by Venice Kichura,
Tips for Traveling abroad on a Budget
Before making travel plans for your overseas vacation, be sure to know which countries are more economical. For example, Eastern Europe is cheaper than Western Europe.
If you’re worried about money while on your “dream trip” it’s not much a vacation. But, you don’t have to be rich to go overseas. Here are some tips for stretching your money when you travel abroad.
Visit Off Season
You may love Paris in the springtime, but it’s much cheaper to visit in the colder months. On the other hand, visiting a cold country in the winter may seem unreasonable, but it will save you money. What’s more, traveling off season not only saves you money in airfares, but also in motels and hotels.
Eastern Europe is Cheaper
When Larry and Peggy H. of Connecticut went to France a few years ago, they were shocked to discover they had to pay about $100 a day just for tips. This can be attributed to the strong euro and weak US dollar. On the other hand, countries in Eastern Europe such as Bulgaria, Croatia and Greece are more economical as they haven’t taken on the euro as the official currency of their countries. Before making any travel plans, it’s a good idea to be aware of the exchange rate for the dollar.
Rather than eating at first class tourist restaurants, find out where the locals eat. If you’re on a tour where dinners and breakfasts are covered, take fruit and other items from your breakfast buffet, so you won’t have to pay for lunch. Or, dine on street market fruits (but always wash it thoroughly) as well as snacks from grocery stores. Just make sure the area doesn’t have a reputation for foods that can make you sick. Also, ensure that the water is safe before drinking.
Take buses rather than taxis. Just make sure to be on guard against any possible pickpockets on board. And, of course walking is even cheaper, but be sure you know where you’re going, as well as be equipped with readable maps before venturing out.
Many vendors in foreign countries do business by bargaining. For example, when doing business with street vendors in the Middle East you can often get deals on items such as film and postcards. What’s more, negotiating motel charges is even done in some areas such as South America.
If you don’t mind forfeiting privacy, why not double up or even do a threesome, sharing the cost of a motel room? Not only will you save money, but you also may bond with your roommates, continuing your friendship after your tour is over.
Cut Back on Souvenirs
Resist the urge to pick up souvenirs every time you stop at gift shops. Instead, look for freebies, such as maps and any brochures received from tours. Also, you’ll have more room in your suitcase.
Do Your Own Laundry
When you’re on a tour there’s no time allotted for laundry. If you have the motel do it for you, you’ll be paying big bucks. Instead, why not bring along a small container of powered detergent and launder clothes, as you need them. For example, if you know you’ll be staying more than one night at a motel, you’ll have time for your clothes to dry before you leave to your next destination. Some tourists even bring a small clothesline (or rope) to hang their laundry out to dry.
If these tips seem inconvenient, then just think of the money you’ll save. By doing all you can to cut costs on your trips, you’ll have more money for future trips overseas.