Personal Finance

3 Steps to Help You Save Money While Traveling

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When COVID-19 hit the globe, no one could have predicted the economic and social hardships that would follow. Businesses closed and large communities went on extended lockdown. As a result, travel abroad stopped. In fact, tourism was down 56 percent globally for the first five months of 2020.

As Americans learn to live with and adjust to the presence of COVID-19, many are making travel plans but don’t want to break the bank. Whether you’re traveling with friends, family, or just solo, this article outlines how you don’t necessarily have to budget as much money as you may think.

1. Book Your Trip at Least Six Months in Advance

We’re sure you’ve heard this one before, but it bears repeating: Don’t wait until the last minute to book your vacation. This can significantly increase costs, and you may find that the best offers have already been snatched up – or things are booked out completely.

Airline tickets can comprise the bulk of your trip’s expenses, so be mindful that ticket prices fluctuate over time. Booking tickets early will help you find less expensive airfare. It will also give you time to plan for things like vaccine requirements and passport renewals. If you’re planning on flying to neighboring countries while abroad, be sure to book those shorter flights in advance as well. Research airlines to determine which offer the best prices and other benefits like free checked bags.

Booking your hotel or accommodations in advance gives you more freedom to choose according to your specific preferences. If you’re looking for a room with an unblocked view of the Eiffel Tower, you’re not alone. Odds are these spots will be taken far in advance by seasoned travelers. Also plan ahead for any restaurants, events, tours, or transportation you may need.

2. Take Advantage of Public Transportation

Every trip involves a little sightseeing – which means you’re going to need a way to get around. Many travelers rely on rental cars or ridesharing apps to provide them with transportation in metropolitan areas. However, these options are often costly for longer travel durations. People tend to overlook the use of public transportation even though it’s often the most reliable and cost-effective option.

Take Europe, for example. Major metropolitan cities like Paris and London have a robust public transportation system that consists of subways, busses, easy-to-use rental bikes, and taxis. Traveling outside of the metropolitan area? Train systems and high-speed rails can take you to the more rural areas of the country. Plus, most of these systems offer travelers a season pass that can be used for the majority, if not all, of your stay. These passes will help keep your costs down and allow you to spend the extra cash on nights out.

Research the cities and areas you’ll be visiting and then create a list of the public transportation options. Most likely, there will be multiple options that are cheaper than ordering a $40 rideshare plus adding a tip.

3. Manage Your Money While Abroad

Before you leave for your trip, be sure to notify your bank and credit card provider that you’ll be traveling abroad, so they know the foreign transactions aren’t fraud. Otherwise, these transactions may look suspicious and force a lock on your finances. Plus, research your bank’s international transaction policies to help with budgeting. If fees are high, keep an eye on the exchange rate and consider pulling out foreign currency.

It’s important to stay on top of your payments while you’re away. Set up automatic payments to alleviate stress. Having a can also make these transactions easier. You don’t want to be in the middle of your vacation and realize you were late on a loan or credit card payment. Apps can also help you manage your transactions more easily. If you don’t want to be charged roaming fees by your phone carrier, make sure to turn off roaming and disable background updates while you’re abroad. Or, look into an international plan so you can stay connected.

If you’re planning on traveling in the future, consider switching your savings to a high-yield savings account. When the time comes, you’ll have earned more cash for traveling to new places.

Traveling Is Expensive but Rewarding

It can be expensive to see the world and visit the exotic places we see in magazines and on television. But traveling doesn’t have to clear your savings out completely. Following these tips will help you to be more mindful of your spending habits while making the most of the experience.

At the end of the trip, you’re going to reflect on the places you’ve visited and the memories you’ve made. And it’ll be satisfying knowing you were responsible with your finances throughout your travels.

3 Steps to Help You Save Money While Traveling Abroad

This blog post was published by Axos Bank on October 5, 2022, and last updated on October 5, 2022.

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