How To Save Money on Transportation When Traveling Abroad

How to Save Money on Transportation When Traveling Abroad

Save Money on Transportation

Transportation and lodging account for the largest portions of a traveler’s budget. If you plan a vacation during peak travel seasons, you can count on spending even more money. However, there are several alternative options that you should consider before making reservations. Here are some of the best ways to save money on transportation when traveling abroad.

Trains

Trains are a great way to quickly zip across long distances. You can even save the cost of a hotel if you reserve a sleeper car. Rail passes give you the ease and convenience of traveling to multiple cities for a flat rate. There are variations of them across the world, but the European Rail Pass is probably the most famous. If you plan on visiting several countries, you should definitely look into buying one. Simply enter your destinations and dates, and the search engine will guide you through the itinerary, step by step. Check out their featured routes to save money on transportation when traveling abroad.

If you are more adventurous and prefer to navigate foreign cities on your own, most places have an all access transit card. This gives you an authentic flavor of life abroad since you are traveling alongside the locals. As an added bonus, most buses, subways, and light-rail trains also conveniently pass by the most popular sites. It’s an economical option which lets you  splurge a little on the travel experiences you enjoy most.

Planes

Most travel websites do a fair job of comparing flights among domestic carriers. They also allow you to set up email alerts when prices drop. However, I prefer Skyscanner or ITA Matrix since they include all major international competitors. They have easy-to-use tools that compare prices day by day. With a little flexibility in dates and destinations, you can save a lot of dough. It’s even possible to find flights for pennies on the dollar if you can leave within 24 hours.

You should also check out the TripAdvisor app on your phone since it offers one-stop shopping. It helps you find flights, hotels, restaurants, and things to do all in one search engine. The site is especially helpful on those day when you are looking for something more to do. With a few taps, you can locate the best restaurants and attractions near you. Best of all, it even allows you to customize your search within a set budget!

Automobiles

Renting a car on vacation can be a huge, unnecessary expense. Between the gas, parking fees, and insurance, a rental can eat up a good portion of your budget. However, paying for a seat in someone else’s car can save you hundreds of dollars. BlaBlaCar is a European-based ride sharing app that allows you to carpool with car owners seeking to save gas money. The website is easy to peruse and matches you with multiple drivers in your area. You can quickly compare prices and times of departure. If you are hesitant to jump in a stranger’s car, there are plenty of reviews from previous passengers to verify your driver’s credentials.

Charter buses and long-distance coaches are another great way to reserve your cash when traveling abroad. Coach travel has also changed a lot in recent years. Contrary to the associated stigma, most vehicles are clean, comfortable, and efficient. International service usually provides food, beverage, free wifi, and a restroom on board as well. Upgraded tickets can also get you reclining chairs and memory foam seats. Avoid the hustle of airports and train stations by reserving yourself a seat on board a coach and save money on transportation when traveling abroad.

Read More

 

Simple Ways to Save on Travel

Travel is an important goal for many. Many people talk about travel as some of their best experiences. However, travel can be very expensive. Without planning, travel can be so expensive that you might wish that you hadn’t taken the trip after the bills arrive. This article will discuss some simple ways to save on travel so that you can enjoy your vacation instead of worrying about how much you are paying.

The first way is to use a credit card with airline miles. If traveling is your goal, obtaining a credit card that will give you airline miles every time that you make a purchase is a smart choice. There are some credit cards such as Citi/AAdvantage

Platinum World Select Elite Mastercard that will offer you enough miles for a free trip just by signing up. Some may require you to make a certain amount of purchases within a couple of months, but you will not have to pay anything additional for the flight outside of making your regular purchases.

The second way is to use a furnished housing company. An example of a furnished housing company is Zeus Living. If you use Zeus Living, you will be able to rent fully-furnished apartments on a monthly basis. Zeus is a more stable and secure option than Airbnb and similar services. Zeus Living also guarantees a level of quality compared to Airbnb where you are generally dealing with a different landlord in every city that you visit. 24/7 customer support, curated furniture, and stable WiFi comes standard for every apartment.

Eating in instead of dining out is another way to save money when traveling. By renting an apartment with a kitchen and packing food, you can cook meals for yourself. If you skipped bringing food to save room in your luggage, supermarkets in different cities and countries will have plenty of ready-made meals available for purchase. If you’re staying at a hotel, ordering delivery can be a way to obtain excellent local meals without paying a premium just because you are ordering a meal at a hotel. Bringing some snacks and food from home is a way to save on very expensive food options during airline travel.

Another tip to save on travel is to keep shopping after purchasing an airline flight. The U.S. Transportation Department requires both domestic and foreign airlines to allow you to cancel your airline flight purchase within 24 hours of purchase. You can continue to look for better fares after you have purchased your flight. Many airlines also allow a longer period of time after the purchase of your flight where you can adjust the price of the flight to the current amount. So, if the price of the flight you purchased goes lower, you can obtain a refund between the price you paid and the current amount.

Another tip to save money on travel is to use public transportation while traveling. Renting a car, paying for fuel, and paying for a parking spot are generally quite expensive. Taxis can also be very expensive. Many cities have affordable and efficient public transportation to use. Buses, rail cars, and trains can provide a convenient way to move around a city without paying a lot. There are generally passes for weekly and monthly rates that offer a large discount. Renting a bike can also be a very affordable way to travel in a city inexpensively. Using a bike allows you a very personal way to see a city quickly and inexpensively.

Protect Yourself from Scammers and Pickpockets

Protect Yourself from Scammers and Pickpockets

Losing your wallet or important documents will quickly sour any vacation or travel plans. Add the complications of international travel and a language barrier, and you will be facing a dire situation. That’s why it’s important to protect yourself and your belongings when you are in unfamiliar places. However, the best advice is to use common sense and learn how to prevent it in the first place. Here are a few tricks to protect yourself from scammers and pickpockets. Thinking ahead can save you a lot of hassle and headaches.

Don’t Stand Out to Scammers and Pickpockets

Identity theft is the last thing anyone wants to deal with on vacation. However, the truth is that anyone, anywhere, can become a victim of pickpocketing. There is no defining profile, age, or limit to the ingenuity of how scammers separate people from their valuables. It is also common for them to work in teams and distract their unknowing prey.

Your best defense is to not draw their attention in the first place. People wearing expensive jewelry, electronics, and designer labels tell pickpockets that they have money. Avoid wearing bright colors or standing out in large crowds, especially in transportation hubs and tourists spots. Carrying maps and showing large amounts of cash are great ways to become the next mark. Instead, think of how to blend in and act like a local. Even if you get lost, continue on confidently as if you know where you are. Find a discreet place to get your bearings and not stand out like a sore thumb.

Travel Light Through Airports and Stations

Toting around large amounts of luggage and bags is another way to attract the wrong kind of attention. If you are carrying several bags, using a map, or wearing a large jacket, someone can easily snatch things without you noticing. That’s why you should travel light, secure your most important belongings, and keep them in your field of vision at all times.

Make sure your bags are not hanging loosely open, and place the most valuable things in a zippered pocket. Slashing and snatching purse straps is one of the most common and profitable grabs for scammers and pickpockets. I prefer to store my documents in the hotel safe and separate my cash into different places, just in case. Even if you do become an unfortunate victim, at least you will not have lost everything due to a careless mistake.

Stay Aware of your Surroundings

This piece of advice is simply to use common sense. Always stay aware of your surroundings and watch out for suspicious behavior. Be wary of anyone who approaches you unless it is law enforcement. Surveys, fundraisers, maps, and clipboards are all common props scammers use in ruses. People expect bumping and pushing in crowded places, giving pickpockets the perfect opportunity. Thieves are known to operate around major metro stations, popular attractions, and ATMs, so be alert as you pass through these places.

Keep your belongings in front of you, and your valuables in the most inaccessible place. There are tons of travel accessories and clothing available with specially designed pockets to protect you from scammers and pickpockets. Most importantly, don’t carry anything that you aren’t prepared to lose.

Back-up your Identification and Documents

This last note is probably the simplest and most overlooked precaution. Before you leave, take a few minutes to scan your documents and upload them to a website like Dropbox or Google Drive. You can also add your itinerary and airline information so all your critical information is available in one place.

In the event something does happen, you will have your passport, driver’s license, insurance cards, and prescriptions available instantly. This will make things move faster if you do need to contact the police or embassy. You can also make photocopies to carry with you.

Being a traveler in an unfamiliar place means you are more vulnerable. With a few precautions and common sense, you can protect yourself from scammers and pickpockets. Take the time to prepare for all eventualities and stay alert. Theft will always be a concern for travelers, but the extra effort can decrease the odds of becoming the next mark and keep you safe.

Protect Yourself from Scammers and Pickpockets

 

Read More