There’s no way around it: Traveling internationally isn’t cheap. Still, it doesn’t have to put you in debt. Here are few money-saving tips to cut back on expenses.
First, pay less to convert currency
Those money exchange kiosks at airports usually charge you a higher exchange rate and may even charge you a fee. For better rates, take out money at an ATM, which typically charges a fee of 1% to 3%.
An ATM is the best choice for cash, but otherwise it’s usually more cost-effective to use your credit card for purchases when traveling abroad. Using plastic is the best way to avoid unnecessary fees, however, the majority of cards will charge a foreign transaction fee which can add 3% to every purchase. Instead, consider using one of these cards that doesn’t have a foreign transaction fee.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
If you’re visiting a market, or just buying souvenirs from a street vendor, haggle a little. Adopt the mantra “I’m OK with walking away,” and vendors will see that you’re a serious shopper who is looking for a fair price.
Of course, it can be hard to negotiate if you’re somewhere you don’t speak the language. If you’re in a country where communication is a barrier, use the calculator on your phone to display the price you’re willing to pay.
Take public transportation
It’s always easier to jump in a cab, but that’s rarely the cheapest way to get around. For instance, if you take a taxi from Heathrow International Airport to central London, it can cost up to 90 pounds (about $117). Take the Tube, and you’ll pay less than 6 pounds a person, or about $8. Also, many cities have three- or seven-day unlimited travel passes that give you a discounted fare.
Don’t stay downtown
Instead of staying in a popular neighborhood, stay at a hotel or Airbnb just outside the city. It’s often just a 15- or 20-minute ride or drive away, but can save you hundreds during a trip.
Airfare drops significantly in the fall. In fact, flight-booking app Hopper predicts that domestic airfare will fall 8.2% in October. Internationally, Hopper forecasts prices to places like Cancun, Vancouver and Tokyo will also drop in the fall. To stay on top of low prices, set a fare alert on your favorite booking site, and when the prices drop, book right away.
Brittany Jones-Cooper is a writer for Yahoo Finance.