Once in a while, we travel to other parts of the world. It’s a great pleasure for us since, besides being able to get away from work and other responsibilities, we’re able to learn so many things about other people’s cultures, traditions, and lifestyle.
But then again, traveling without money is completely futile and dangerous, right? It definitely pays to be wise. If you’re planning to travel abroad, you may want to remind yourself of the following tips:
1. Be absolutely prepared
Sometimes it’s fun to be spontaneous, but do it if you already have a LOT of money in your bank account. Otherwise, you have to properly plan the trip. Here are some of the things you have to prepare for:
• Cost of travel (including within the country, such as buses, trains, etc.)
• Length of the trip
• People going with you
It is always advisable to create a travel plan, and make sure that you begin at least 6 months to a year. The earlier you book you flight, more discount you’ll receive. There are other ways to get cheap flight tickets.
Do not lose your passport, visa, identity card and other travel records. Always lock them away in your hotel room or the place you are staying in.
2. Always have a buffer
Plans are plans. They may come true or not. There are also times when they direct you to a completely new path, a road that you’re unfamiliar with. If you aren’t cautious or forward-thinking, you may find this new path hard to tackle.
When you travel, always have a buffer, a reservation, a plan B to D—whatever you may want to call it. For instance, you can have at least two cards with you, one debit and the other credit. Increase your pocket money to at least 10 percent, but only use the money when it’s absolutely necessary.
3. Carry cash and credit card
I’ve come across some people who say, “I don’t really need cash when I travel. I have some plastics.” I don’t reduce the significance of credit cards when traveling. After all, usually, you’re only allowed to bring a specific amount of cash when you enter the country unless you want to spend a good amount of time in jail or immigration office.
But please don’t abuse your plastics. Keep in mind that there are transaction fees, and normally you end up paying more when you come back to the United States because of currency conversion.
If you truly want to be wise with credit cards, you can consider getting credit cards that doesn’t charge you with foreign transaction fees.
4. Go for off-peak season
Unless you’re visiting the country to experience its festivals or specific holidays, it’s best if you schedule the trip during off-peak season.
Almost always, flights, accommodation, and even other products and services such as food are available at discounted prices.
They can go as low as 50 percent. No kidding. This is because they need to attract visitors all year round, even at times when nothing much is happening really.
5. Know where and when to have your money exchanged
It’s best to have your money exchanged once you’re already in the country. It’s a lot cheaper.
It is also less expensive for you to do so at exchange centers not found within shopping malls, tourist spots, hotels, and airports.
6. Consider more unique souvenirs
Some people simply travel for experience. They don’t really mind taking home something with them. But I prefer doing so, and most definitely, there are plenty of others who share the same sentiment with me: it’s great to “preserve” these beautiful memories.
However, there’s no need to spend hundreds to even thousands of dollars just to have these souvenirs. I have some friends who’d simply take home some stones or sand, place them in mason jars, and label them with their origin, as well as the date of the trip. They’re simple, more sentimental, and, of course, incredibly cheap.
7. Use public transport when possible
Surely, taxicabs and rental cars are the most convenient means of travel. Yet they are extremely costly, especially the latter. You have to pay not only for gas but sometimes also for its rental insurance. If you can, be one of the locals.
Ride trains, buses, or their own type of carriage. Walk whenever and wherever possible, Walking is the best travel advice I ever received.
8. Get an international calling card
american cellular companies have very high charge rate for overseas calling. get a calling card, if possible, before you travel get yourself a card. trust me, you;ll save tons of money.
Also equally important it is to carry international travel adapter for your electronic devices, such as computer, camera, phone charger, etc. 98% of international travelers do not keep this in mind!
Get your cell phone carrier temporarily suspend your calling plan if you are not planning to use your cell phone while travelling. Don’t forget your home phone, if no one is staying back.
9. Ask for tips from other people
Part of our planning process is to read blogs and discussion boards of the places we’re eyeing to. We browse through reviews to give us a good idea where to go, what to do, and what to avoid so we can have the best overseas experience.
We often ask local people for help. Its normal that you’ll need directions, tips, help from other people. Instead of wasting money on things, tours that are not worth it, follow the locals and listen to their opinion on their own country.
When it comes to accepting offerings from local people, I usually stay away, especially food items. Unless I am with a trusted person, I don’t generally eat food offered to me. You may have other opinion, but I would say– be careful when you are in a foreign land.
10. Have overseas health insurance
They are generally cheaper to get for the duration of your travel. It may seem a waste of money for you. But, there is no harm in being prepared to save thousands of dollars in case illness occurs during your travel.
Other insurances like, travel, baggage etc may well be covered under your credit card, provided you buy your tickets using that card.
Have you traveled to other countries? What other tips you want to share with others.