Traveling on a budget?
Traveling can be as cheap or expensive as you want it or make it to be. If you want to save some money on your travels, so you can extend your stay or pay for experiences on the go, then some simple clever budgeting is the way to go! Below, I have outlined five ways that you can save money on the road. Some are more so for American travellers but they are worth reading no matter where you are coming from.
You will need to ensure that your credit history is looking good if you want to get a credit card with travel rewards/points. Bear in mind, some countries don’t offer these types of credit cards. So check out if you can get one in your country first.
Find out your credit score and simulate what would happen if you spent x amount on flights or made a large purchase. A credit simulator tool will give you an idea of what your financial boundaries would be.
Give it a shot, and see what your score looks like here. Many apps like credit simulators are 100% free so give it a try!
Getting approved for a travel reward card will depend on point 1 above of having your credit rating in a solid place. This can give you bonuses like travel insurance and no fees for foreign currency transfers.
While traveling, converting your currency at the airport (a lot of tourists do!) typically means that you will get overcharged! You might receive a “commission-free” exchange but you’ll also get a horrible exchange rate and that’s where the company makes the money, at your expense.
Usually, is can be cheaper to just use your debit card at an ATM to take out cash. Having a good credit card while traveling, will give you flexibility for higher purchases such as hotels, excursions or renting a vehicle. (while you might also collect some free travel points!).
Always know the exchange rate for the country you are traveling to. Check out the rates online before you convert your currency.
Some travel rewards credit cards also offer travel insurance to many of their customers, free of charge even!
It might vary depending on the credit card but many companies also offer free insurance for car rentals, insurance if your flight is delayed and also insurance for lost or damaged luggage, which could be valuable to you if you are traveling with expensive electronic gadgets.
Find out from your credit card provider what they can offer you regarding insurance.
If you are an American, many US credit card providers will charge you a non-US transaction fee for purchases overseas. This can be as high as 3%, so it is worth looking into if you can source an alternative credit card or see if they will allow free overseas transactions in certain retailers or locations.
Go forth, travel and save money!