While Money Estate has discussed traveling on a budget before, there are specific steps travelers can take to keep expenses down when their destination is overseas. If you’re considering a trip to Europe or Asia or anywhere else exotic this spring or summer, being prepared will be the key to saving you money.
1. Shop around for exchange rates.
You’d think that small variations in the exchange rate wouldn’t make a huge difference. But when you add it up, converting a large sum of money using an exchange rate at, say, many hotels, you could stand to lose substantially. Most of the time, local banks offer the best exchange rates. Avoid exchanging money at airports.
2. Befriend locals and ask for restaurant and entertainment recommendations.
When you visit a foreign country, there’s typically two countries you are visiting—the real country and its attendant tourist version. Visiting the latter will always be substantially more expensive than visiting the former. If you befriend locals at, say, a pub on a night out, be sure to ask about the places they actually eat and hang out. These recommendations are usually more culturally interesting and are considerably cheaper. For example, when you are visiting Canada, read this American Express Canada blog to lifestyle get recommendations.
3. Use public transportation instead of taxis.
Most major overseas travel destinations, particularly in Europe, have very advanced public transportation systems. Most of the time, using these systems costs next nothing. Of course, it may take some time to figure out the ins and outs of the London Underground, but it’s often a fun experience anyhow, and you can potential save hundreds of dollars by skipping out on taxis.
4. Use alternative methods for accommodation.
Accommodation can get to be pretty expensive, too. If you are able to be flexible, however, so many cheaper options become instantly available. For those of you who are adventurous, Couch Surfers, and Internet-based service that connects travelers with local hosts, is a great way to experience local life and stay somewhere completely free. While bed and breakfasts have the connotation of expensive luxury in America, in most other countries, bed and breakfasts are far cheaper than traditional hotels, without, of course, all the frills of American B&Bs.
Of course, there are millions of more ways that you can save money while traveling overseas. The most important thing to remember is to prepare yourself for a variety of scenarios well before you embark on your journey. Bon voyage!
About the Author: This is a guest post by Eliza Morgan who is a full time blogger. She specializes in writing about business credit cards. You can reach her at: elizamorgan856 at gmail dot com.