Many people dream of traveling abroad but fear the cost of travel. However, traveling does not have to break your bank account. There are plenty of ways to save money while realizing your dream vacation. Check out the following ten suggestions.
1. Get a Tourist Pass
Purchasing a tourism pass can save you plenty. Most major cities offer a tourist pass or tourism card. A London Tourist Pass or a Berlin Welcome Card are good examples. For one great value, these passes include free admission to many museums in addition to free use on public transportation services like trains and buses. These passes may also include discounts toward city tours and day trips as well as many restaurants. Tourism passes can be purchased online or at tourism offices, hotels and airports within the city you are visiting.
2. Take Advantage of City Tours
Like tourism passes, most major cities offer a variety of tours that involve walking, cycling, bus and museum tours as well as river cruises, safaris and adventure expeditions. These tours allow you to experience your travel destination for one affordable cost. Some cities even offer free welcome tours that include walkabout groups that introduce you to city landmarks and other attractions without spending a penny.
3. Eat Cheap
If you book a hotel package that includes breakfast, eating in can save you the extra money you would spend in a cafe. Since most dining establishments offer lunch specials, you might want to make lunch your biggest meal of the day when traveling. In some places like Italy, restaurants and bars offer free appetizers at certain times of the day for the price of a drink. You can also save money by eating at cheap eateries and fast food joints that are located in nearly every major city.
4. Sleep Cheap
There are a number of ways to save on accommodation. For one, you can stay with a local family for free. There are companies available that connect travelers and volunteer families together. Not only can you save money this way, but you also get to experience the local culture firsthand. If you prefer to stay in a hotel, you can do an online search for cheap hotels to find the best price for your budget and preferences. Additionally, you can book hotel rooms using discounted rates that may apply to you like AAA, military and AARP.
5. Enjoy Free Stuff
Most people would be surprised to learn the number of free things they can see and do while traveling abroad. Some museums always offer free admission while others provide free tours at certain times of the day. Some theaters will grant you free entrance during rehearsal performances. Although many famous cathedrals will charge for tours, you can see the inside for free if you attend a worship service. London’s West Minister Abbey is a perfect example. What’s more, many civic centers, clubs, pubs and street districts offer free entertainment like live music, shows and street performers.
6. Get Around Cheap
Renting a car in foreign cities can be costly and confusing if you are unfamiliar with the area and the road rules. Taxi cabs will often charge higher rates. Using public transportation services like railway, buses and underground subway systems will cost you much less and prevent you from getting lost. If you are going to rent a car check out sites like Save1.com for discounts and deals on car rentals.
7. Avoid Bank Fees
While using ATM machines will usually give you the best exchange rates, foreign transaction fees can eat into your bank account. You can save money by using certain credit cards that don’t charge anything for overseas transactions. Check with your credit card company to find out if this applies to you.
8. Use Your Rewards Card
Using a rewards card can save you plenty when you travel abroad. If you plan on using a credit card anyway, you might as well use one that rewards you with credits and bonus points that you can use toward cheap air fare and big discounts toward restaurants, hotels and major attractions.
9. Travel During the Off Season
Many tourist peaks occur during summer or around popular city festivals, which results in booked hotels and higher prices everywhere. If you can travel outside these times, you can often save money on transportation, hotel accommodation, dining and sightseeing.
10. Benefit from a Tour Package
Taking advantage of a tour package can often save you big bucks. There is a whole wide world of tour packages that cater to special interests like tropical cruises, adventure expeditions, family trips, romantic getaways and so forth. For one great value, these tour packages often include accommodation, transportation, dining and sightseeing.