Do You Travel A Lot? Check Out This Frugal Traveler’s Guide To Save Money!
Do you spend most of your life going from one place to another? If so, you will no doubt understand the rules and etiquette behind traveling. It’s not just people going on vacation and those attending business meetings that travel. Musicians, for instance, spend a lot of time jetting around the world to various gigs.
Whatever your reason for traveling, one’s thing for certain. You probably hate spending the amount of money that you do! Especially if you have to “live out of a suitcase” so to speak. The good news is you can still have a good experience traveling and keep more money in your wallet. These super-frugal tips will help you keep your travel costs down:
Plan your journeys during the cheapest flying seasons
Sometimes you might not have a choice when you travel. But, if you do, it pays to fly when demand is low. In general, if lots of people want to fly at the same time, the price goes up. When there is less demand, airlines will offer heavily discounted prices.
Usually, the cheapest times to fly are during the “low” seasons in the destination. For example, this might be during the middle of winter. It’s worth doing some online research and determining when flights cost the least. The difference in price could be as much as three or four figures!
Get a SIM card for your destination country
You will no doubt wish to keep in contact with people while you are abroad. If you’re traveling from the United States, it’s likely you’ll have a cell phone with a CDMA carrier. The unfortunate fact is you can’t use a different SIM card in your phone. At this point, you have two options.
The first is buy another “unlocked” phone that allows you to install SIM cards. You can then get one from your destination country for cheaper calls and texts. Another is to switch to a GSM carrier such as AT&T.
If you wish to stick with your cell phone and carrier, that’s also another option. The only downside is your international roaming costs can become expensive.
I recommend using an iPhone. The beauty of that is you can make audio and video calls to other iOS device owners. You can make those calls using Wi-Fi, so you won’t need to pay for any roaming charges. Or, indeed, charges from using a local SIM card!
Even if your iPhone is on a CDMA network like Verizon, the above tip will still work
Get a credit card
There’s no denying that Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are widely accepted globally. If you need to buy stuff abroad, and you wish to use a card, you should use a credit card.
The thing about credit cards is they are perfect for international purchases. That’s because you could encounter problems using your bank’s debit card overseas. The trouble is: how do you know which credit card is a good option for you?
I recommend opting for one that gives you rewards when you travel. For instance, the Southwest Premier card gives you “points” for hotels and flights. Find out more about the Southwest Premier card here.
Once you get a credit card, be sure to let them know of your travel plans. That way, they won’t block your card if they think it is getting used fraudulently overseas. Also, it goes without saying that you should clear your balance each month. Otherwise, you will have to pay interest charges. And that’s not doing things the frugal way!
Use the Internet to find accommodation
Once upon a time, you would have to stay at a hotel if you traveled anywhere. These days, the Internet offers people a wealth of accommodation options! From guest houses to house swaps, you’ll find something within your budget.
Plus, it’s likely you will prefer staying somewhere more “homely” that somewhere corporate. There are hundreds of websites that allow you to search for accommodation. All you need to do is search for the location and dates you need to stay, and they do the rest.
Many sites also offer online booking facilities. That means you can prepay for your stay before you leave home.
Cook your meals away in your accommodation
There is always the temptation to dine out each day you’re away from home. But, it’s also the most expensive way to eat. Even if you only buy your meals from McDonalds!
If you have the choice, opt for a self-catering property. You can then buy groceries locally and cook meals for yourself. Even if you’re traveling for business, you can make some meals to take to your workplace each day.
Trust me: you will save lots of money with that approach!
Find free stuff to do
Let’s say that you have to travel somewhere for work. Your boss is paying for your hotel and flights. They might even give you an allowance towards your meals each day. But, they won’t pay for the things you do in your spare time!
You might not think it, but there will be plenty to see and do that’s free. Again, the Internet is your friend. Research the top activities and destinations. I can guarantee many of them are free of charge.
Buy currency at the best times
On your travels, you will need to carry some cash with you. Why? Because some people won’t accept card payments for stuff, of course! There are many ways to buy foreign currency. The trick is to select one that offers the most favorable rates to you.
Also, you should bear in mind that some days will offer better rates than others. If you’ve got a smartphone, download an app such as XE Currency Converter. You can then view a history of the currency rates to make an accurate prediction of when to buy.
These days you don’t have to go to a currency exchange or bureau de change to get money. Many companies allow you to buy cash online. It then gets sent to you with a secure courier service.
Thanks for reading today’s blog post. I hope you’ve found it useful!