Traveling is an important essence of life. Those with careers that -literally- take them to new heights should consider themselves very fortunate.
While most of us would love the chance to explore a new land, we also tend to be very hesitant. International travel, even on work assignments, can be quite costly, especially if you’re not too travel-savvy.
You don’t need a 6-figure job or a Powerball ticket to see the world. You just have to learn the ropes of managing international travel on a budget. If you’re looking to create more adventure in your life, keep reading for 9 money-saving tips.
1. Plan, Plan, Plan
Sure- one of the best parts of traveling is the unexpected adventures. But, there is beauty in creating an itinerary and sticking to it, if you’re wanting to save money.
We’re not encouraging you to have an hour-by-hour schedule of every event you plan to partake in. But, you can cut out a lot of costs by being prepared.
Research early on for better flight and accommodation deals. Also, figure out when the best days are to book your specific travel itinerary. (Usually, Tuesday and Wednesday are cheaper days to fly. However, it can vary by location.)
2. Public Transportation
Ubers and Lyfts are arguably the most efficient way to get around. But, are they the best financial choice if you need to take 4-5 rides a day for several days? Absolutely not.
Considering that the average Uber ride costs nearly $14, you’re looking at $70+ each day just for transportation. On the other hand, you can embrace the various bus and train options that are offered. Most public transit rides fall in the $1.50-$2 ballpark.
3. Eat Like a Local
It’s easy to get caught up in the vast amount of dining (and drinking) options in a new city. However, expensive meals and nights on the town can eat away at your spending cash much quicker than you’d realize.
Ditch the 5-star “best restaurants in town” and go for more traditional cuisine. Eat lunches at food markets or vendor stands for a truly authentic experience. For dinner, do your research on what options will give you the best bang for your buck.
4. Communal Accommodations
A luxury hotel in the heart of downtown may seem like a great way to enjoy your stay. But, we promise you- it’s not going to look too great on next month’s credit card statement.
Instead, see what the options are on Airbnb and Couchsurfing. These platforms will connect you to locals who provide room and board for a much lower cost than hotels. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even try your stay at a hostel!
5. Pack Light- But, Don’t Skimp on Essentials
If you’re traveling for business purposes, you might need a few nice outfit choices. But, if you have a more lax schedule, consider ditching the suitcase and just flying with a carry-on. Most airlines allow you to travel with a decent-sized bag for free.
This alone will save you nearly $100 roundtrip. The key to this is being able to still squeeze in all of the things you would need over your trip. You don’t want to have to make daily stops for basic apparel and accessories.
6. Travel Off-Season
Many seasoned nomads will tell you that one of the most important travel hacks is going against the crowds. You can save half on airfare, accommodations, rental cars, etc. by traveling at the right time of year.
Usually, fall is a great time to visit somewhere new. Many choose to travel in summer but once August rolls around, those with children are now back in school.
Another decent time to travel is right after the New Year. Don’t wait too long though- prices will surge up again for spring break season!
7. Contact Your Mobile Phone Servicer
Roaming fees and international calls are a literal money-drainer when on an overseas trip. If you anticipate using your phone a lot, you need to reach out to your mobile servicer to pre-purchase a plan.
For example, both Verizon and AT&T offer an “international travel plan” for $10 a day. These plans include unlimited talk, text, and data, so you’ll be covered no matter your phone usage.
You could save even more by putting your phone into airplane mode while abroad. Download an Internet-based communication service, such as WhatsApp! You can talk to friends and family for free when connected to Wifi.
8. Go The Road Less Travelled
Major cities like Paris or Rome are certainly glamorous. But, plenty of other international cities offer an array of culture and beauty for a much lower cost.
So, we suggest looking into places that are similar but aren’t as popular. In addition to saving on airfare and accommodation costs, you won’t have to deal with the crowds. Plus, these cities are also much cheaper when considering food and activities.
9. Utilize City Tourist Cards
If you’re traveling to a new city and plan on hitting many of its attractions, purchase a tourist card! These cards are offered in many European countries. They grant “free” access to tourist destinations and public transportation.
For example, the Dublin Pass gives you access to landmark attractions, such as the Guinness Factory and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Whereas most attraction cost $15-$20 a piece, the Pass is only $66 for each day. If you’re planning to do at least 3 of the activities, your pass will pay for itself.
More on International Travel on a Budget
Overseas travel doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. When planning your next trip, make sure you use the above tips to score the best deals!
Are you looking to learn more money-saving hacks? You’re in the right place for more about international travel on a budget!
Check out more content on discounted travel here!