So you decided that it’s finally time to take your first international trip but need to find ways to save money for it. You’re in luck because it’s the best time ever to do international traveling. There are a number of travel programs designed to help you to save money while you travel internationally with kids or solo.
As more and more people decide to travel more often and explore new areas, the rise in technology has helped make traveling domestically or internationally even easier. From travel cards to home-sharing, we’ll look at some of the best money saving options when it comes to traveling internationally as well as your must-haves for international travel.
1. Join A Flyer Program
There’s a high probability that if you’re planning to travel internationally that you will need to book a flight on an airline.
There are a lot of different airlines and offers to choose from. Joining a frequent flyer program is a great way that you can save money. You’ll access to the lowest fares as a member as well as having access to a bunch of other benefits.
2. Fly Midweek Day
If you want to save money for booked flights, another way to save is by choosing a weekday to travel on. A lot of travelers choose weekends to start heading to their destinations. When the demand is higher the price tends to rise. According to a study, the cheapest days to fly are Tuesday and Wednesday, when you’ll save an average of $73 per ticket. Sunday is the most expensive.
3. Start A Travel Fund
The best way to help supplement travel costs is by having a travel fund set up beforehand. The money saved should not take away from emergency or retirement funds. The goal is to add as much money as often as you can when you have money to spare. Set some goals and plan in order to save more in a short time.
Some people use banks and special saving accounts, other people use just plain old envelopes to store the money in. How and where you choose to save your travel fund is completely up to you. The important part is that something is being set aside. It’s surprising how quickly you can save when you set attainable goals. And when on that international trip, find ways to save money on foreign transaction fees.
4. Stay Flexible
The ability to stay flexible during your travels is priceless. The best way to ensure you have a good time while traveling so to not get to hung up on the details. Your traveling for a reason and it’s not too stress over all the little things along the way. Open communication, being open-minded and a bit carefree will help keep your stress levels low and you enjoying your trip.
5. Travel Off-Season
Sometimes the best time to travel is in the off-season. Traveling off-season can be really enjoyable. There are fewer crowds, more parking, and prices tend to be lower. Off-peak times or “shoulder periods”, change in different parts of the world, so choose your destination by watching for online deals.
Airlines and hotels will often offer discounts on airplane seats and hotel rooms during this time since it’s not a popular time to travel.
6. Free Activities
Just because you are traveling doesn’t mean that you have to spend money the whole time. There are always options if you are looking for things to do with little or no money. In Europe, a number of museums offer admission for free or even discounted for students or adults under 24. They do this encourage interest in the arts. Other locations may even simply ask for a donation upon entry. And you can also take self-guided tours like a pro in so many countries you end up visiting. Of course you should be also able to book a local guide for a relatively inexpensive price and get to see more of your location.
Another option is to enjoy some of the local parks and recreation areas in these new places. Traveling can be exhausting and sometimes a nice relaxing day is just what is needed. Why not enjoy some sunshine and fresh air while relaxing. Not only will you save money, but you will be relaxed and ready to explore more afterward.
7. Get Travel Insurance
Travel insurance! Ask the right questions before you buy a travel insurance. Getting travel insurance means that you have to spend money. However, if something goes wrong during your trip, it can save you more money than you spent on the policy. The cost of lost or stolen bags, airline delays, and even the costs related to illness can all be covered by a travel insurance policy.
Having to deal with the costs on your own will most likely cost you more money. And you might be wondering if getting a travel insurance is worth it? We have ten good reasons why you should never leave home without getting insured.
One top travel insurance agency that I would recommend to anyone planning to do any international travel is World Nomad travel insurance. They offer affordable quality coverage that is hard to match. Their policies cover both personal items as well as any health issues that you may encounter during your trip.
8. Walking Tours
Free walking tours are an excellent way to save money and explore new areas at the same time. You can find these types of free walking tours in about 90% of the major cities in Europe as well as a few in large Asian cities, South America, New York, Australia, and New Zealand. It’s a great way to act like a local and get a real feel for the area. Most of the time hotel or hostel staff or a local tourist office should be able to help you to find one.
9. Pack Snacks
Bringing along snack especially when traveling with kids, is a great way to cut down on costly meals out. Airport food and eating out gets expensive very quickly. Food will be one of the things that you spend most of your money on. If you can cut down your food costs, you can greatly extend your travel budget to include more interesting things. And snacks are one of 15 must-haves for international travel!
If you have access to a fridge or stove, then you can really save some money by preparing your own food. Preparing your own breakfast and lunch are great ways to cut down on food costs. Also shopping at local markets is perfect for experiencing the cultural food of the region. By going to street markets, you will have more options and spend less money.
10. Avoid Pricey Hotels
With the rise of home sharing and other styles of vacation rentals, you can save a ton of money by avoiding pricey hotels. Staying with friends or family and using services like Couchsurfing and Airbnb can offer better accommodations and amenities like more space or kitchen access for cooking meals. If you do stay in hotels, there are tips for picking the right location for your type of vacation.
If you plan on traveling abroad with a group then it might make more sense and be cheaper to split the cost of renting a house. Everyone will be together and you will have a place to prepare food. The cost to stay in these locations can save you hundreds in the end. These types of bookings also have a much more inviting and local feel as well. And if you do stay in hotels with family, there’s plenty of ways to find the best family-friendly hotels as well as way to make sure your kids are safe when you stay in a hotel.
11. Use Public Transportation
If you plan on going somewhere international that’s remote, or off-grid, renting a vehicle may be the best choice. However, if you plan on visiting any developed areas like cities, you can save a good deal of money by using public transportation. Taking buses, vans, and trains are some of the best ways to experience the country and its culture. And if that fails, consider Uber and other similar alternatives to Uber.
In Europe, nearly all major cities have a capable transportation system to move about the cities center. Public transportation will almost always be the cheapest method to get around, aside from walking.
12. Get A Travel Card
Looking into getting a travel credit card is not a bad idea and a great way to save money. We don’t advocate that you ever spend more than you can pay! There are a lot of competitive deals being offered by credit card companies. By taking advantage of the available signup bonus programs, you can really maximize the money you spend on travel expenses. You can also travel on credit card points just make sure you know how to keep the points and miles from expiring so you get full benefits of the program. Also, most Travelcards are tied to an airline. These cards can earn you points or miles that can be spent on travel and purchases. And some credit card even offer you free airport lounge access on any class of ticket you buy. And to sweeten the deal, some credit cards will reimburse you for TSA PreChecks, Clear, or Global Entry which will drastically reduce the time you spend waiting in line at the airport.
Traveling internationally for a vacation doesn’t have to break the bank. If you use today’s technology and our 20 ways to save money on your next vacation to help plan and stay open-minded and flexible, you can end up saving yourself almost enough to plan another trip.