Galavanting Travel 101 Video Series
Top five ways to save money next time you travel:
1) Study up on airline fare cycles and alternate routes when booking your flights and save a lot of cash. Knowing the seasons that airfares change and not reserving a flight in peak travel times will be much cheaper. Be inventive with the routes you search for and don't rely on default search results when using travel bookers online. Combining that with searching dates that are somewhat flexible will likely save you a bundle.
2) Rent an apartment or consider a house-swap to save on lodging costs & provide flexibility. Most apartments come with a kitchen and you can save on the cost of breakfast and some dinners this way. Plus if you're traveling as a group or as a family, renting an apartment is a great way to save money. Another way to have very low cost lodgin is a growing trend of house-swapping, it's a clever way to make the most of the assets you already have, and experience local-living in your destination.
3) Learn to say "no" to tour guides you hire on site. Many times you'll be approached by independent guides once you arrive in a city's airport, train station, or ferry port. They can actually be a helpful way to see a city and offer affordable rates -- but -- keep in mind they may be receiving kickbacks from restaurants and shops along the way. This is illegal in most countries, but not always enforced. If prices of souvenirs and food seem far above the local community standard, tell the guide you would like to go elsewhere. They will likely protest, but stand firm.
4) Avoid the kitsch and be creative when souvenir shopping. If you're feeling pressure to bring something back for absolutely everyone you know, don't discount the simple ways to share your experience. A fun photo of you in front of a monument can be framed once you get back home and will last a lifetime. If you also concentrate on buying from smaller local shops or rural communities, you'll end up with a souvenir that's not only authentic, but budget friendly. Buying prints of original artwork from artists on the street is a good way to have something affordable and easy to pack.
5) Don't use traveler's checks, they'll only weigh you down in fees and are a pain in the butt to exchange. It's very rare to even have them accepted as payment anymore and you'll have to exchange them to even have money while traveling, and you'll lose a lot in the transaction. The better route is to use your debit card to withdraw money from bank machines along the way (bonus travel tip: don't ask for an 'ATM' abroad, ask for a 'bank machine'.) Using your credit card for as many transactions as possible will also reduce he amount of cash you carry around and hopefully rack up some airline miles too! Be sure to watch the entire video for Kim's bonus tip about ordering currency ahed of time either online or at your local bank. You'll have money on hand to get out of the airport, and away from the high airport exchange fees.
We'd love to hear your ideas of ways to save money while traveling, so leave a comment and a link to your blog!