The world is getting smaller. The economy is globalizing. Travel is becoming more accessible. While international trips used to be incredibly expensive, the cost of travel abroad continues to go down in price. Whether you are a big traveler or have never been abroad before, there are some things to keep in mind as you book an international trip. Between flight costs, ways to save on the ground, and tips to get the most out of your currency, below are the best ways to save money on international travel.
Buy Flight Tickets at the Right Time
When it comes to buying flight tickets, earlier is not always better. Purchasing flight seats ahead of time can be affordable, but it also might be more expensive because they don’t have accurate projections yet. In fact, booking when the airline has an idea of the tickets they won’t sell will make the cost a lot cheaper. You can also use tools like a Google Flights guide to examine the costs. Flight tickets aren’t necessarily cheaper earlier, but they are definitely more affordable at the right time. So, next time you are thinking about buying a flight ticket, you should make sure of them at the right time.
Book Accommodations Ahead of Time
While booking accommodations has a similar flow, it’s nearly always best to book your hotels, bed and breakfasts, and hostels ahead of time. There are a few ways that you can get a cheap price on a last-minute hotel, but if you buy early—when the hotel has a lot or space left, you will probably get the better price. Furthermore, there is nothing worse than looking for a place to stay in a foreign country. Not only is booking accommodations ahead of time the better option financially, but it is also a way to plan your other finances. It can help you have an idea how much you will need on the ground.
Leverage Your Currency
When it comes to international travel, your currency has a lot to do with it. Whether you are going somewhere that has a weak currency or you’re headed to a place where the currency isn’t in your favor, you should plan for the difference. Whether it’s beneficial to use your currency or theirs will change how much you are spending. When you use your card, it might give you the option to pay with their currency or yours. It’s typically better to pay in local currency. Leveraging your currency can work in all kinds of ways. For example, if you bring crisp $100 bills you can probably get more back in the local currency than you would if you have mixed bills that aren’t new.
Go for Authentic Over Touristy
One of the most important ways to save money on international travel is how you behave on the ground. When you’re traveling to a new place, you should go for the authentic option over the touristy one. Whether it’s a restaurant, an activity, or a mode of transportation, doing what the locals are doing isn’t just cheap—it makes for a better trip. You will also have a better idea about what you should be doing and how much you should be spending. When in doubt, go for the authentic option over the touristy one.
Understand the Transportation Infrastructure
The odds are, when you land in a new country you will be traveling on the ground. One of the most important things to do before you arrive is understanding the transportation infrastructure. If you know about the domestic planes, trains, buses, and automobiles, you will have a better idea what you should use when you’re there. What will be cheaper? What will be too unbearable to warrant the price? There are dynamics in every country that will motivate you to choose certain modes of transportation.
Traveling abroad doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, if you get a cheap flight and know what you are doing on the ground you can make your international trip affordable. Depending on where you are going, when you are going, how long you are going, and what you plan on doing, there are tons of ways to save on international travel. The above tips are a great place to start, but once you think about ways to cut down on expenses your mind will find new ones.