Scoring a great deal on the flight to your trip abroad is only the beginning, now it is time to actually make this trip a money saving one. Poor choices when traveling can quickly add up and your trip can cost you much more than you expected.
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Whether you just booked a flight, preparing to study abroad, or just want to know more about traveling on budget for your next trip, you can follow these money saving traveling tips:
1. Currency Exchange Rate
I am sure you are aware what currency exchange is. In case you’re not, every country uses their form of currency like U.S is a dollar Egypt is a pound, Russia uses rouble. You cannot just go to another country and give a U.S dollar when you purchase something, although that’ll be awesome, but it doesn’t work that way. In other words it is when you convert one currency to another.
The exchange rate changes on daily basis and what you get today will be different tomorrow. There are two categories which are: buying and selling. Buying is when you return the unused cash in exchange for another currency or back to your currency. Selling is when you exchange your currency for another currency which what you will be doing when you plan to travel to another country. You must be aware that a lot of the places and I have experienced charge commission for exchanging (it is their commission for choosing them for exchange). Just for this reason alone I recommend planning it out way before because most are very hefty in commisions.
You can check what current exchange rates are simply by typing in ” what current exchange rate for…” here’s an example from google search: simple and easy
I would highly suggest getting a credit card that does not have foreign transaction fee’s to avoid getting in a situation of having to pay a hefty commission because things happen and sometimes you will need money right away.
You will get extra miles and I will get a little portion from that as appreciation if you use this link to apply for Delta Gold American Express Credit Card. You can see my post about credit cards I have.
Another card to consider is Discover it that does not have foreign transaction fees and is rated one of the best credit cards!
You can also see my other post on the tips to building a great credit score.
A great example of a major mistake would be if you were to travel to Britain and current exchange is 1 GBP will cost you $1.40. You go get a coffee and it costs you £3.00, you must know that that currently equates to $4.20 when converted. How do you feel paying $4.20 for just a small coffee?
The point is: Always do you research before buying anything and just pull out your phone and use a calculator to calculate how much it would cost you back home.
Cool Tip* Make sure to bring a one crispy bill back home to add to your collection of the countries you visited 🙂
2. Be Careful Carrying Cash
Carrying cash is not a smart thing to do when visiting another country and not just for safety reasons but also having cash you tend to spend a lot more because there’s not really a way to keep track of where you are spending and it is well known that cash tend to be spent much faster than using your cards. See my tips on managing money for Students. Another reason is if you lose it, you will not get it back, your travel insurance will most likely not cover you losing cash.
3. Avoid Hotels, Choose Hostels
I think hostels should be called “hotels for students”. There are so many benefits staying in hostels over hotel. They are cheap and you will most likely get everything necessity that you need, and most likely it will also include breakfast! Yes, for a relatively cheap price you also don’t have to worry about spending extra on breakfast. You can score a hostel for as low as $10 but do your research on it!
Check it out on Booking.com.
4. Use Your International Student ID
If you are a student and you have one of those cards, then you can score some more discounts or reduced rates for entrances or even free entrances for some museums, attractions, restaurants, flight discounts to name a few. This form of ID is known as official student identification around the world, which helps a lot. So, if you don’t have one, find from your school how to get one.
5. Plan on Going at the Right Time
This picture is Prague, Czech Republic of a famous Charles Bridge. I love Prague and if you have never been to Prague, you must go. I will talk about why I love it later in review of Prague.
Timing right for vacation is one of the best ways to save money. I’m sure you know that summers, holidays, breaks, etc… are always more expensive? The secret is going before or after holidays. Even flying on certain days play major role, the cheapest days to fly are: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday.
6. Don’t Buy Souvenirs
Try to refrain yourself from buying souvenirs. We all want to bring something back with us other than pictures. But in reality, souvenirs are expensive, cheap quality, and will take up space in your carry-on. If you really like the place, you will most likely be back later, so no need to buy souvenirs.
I bought this carry-on by Samsonite three years ago and so far it has been the best carry-on I have ever had. It is still looking new and for the price, it is well worth it. See the review for yourself!
7. Travel Insurance
Not really a saving on a trip but this is something I really never bothered to look at until reading some horror stories.Whenever you travel you MUST buy travel insurance because things happen and not having one in case of anything happen to you you will be covered financially. We all know that things happen in life and especially when you are in another country, things could be much more difficult.
Best part? Travel Insurance is relatively cheap. Also, if you have credit cards, you need to call the bank and see if it has a travel insurance as a perk on your credit card!
What I have been learning is that traveling does not have to expensive, it is how you make it. Just like everything in life if you don’t research something you will end up paying a premium and a lot of people do, it is understandable as some people have different things to worry about or priorities. But as a student, and developing these skills early will be beneficial in a long run!