Many people have a dream of traveling overseas, but there is a common fear over the lack of affordability. This doesn’t have to be the case. Traveling can be a great experience, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. There are a few tricks that can help you save money on an overseas trip.
Try Traveling During The Low Season
Just about any foreign location on your bucket list has a low season. For the Caribbean and Mexico, October through the middle of December can be a great option. For Europe, the spring and the fall are less crowded than the summer. During the low season, prices for airfare and hotels can be cheaper. Sometimes, they can be much cheaper. Travel-related companies want to ensure that their seats and rooms are full, and they’ll offer a discount to make sure that they keep occupancy rates up.
Plan For Transportation
In many foreign countries, it’s possible to get by with public transportation. Much of the world has a terrific system of buses and trains to get people from one location to another. Renting a car for a trip to Paris will make little sense because there is a train that can take you to the city center, and the Metro system has stops within a few blocks of any of the major attractions.
If you’re looking to travel to a tropical island in the Caribbean, a rental car might make more sense. Public transportation exists on most islands, but it might not go to all of the beaches or natural wonders you might want to visit. Still, you’ll want to think about the budget. For example, if you’re thinking about car rental in Anguilla, you might opt for a compact car rather than a convertible to save a few bucks.
Think About Lodging
Maintaining flexibility when it comes to lodging is another way that you can save money on a trip to a foreign nation. If you’re visiting a beach location, renting a room or a condo a few blocks from the water can be a good way to experience some savings. Renting a larger condo can also help you save money if you can find some friends who will split the cost with you. Additionally, if you’re not opposed to sharing accommodations, splitting a room in a hostel can help you cut your costs substantially.
Eat Out Less
It’s not necessary to eat out for every meal while you’re traveling overseas. If you opt to stay in a traditional hotel, choosing one with free breakfast can help you save money on food for at least one meal a day. If your room has a refrigerator, it’s possible to save even more money. Most hotels in desirable locations will be close to a grocery store or market. Purchasing a loaf of bread, some cold cuts and a bag of chips can go a long way toward feeding you for a few days.
Many people eat out for only one meal a day to save on travel costs. If you choose to eat at a restaurant, it can pay to shop around. Restaurants on the beach or near major tourist attractions will tend to be quite expensive. For example, restaurants near the Old Town Square in Prague can be pretty pricey. Walking a couple of blocks off the beaten path can lead to more cost-effective options. The food will frequently be just as tasty.
Utilize Travel Rewards Credit Cards
If you’re looking to save money on a flight, taking out a credit card that offers 50,000 frequent flyer miles after meeting a minimum level of spending can be a great way to get a flight to a desirable location for the cost of a few dollars in taxes. If you’re looking to stay for a few nights in a popular location, building up some points with a hotel loyalty program can help you save hundreds.
You don’t have to apply for co-branded loyalty credit cards to save money on an overseas trip. You can also benefit from cash-back cards. Many will give a bonus of $300 or $500 after spending a minimum amount over a set period. Additionally, these cards will pay anywhere from 1% to 2% cash back for every dollar spent. Cash-back cards can be a great way to offset your spending on a vacation to a foreign country, and many will come with no restrictions on the expenses you can wipe out.
By planning ahead and putting some of these strategies into practice, it’s possible to make an overseas trip a reality. A foreign holiday doesn’t have to hurt your wallet. You just need to think through the steps you can take to make it a reality.