Creative Ways to Saving Money When Traveling Abroad

by Samantha Bennet on 2013/02/19

One of my most favorite past times is traveling abroad with my husband. We love getting immersed in other cultures and seeing things we have never seen before.

After a few years of traveling abroad, we finally found some solid tips and tricks that we always follow in order to save money. Here is what we’ve discovered:

1. Stay in apartments versus  hotels
Ok, so you might think that apartments would obviously be the more expensive route. Not true, not true. We always stay in spacious apartments with a living room, kitchen and bedroom. These accomodations can surprisingly be found at prices for half the price of a double hotel room. We are able to save even more money because we can cook breakfast right in our apartment.

2. Stay outside the city-not IN it.

If you go to a pretty well-known city such as Rome or Paris, you will find the accomodations and restaurants are priced extremely high as they are catered to tourists. However, if you do a little research, you can find some great apartments just outside the city with local restaurants that offer fare prices as well.

We recently took a trip to Venice. In the heart of Venice, an average hotel was $300 and an average lunch for 2 people was $80-100. We stayed just outside the city and paid $65 per night for a spacious and very nice apartment with kitchen and living room and ate at local restaurants who offered lunches and dinners for $25-30 per couple.

3. Withdraw the max amount of cash from the ATM

Most banks charge a $5 fee for any withdraw that is made at a foreign bank. So, let’s say you need $50 for the day or for a special purchase. If you think you’ll be needing more cash later, then take out the max amount you can to avoid paying $5 each time you have to go to the ATM.

4. Pay for your hotel with cash if possible

Depending on where you go, it may save you money to pay for your hotel with cash instead of a credit or debit card. We’ve found that many foreign hotels may charge a 3% service fee for using a credit card instead of cash. This is in addition to your bank’s 3% fee.

Depending on the amount you owe, it may make more sense to run out to the ATM and pay for your accommodations with cash instead of credit. Different hotels have different policies so be sure to ask before they swipe.

5. Use public transportation when possible

If the city you are visiting has a subway or train system, then by all means use it! In addition to avoiding major traffic jams or getting a shady taxi driver who doesn’t mind driving you in circles all day to run up the meter, you will save tons of cash by traveling like the locals and taking the public transport.

6. Use Travel Rewards Credit Cards to Pay for Airfare

I’m all for using credit cards when the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Get a travel rewards credit card and start racking up points or miles that can be redeemed for your next airfare purchase. By using a travel rewards credit card to your advantage, you’ll save big on airfare.

7. Use Prepaid Debit Cards Instead of Carrying Cash

Carrying cash around can be a little dangerous as it can get lost or stolen easily. By taking a prepaid card instead of cash, you’ll have the convenience you need for traveling without having to continuously hit the ATM’s. In addition, a prepaid card is more difficult for a thief to steal and use than cold hard cash.  Also, you’ll be able to stick to your budget easily as you’ll have added the alotted amount of travel money before you go.

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Do you have any creative ways to save money while traveling abroad to add to our list? We’d love to hear from you.

Next, read–Paying Your Medical Bills with a 0% Credit Card

Courtesy of CreditCardShoppe

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