How to Cut Costs (Not Corners) When Traveling Abroad

16 Ways to Cut Costs (Not Corners) When Traveling Abroad

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Introduction

As years go by, the price for flying to a foreign country seems to only rise consistently, despite the price of jet fuel falling quite a bit.


Hotels are often shabby and quite pricey. And then you add the bill for crappy tourist restaurants, you're cooked.


Your phone bill runs up crazy roaming charges. WiFi's quite awful in your hotel lobby. $20 a day, for this?!


And then, you get back hpme, exhausted and you notice all the bank fees, bizarre charges you can't trace. You see a deal next day at work exactly for your trip - HALF PRICE, next month!


You suddenly have had it up to HERE. Where's your vacation from vacation, right?


I've been there many times myself, both as a student and adult, a single young professional and lately, as a parent.


When on my own, I often didn't plan things very well. How many times did I become frustrated when a package deal turned out not to include a vital need? How often did I kick myself for failing to adjust my phone plan and to call my credit card before? You live and learn - and pick up a few tricks along the way.


A friend and I toured Italy 12 years ago, in college. To think, we took hotels right on the fly, just off the train, ate sandwiches on fountain steps and wandered to our heart's content through many piazzas and museums - and of course, pasticcherie. That was before the days of cellphones and WiFi in every pore.


Then, there was Italy 3 years ago together with my wife on honeymoon. Completely different experience.


Since then, there was Morocco, Israel and France together with our daughter in the last two years. For Labor Day this year, we did an all-inclusive trip down to the Riviera Maya.


Each place has charm and its own character and rules. However (thanks, globalization), there are many hacks to make the trip enjoyable - and often much more inexpensive.


Next time you plan to travel, be well armed.


Here are some proven tips My wife and I have used to lower costs when traveling abroad, regardless of which country.

  • Step n°1 |

    Consider renting a room on AirBnb where you're going.

    Ideally with a kitchen where you can cook. While you're away, also consider being a host on AirBnB. You can make back a big part (if not all) of your vacation expenses back by letting someone stay at your place while you're away. Win, win!

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  • Step n°2 |

    Take cash directly from the ATM when abroad.

    This is almost always the best exchange rate you can get and certainly much better than those airport money changers or exchanges in tourist areas.

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  • Step n°3 |

    Find local grocery stores and purchase food for breakfast and even to cook at your rental.

    -if the owner and kitchen utensils permit. Save only a few special dinner meals for eating out in fancy restaurants popular with locals.

    How to Cut Costs (Not Corners) When Traveling Abroad image
  • Step n°4 |

    Check with your credit card about automatic insurance coverage for your car rental while abroad.

    You may not need to buy extra insurance if already covered (Amex is generally great for this).

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  • Step n°5 |

    Use credit card points as much as possible

     -to buy flight tickets, hotel room nights, car rentals and any other add-on services. These also have expiration dates and prevent you from overspending out of necessity. They also protect you from fraud when traveling abroad.


    ***Remember to let your credit card company know when and where you'll be traveling ahead of time, so they can make sure not to block your card.***

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