7 Tips for Travelling Around the World on a Budget5 February, 2015
If you’ve dreamed of an international vacation, don’t give up because you think it’s too expensive. Overseas travel is possible on a budget, especially if you’ve got an adventurous spirit and practice a few money-saving tips. Besides, thrifty travel lets you live like a local and experience the culture of the cities you explore. So go ahead and plan an overseas adventure and use these tips to help you stretch your budget.
Stay in Pensions and B&Bs
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You’ll easily cut your lodging costs in half while simultaneously doubling your exposure to the local culture. The warm family atmosphere in private B&Bs is a welcome respite after a busy day sightseeing, and the free morning meal featuring local cuisine keeps food dollars in your pocket.
Be Smart with Your Rental Car
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In many cases, a rental car is a cheaper option than trains or flights for traveling between cities. To save money, pick up a car from National car rental after you’ve explored your first major city and turn it in when you arrive at your final destination. You’ll save parking fees and cut the number of days you need a car.
Book Open-Jaw Airline Tickets
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Open-jaw is airline speak for flying into one city and out of another. Open-jaw tickets let you explore more of a country or region without having to circle back to your arrival city. These tickets are almost always much cheaper than two one-way tickets and save you an entire travel day.
Eat Like a Local
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In general, a restaurant with a bilingual menu is going to be more expensive and less delicious than places that cater to locals. A handwritten menu is usually a good sign; if you’re unsure what to order or can’t translate the menu, order the daily special. It’s most likely a customer favorite, which means you’ll get an authentic dining experience.
Baggage fees can wreck a budget, and many foreign airlines have more restrictive weight limits than those originating in the US. Bring one bag and keep the weight below 35 pounds max. Keep in mind, you’ll probably be carrying your luggage around a lot more overseas, so you’ll be glad you packed light. You’ll also have room to bring home souvenirs.
Pay with Cash
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Many times, the places with the best prices only accept cash. This applies to restaurants and shops, and often even lodgings. Even if a merchant accepts credit cards, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount and pay cash. You’ll be surprised at how many will do so to avoid credit card fees.
Pack a Picnic
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You can save a lot of cash and enjoy some beautiful public spaces by packing a picnic. Look for a deli and buy a sandwich or loaf of bread and some cheese. Add a bottle of local beer or wine, and lunch for two can cost as little as $10, a huge savings over restaurant meals.
These tips, plus a little out-of-the-box thinking, can keep your overseas vacation affordable and exciting.