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Travel Spotlight: Ways to Save Money When Traveling Internationally

By DealPro(view all posts by JenniewithBargainBlessings)
at 10:58AM Tuesday June 21, 2011
under DealPro Tips

International travel can be as expensive as it is thrilling. A little research in a few key areas can really pay off in the long run if you are traveling on a budget.

Here are some of those areas that you might want to check in to if you are planning to travel internationally in the near future:
Book Flights Early

Planning your trip early is always important when it comes to saving money, but it really becomes vital when you are traveling internationally. A friend of mine who recently traveled to Europe decided to take the risk and wait an extra month to book plane tickets and as a result ended up paying a whopping $400 more for airfare than she would have had she booked earlier. Although there are cases when waiting until the last minute to book flights can pay off, in my opinion flying internationally is not one of them.

Consider Staying in a Hostel

I personally have never stayed in a hostel and must admit that I've sometimes cringed at the idea, but I do have many friends that have and they swear by them. Hotels can be quite costly overseas, so hostels can be a great option if you would like to cut costs in the accommodations area. If staying in a room with five or more people that you may not know is not your idea of fun you can also consider a single or double room at a hostel which can still be considerably less than the price of a hotel.

Travel in the Off-Season

This one might seem obvious, but it really can create some substantial savings. Do some research on your destination and compare the off season prices to the peak season prices. You might be surprised at the difference a few months can make in your travel plans.

Research Your Destination

Just like you might know the best places to dine and visit in your local town and state, locals in other countries possess the same money saving secrets. Some of the best restaurants that I've been to while traveling have been small hole-in-the-wall hidden gems that I never would have found without the advice of someone who knew the area well. If you are not able to connect with locals online before you depart on your trip, consider talking to others who have traveled to your destination in the past and don't underestimate the value of striking up a conversation with a local when you arrive!

Know the Currency Exchange Rate

Before you strike a deal for currency exchange, be sure to do your research on the actual exchange rates. It is not unlikely for exchange services to be less expensive at the actual destination than they are in the United States.

Check with Your Cell Phone Carrier

I cannot tell you how often I hear about travelers receiving massive cell phone bills after traveling abroad. This is one area that you will not want to skip when it comes to doing the research before you depart on your trip. There are several options for communicating overseas including using Skype, switching out your phone's SIM card with another from the country you are visiting, purchasing a travel phone or calling cards, or temporarily adding an international roaming plan with your current mobile provider. If you have a smart phone you will also want to check with your provider on what international data access is going to cost you.

Taking the time to research these areas should help allow for some extra wiggle room in the areas of your budget that you actually do want to spend a little extra in! I'd love to hear what other ways you've been successful in saving money while traveling internationally!

Jennie blogs over at BargainBlessings.com and is passionate about helping others to keep their hard earned money in their pocket where it belongs.