Living a frugal lifestyle doesn’t mean you can’t travel. Traveling can be one of the most fulfilling and budget friendly joys of life. Peek at these quick 5 tips to save money as you explore the globe.
Be flexible and travel off-season
A little flexibility with your scheduling and travelling off-season can save you 50% or more on airfare and hotel rooms. You will also avoid the biggest crowds and enjoy a more leisurely vacay. Here’s a few examples of off-season blocks to consider:
Mexico – May through November. Hotels slash their rates and cheap but luxe accommodations in all-inclusives are easy to find.
Portugal – mid-May through June and September through mid-October. This is shoulder season, where you can enjoy very nice weather and still save on your accommodations.
Panama – mid-April – early December. It’s the rainy season, so be prepared to spend time indoors. However, hotel rates drop and the rain is not everlasting. You can still enjoy warm weather, excellent food, cultural activities and luxe accommodations for less.
Traveling internationally? Buy a local SIM card
Nothing is worse than returning home from an international vacation and getting hit with extra phone charges. Avoid this by buying a local SIM card for your phone. Local SIM cards are a much better value overall than using your home international calling and data plan. In many countries, you can purchase a local SIM card for $20 or less that will provide calling and data so you can keep in touch with family back home and post pics to Instagram without worry.
Research before you travel with Facebook Groups
Facebook has a travel group for nearly every nook and cranny on earth. If you want to go there, there are hundreds of people on Facebook that have already been there or live there and are happy to offer local based tips that can save you time and money. They’re a great source for the best restaurants, where to stay, where to shop, free and low cost local events, and places to avoid.
Comparison shop for your airfare
Don’t just hop on Expedia and book a flight. Shop around. There are a few flight comparison sites that will not only help you compare airfares side by side but also show you price trends to help you decide if you should buy now or wait. Google Flights shows airfares from most of the major carriers (even Southwest!). Kayak also offers fare comparison with price trending guidance, in a clean familiar interface.
Pro tip – When shopping for travel, always use Incognito mode on your browser or a VPN. Many times, travel sites will tag you with a cookie as you shop around, and not show the absolute best rate.
International trip? Don’t exchange money at the airport
Yes, swapping your money at the airport is super convenient. But you will pay extra for that convenience.
Instead, wait till you get to your destination. A local bank or bank attached ATM will give you a better rate.
Pro tip – Avoid using standalone ATMs. Try to use ATMs inside or attached to banks. There’s less of a chance of skimmers or scams.