Decide your budget: Many people do not estimate a budget, and as a result, spend more during the trip. Agreed, that it may not be possible to plan with exact precision. But without a realistic budget, there may be a tendency to spend impulsively on unnecessary things. Include an emergency budget to cover unexpected expenses like a doctor’s visit or if your luggage is misplaced.
Make reservations in advance: An overseas vacation should be planned beforehand. Ideally, you must make your flight and accommodation reservations well in advance. This not only ensures that you get good rates on tickets and hotel rooms, but is also a good check on how much you spend. Determining your budget and making your booking in advance can help to avoid unnecessary expenses.
Make use of deals and offers: Booking a holiday through a travel agent is less cumbersome, but can work out to be quite expensive. Instead, try to do your own research and look out for ongoing deals and discounts. It is important to research your options well and understand what suits your needs the best. Plan your itinerary in advance, especially details on the place you want to visit, mode of local travel, where you plan to eat, etc. Having these details in place can enable you to have control on your budget to a great extent. The popularity of the internet has resulted in many travel websites which give you a host of discounts and offers on hotel rooms, air tickets, car rentals, etc. You may get attractive deals on each of these categories from different websites.
Currency decisions: In today’s world of plastic money, it is not advisable or convenient to carry around cash. At the same time, one must avoid excessive use of credit cards as well. Not only do you not have a control on the exchange rate used, but also end up paying an extra fee as well. Instead opt for travellers cheques. International debit card is another alternative you can consider since what you spend is instantly debited from your account. This prevents excessive spending. If you are disciplined in your credit card usage, you can consider using cards which are specific travel cards. This can get you reward points and cash back offers during your overseas travel spend.
Choose an offbeat destination: Everyone wishes to travel to Hawaii and Switzerland, how many people can actually afford it? There are many equally exotic destinations, which are offbeat, and as a result less expensive. It is therefore always advisable to choose a destination based on your budget. You could opt for more luxurious destinations when you have surplus funds or lower commitments.
Opt for travel in off peak season: All destinations have a peak and off peak season, based on the climate, festivals and other factors. Try to plan your travel just before or after the peak season. This can get you discounts on hotels, travel and other trips. However, check the downsides of travelling in the off peak season and make your decision.
Pack smartly: Always pack light when you travel overseas. Extra luggage is not only uncomfortable, but will also be charged extra by airlines. Check for laundry facilities at your accommodation or plan a smart mix and match of your clothes.
Be prudent in local expenses: More often than not, it is what you spend locally during your trip that can hurt your pocket. This is because most people do not plan for this in advance. Smart planning of such expenses can reduce your overall trip expenses. For example, make use of public transport wherever possible. If your destination is close-by, you can consider walking. This gives you a chance to explore the city and also save transport costs. If you have an international license, hiring a car is a good idea. If not, you can make use of modern start-ups like Uber to travel locally. Transportation or package tours arranged by hotels can be more expensive. Avoid eating at expensive restaurants and try the local food instead. Download a translation app to help you understand important words in the local language. Of course, you will need to be careful while eating street food. Alternatively, you can find out if there is a facility to order food online. This can also work out to be cheaper than splurging at fancy restaurants. If you wish to buy souvenirs, enquire where you will find it at a lower cost. Usually tourist attractions charge a higher price for the souvenir.
This article was originally published on Moneycontrol. The author can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org