If you thought traveling domestically was getting to be expensive, then you should know that traveling internationally is even more so.
Flying internationally, for instance, can potentially cost five to ten times as much as flying domestically on the low end. For example, it’s possible to book a domestic flight for the $150 to $250 range, but an international flight (and especially one that crosses an ocean) will typically cost you $1,000 to $2,000 before cost savings are factored into account.
Here are five strategies you can use this year to save on your international travel costs:
Strategy #1 – Travel During ‘Off’ Season
It’s a simple fact that it’s cheaper to travel at certain times of the year over others. When there’s more travelers, there’s more demand, and the prices increase for everything from airfare to public transportation to car rentals to hotels to food and every other travel related expense that you can think of.
Certain locations of the world receive more or less tourists and visitors depending on the time of the year, so it’s up to you to research which travel times are cheaper.
Strategy # 2 – Seek Out Lower Exchange Rates and Fees For Money Transfers
When you’re traveling internationally, a major factor to take into account is paying for basic things. There are a number of options for how you can do so, from credit cards that allow foreign transactions to pre-paid debit cards to exchanging U.S. dollars for the cash of a foreign currency (which is a good idea because it’s always wise to have foreign cash on hand).
Regardless of which method(s) you choose, it’s important to find ways to save on as much money as possible. For example, when you’re exchanging your money for foreign currency, you’ll have to pay both a percentage fee and a margin of the exchange rate. Search for a remittance service that offers as low of fees as possible in addition to a guaranteed exchange rate.
In the case of credit cards, you’ll probably have to pay a small fee of anywhere from 1% to 5% for every transaction that you make, which can add up quickly. The exception to this rule is if you have a credit card with no fees for foreign transactions, which are actually easy to find.
Strategy #3 – Search The Net For Coupons, Discounts, and Vouchers
When it comes to saving on the cost of airfare, you should search the internet for coupons and discounts and vouchers that can really help you to save on money.
For example, just by typing in something like ‘Emirates vouchers’ is sure to turn up entire lists of relevant coupons and vouchers that could save you a sizable percentage on your total flight costs (such as five to as high as twenty percent).
Strategy #4 – Look For Valuable Credit Card Sign Up Offers
By no means should you feel pressured into signing up for a new credit card if you don’t want or need one (as signing up for a new line of credit will shorten your credit history, which can actually lower your overall credit score by a small amount).
That being said, it’s also important to know that many travel credit cards have some truly awesome sign up offers, such as offering you as much as $250 up to $1,000 in travel rewards for flights and hotel rooms just by spending a certain amount of money in a designated amount of time (such as spending $3,000 in three months, for example).
Strategy #5 – Invest In Travel Insurance
You might initially be puzzled to see this one on this list, such travel insurance is obviously only going to be an added expense.
But at the same time, investing in travel insurance is a good idea if you’re a ‘pray for the best, prepare for the worst’ type of person. In the event of losing valuable items, in suffering a serious medical injury or catching an illness that lands you in a foreign hospital, or having to cancel a non-refundable flight or hotel room early, travel insurance will keep you covered financially speaking, and the savings can number in the thousands of dollars.
Saving On International Travel
Obviously there are many more tips and strategies on saving on international travel out there, but the five that we have covered here today are among the simplest ones that you can easily apply.