While you can’t lower exchange rates or make airlines reduce fees, there are a few solutions to make traveling abroad less expensive.
You’ve probably heard the adage about traveling: “Bring half of what you think you need, and twice as much money.”
From food to accommodations to transportation and more, the price of traveling abroad is climbing higher than ever – and it isn’t showing signs of slowing down. While you can’t lower exchange rates or make airlines reduce fees, there are a few solutions to make traveling abroad less expensive.
Planning your perfect trip
Saving a little extra spending money should be your number one priority before taking a big trip.
“I think in today’s economy, cost plays a very large factor,” says Michelle Murray, Director of Sales and Marketing for Contiki, a company that specializes in arranging tours and trips for 18- to 35-year olds.
“We try our best to offer specials and great pricing to clients because, hands down, we love travel. It’s a life lesson. It’s worth scraping those pennies for the experience.”
When travel companies like Contiki book blocks of hotel rooms or arrange for transportation for large groups, you benefit from special bulk pricing. If you book a tour or trip with a bunch of friends (hello, summer after graduation!), Contiki even offers group discounts.
Knowing when To travel
Murray recommends traveling during what’s known as the “shoulder season” – right before or after the peak summer season. Airfare will probably cost less, hotel vacancies are more common and there are fewer tourists.
Plus, the weather is usually great during those months. Bonus!
Finding a temporary home
Websites like HostelBookers, Hostelworld, Booking.com, and Flashbooking will compare prices, show past reviews and provide detailed descriptions so you can make the best decision when choosing a hostel or hotel.
You may be surprised, but hostels are not always cheaper than hotels!
If you want a fun, easy and inexpensive way to meet new people, check out CouchSurfing.
When you create a profile online, you instantly join a network of people all over the world who are willing to open up their house to you for free when you’re traveling. “I CouchSurfed all over Ireland and Belgium and met some wonderful, fascinating people!” says Kayla Riley, a University of Maine recent graduate.
Kayla recommends that, for safety reasons, you CouchSurf with a friend and thoroughly check a person’s profile before you stay with them.
Getting around town
Rely on bus, train or subway – three types of transportation that won’t empty your wallet.
Learning the ropes of public transportation is one of the best ways to shed the “I’m not from around here” vibe and blend in with the locals. Ask about discounts for international students or young adults and make sure to buy the correct type of train ticket (local, express, etc.) to avoid extra fees.
For the ultimate old-fashioned, money-saving trick, nix the taxi and take a walk. As your own tour guide, you may stumble upon some of the best-kept secrets of the city.
To learn more, check out the complete article at HerCampus.com.
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