than what you anticipated. A good rule of thumb is to take some cash. Another alternative is a prepaid card. It works like a debit card and it’s safer than taking cash with you.
Invest in a travel fund
One of the easiest ways to afford to travel is simply to save for it. Setting aside a couple of bucks per month in your savings account can make a huge difference. Saving as little as $85 per month for a year can add up to $1020, which is an international ticket to many countries. If you have a tight budget, find the cheapest accommodation possible and buy your food at a grocery store instead of eating out for every meal. Who said you have to break the bank to travel the world?
Investing in a travel fund also makes it easier to pay for the trip up front. As we’ve mentioned previously, credit cards have transaction fees and the currency conversion may not be favorable, so paying for the trip up front is the best way to go.
Purchase round-trip tickets
Round trip tickets are frequently cheaper than one-way tickets. Use a comparison site like Orbitz to find out if a one-way ticket is cheaper than a round trip ticket when you book your flight. So if you are not on a one-way destination, purchase your tickets sooner than later to save even more on transportation.
Don’t purchase your airline tickets separately
There’s always a chance that your flight will be delayed and you might miss your connection. Therefore, when you have a layover and purchase your tickets from different airlines, you might lose a lot of money. To avoid this headache, make sure you buy your ticket to the final destination. For example, if you are going to London from California, don’t be tempted to purchase a ticket to New York with United and another to London with American Airlines. This mistake can cost you hundreds of dollars. However, when you purchase your ticket to the final destination, even if you have a layover with a partner airline, it’ll be easier to catch the next flight without a hassle. If it’s the airline’s fault that you missed a connection, they’ll rebook you.
Buy your tickets early
This counts for airfare tickets, museum tickets, and other passes. Usually, you can get a better deal when you buy an airfare ticket early. So try to get your tickets at least a couple of months in advance. Museum tickets and tourist passes are sold online for your convenience. When you purchase the tickets early, you avoid a long line of tourists in addition to getting a discount. Before booking your ticket, check how far in advance you should book your ticket to your vacation spot. For flights to Europe, for example, you should book your flight with a minimum of 120 days in advance.
Use student discounts
Many attractions have student discounts for movie tickets, museum passes, and other events. Not only that, but you can save on select airfare tickets if you are a student and on other categories as well. It pays off to sign up for an international student identity card since you can score some serious discounts on train tickets, bus discounts, accommodation, and other deals. When in doubt, ask if the student discount is offered.
It’s expected in some countries. You should learn the customs of the country you are visiting and read as most as you can about the country. Make sure you know how to bargain like a pro when traveling.
Don’t forget about reward programs
You should take advantage of reward programs to save on hotels, accumulate airline miles, get benefits for purchasing with your credit card, and getting cashback on supplies for your trip. We’ve covered the best retail loyalty and reward programs, but did you know that you can get perks for many hotels when you sign up for their reward program? Travel reward programs vary, so make sure to look into which travel reward programs offer the best benefits in 2018.
Take advantage of discount flights and hotels
Orbitz, Expedia, Booking.com, Priceline, and Hotwire have great deals on flights, car rentals, cruises, and hotels. In addition to the discount, the best part about using those sites is that you can easily compare different companies and their availability, all in one place. It also makes it easier to find the cheapest flight. To get the best bang for your buck, purchase these deals with cashback.
Take advantage of cashback when you purchase your flight ticket, book your hotel, and buy supplies for your trip. Lemoney offers 5-40% cashback at Expedia, Priceline, Hotels.com, and 1700 other retailers.
The first rule to save money when you travel is to
- Transportation: This includes the cost of travel and transportation when you get to your destination.
- Accommodation: Are you staying at a friend’s house, hotel, or bed and breakfast? This is one of the most expensive costs when traveling so plan accordingly.
- Food: If you’re staying at a hotel, you might have breakfast included in your package, but you’ll still have to budget for lunch and dinner. A good tip is to take a snack so you don’t have to eat out for every meal.
- Entertainment: This includes costs such as museum tickets and anything else that you’ll do on the trip.
- Unexpected expenses.
Travelling doesn’t have to be expensive. If you plan your trip carefully and take advantage of deals and discounts, you can travel without breaking the bank.