Jet-Set Smart: 9 Travel Hacks to Jet Off Abroad Without Draining Your Wallet

If you’re planning an international trip this year but you’re concerned about the cost, these hot tips will help you save on your next vacation.

Don’t Put Your Plans on Hold

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The world is in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, and it can be tempting to put travel plans on hold to save your hard-earned cash. But international travel doesn’t have to break the bank!

9 Cash-Saving Travel Tips

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There are plenty of ways to reduce expenses before and during an international trip. Often, it just takes some extra research and preparation. Here are our 9 best tips for saving money on your next trip. 

1. Keep Your Luggage As Carry-On

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By only packing enough for a carry-on bag, you can pocket the extra cash you would have spent on checked baggage. If you’re taking multiple cross-country flights, this could save you hundreds in baggage fees!

Pack Light, Save More 

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Write a short list of essentials and keep your clothing list to no more than 4 or 5 changes. This should be especially easy if you’re traveling to warmer countries where you won’t need thick layers, coats, and other cold-weather accessories.

2. Use Public Transport

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Getting familiar with public transport systems in a new country might seem daunting, but it will pay off big time. Trading taxis and rideshare apps like Uber and Grab for train tickets and bus rides will leave you with a lot of extra cash.

Transport Cards

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Make sure to buy a transport pass in each city, which will give you an extra discount.

You can often find these passes at airports, and many international cities offer tourist-specific bus and train passes, like the Japan Rail Pass and the Eurail Pass.

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3. Shop At Grocery Stores

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While it can be tempting to restaurant-hop while you’re on vacation, it can also burn a huge hole in your pocket.

Picking up snacks, fresh fruit, and quick meals from local grocery stores can be a great way to offset overpriced airport food and three-course meals at pricey tourist traps.

Check Food Costs First

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While grocery snacks and meals are a great hack for very expensive countries like Switzerland, Australia, and New Zealand, it’s less of a concern in more affordable regions like South East Asia, where many countries offer delicious meals for as little as $2 or $3. 

4. Travel in the Off-season 

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Many of the world’s top tourist destinations will ramp up prices during the busy season when these locations see the highest surge in tourists.

Take time off to travel during the offseason, when hotel, restaurant, and flight prices drop back down to their normal rates. 

Consider the Holidays

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US holidays may also give you an idea of when to travel. Many Americans travel to Europe, Mexico, and other destinations for holidays like New Year and Christmas, so you know to avoid these periods.

But millions favor domestic travel over Thanksgiving, which means that flight costs tend to be lower around this time.

5. Do Price Research First 

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Get familiar with local prices before you travel. This will give you a better idea of a reasonable price for local accommodation, food, and souvenirs and what is purposefully overpriced for unwitting tourists.

Improve Your Haggling 

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Doing price research will also help you avoid the “tourist tax” in cultures where haggling over prices is socially expected.

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This way, you’ll know how low you can go without being rude, and you can identify when market vendors are haggling for unreasonably high amounts. 

6. Use Travel Rewards and Loyalty Programs

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Airline and hotel reward programs are a must if you’re a regular traveler. Programs like Wyndham Rewards and Delta SkyMiles let you accrue travel points and spend them on free flights, room upgrades, and more at no extra cost. 

They’re Not Just for Flights and Hotels

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Rewards points aren’t just for hotels and flights – they can also be redeemed for travel experiences, such as tickets to events, restaurant meals, spa days, and more!

7. Keep a Decoy Wallet in Hand

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Traveling to countries with higher rates of petty crime can bite into your budget if you fall victim to thieves.

Consider keeping a secondary wallet with a small sum and some expired credit cards in your pants pocket to divert a thief and keeping your primary wallet in a less obvious spot, such as an inner shirt pocket. 

Research Crime Rates Before You Go

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You may be surprised by the countries that have relatively high rates of pickpocketing, such as Italy and Spain, and figuring this out beforehand will help you stay mentally prepared and cautious of your surroundings.

8. Consider Hiring a Local Guide

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While this may be too much if you’re on a tight budget, hiring a local tour guide, even if for a single day, may allow you to glean valuable money-saving tips from a local source.

Ask Plenty of Questions

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A guide’s job is to show you the local attractions, but they’re also there to share the local culture and help you navigate the city.

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Most guides will be more than happy to share tidbits, such as where the cheap eats are, which supermarket and department store chains have the best prices, and who offers the lowest exchange rates, etc. 

9. Use Price Comparison Sites

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In 2024, this is probably a no-brainer, but many are still faithful to specific airlines.

If you’re not picky about who you fly with, use price comparison sites like Kayak and Skyscanner to search and compare all available flights for your destination so you can find the cheapest options.

Set Price Alerts in Advance

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You can set up price alerts with sites like Skyscanner and Trip.com. These alerts will let you know via email or text whenever your chosen flights go up or down and when any discounts are available, potentially saving you hundreds.

The post Jet-Set Smart: 9 Travel Hacks to Jet Off Abroad Without Draining Your Wallet first appeared on Hello Positive Mindset.

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