If wanderlust is your middle name, follow these tips for seeing the world on a shoestring budget.
- Know the exchange rate of the country youíre planning to visit. Will food and lodging be more or less expensive than they would be in the U.S. If the costs are prohibitive, consider visiting countries where the U.S. dollar is strong.
- Be flexible with travel dates to save on flights. Booking a vacation in ďoff monthsĒ can also offer significant savings.
- Shop package deals. Sometimes purchasing airfare, lodging and a rental car at once can offer hundreds of dollars in savings.
- Pack smart so you donít have to stock up on expensive items upon your arrival, like film, special clothes and toiletries.
- Exchange currency at banks, not at hotels or airports. This is where youíll find the best exchange rates.
- Plan the logistics of your trip. Plot your journey with the least number of flights, train rides and travel time.
- Consider cooking. Renting an apartment – through Airbnb, for example – can save money in the long run if you cook your own food versus eating out at restaurants.
- Careful with cabs etc. Find out the going rate of activities, food and cab fare, and donít be afraid to bargain. Visitors will likely have to pay more than locals, but it pays to have an idea of whatís fair or you could end up paying significantly more. Research the local public transportation to get around town and to and from the airport. Many cities offer weekly passes for buses and underground trains for a significant savings.
- Consider playing it by ear. If you donít choose a package deal, itís generally much less expensive to plan for your lodging after arrival, so you can cut out the fees paid to travel agents, websites and operations.
- Keep charges under $400 US per person to avoid a 10% tax.
- Turn off your phone. Roaming charges that easily double or triple your cell phone bill. If you can go without your phone, shut it off so you donít get caught with additional charges.
- Take advantage of studying abroad. Depending on the program, you might find a great deal that includes lodging, weekend excursions and education.
Search top international travel packages at www.travelzoo
Another popular site for travel deals is travel.aol.com
Research entrance requirements and warnings for the areas youíre planning to visit at travel.state.gov
Get a passport or ensure yours is up-to-date at travel.state.gov
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