Since traveling is almost never cheap, if you’re someone who’s on a budget finding ways to save money must be a top priority for you. While you’re going to have to spend money no matter what on your trip, you don’t have to spend quite as much as you may think you might.
Here are the top five strategies to save money on your international trip:
1 – Set Financial Goals
The very first thing you should do if you want to save money will be to simply set financial goals for the trip. What is the maximum amount you are willing to spend on the trip? How much would you like to reduce that amount to?
It is important to have some space in your budget for unexpected expenses you may incur. This always happens, doesn't it? This is why you should set that maximum spending amount and then the amount you’d like to spend. The amount in the middle is your wiggle room.
2 – Use A Money Transfer Service Over Bank Wire Transfer
Something you will have to do is have a way to pay for things while you’re traveling, and one way to do this will be to send money to yourself. If this is the route you choose, you would be wise to use a money transfer service instead of a wire transfer.
The reason why is because your bank will most likely charge a large flat fee of $40 to $80. On the other hand, a transfer service should only charge a small percentage as well as a small percentage of the exchange rate.
The transfer itself will be much faster with a transfer service. Wire transfers can take up to five business days with a bank, whereas it should only take one or two with the transfer service.
3 – Travel During The Cheapest Times
The price of a plane ticket will vary significantly depending on the time of the year or even during the time of the month. It’s even possible for flight prices to change during the same day. Airlines know exactly when to bump up their prices so keep an eye out early.
Usually, the most expensive times to travel will be during the summer and winter. People like to travel during the summer for the warm months and during the winter for the holidays. Not only will the price of a plane ticket be higher during this time, but the price of hotel rooms and food should be as well. They hike up everything for families who can only travel during school breaks. Lucky us!
In contrast to this, spring and fall are typically much cheaper times to travel. Do your research and don’t buy the first ticket or hotel room that you see.
4 – Save Up Your Credit Card Rewards
The vast majority of credit cards give you rewards of 1-5% back for every purchase that you make. These rewards are saved up either as points or miles, which can then be redeemed for cash, car rentals, hotel room stays, plane tickets, and so on (though miles can usually only be redeemed for a plane ticket).
Some credit cards also give you bonus offers when you sign up and meet a certain requirement. For example, if you spend a certain amount of money (say one to five thousand dollars in the first three months), you may be rewarded with anywhere from forty to eighty thousand points or miles depending on the terms of the credit card.
5 – Be Smart About How You Pack
You can save a fair amount of money by only bringing a carry-on bag versus a checked suitcase too. Just be smarter about how you pack. You can probably fit more things into your carry-on than you think.
Bring only what you absolutely need and fit as much as you can into your carry-on bag as possible. Yes, you’ll definitely have to make some tough choices and likely sacrifice a few items, but it should be worth it to you if it means saving money. At the very least, it makes travel simpler for you, and you won’t have to worry about your checked baggage getting lost.
The truth is there are dozens if not hundreds of hacks you can follow to save money on your trip. Just Google it and you will see!
4/30/18 Why is it when I need to take a sunny picture outside it's cloudy as can be? Figures!