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How to Save Money & Frustration While Traveling


ShutterStock image licensed by the author

Traveling to a holiday destination or on a business trip can be a delightful and exciting experience.

However, every trip starts with planning chores and precautions many are loath to do. Without proper planning, holidays easily degenerate into expensive nightmares. This doesn’t have to be so, if you:

Do your homework

This is the most important part of a trip. Most people prefer exotic locations for their holidays, which inadvertently mean they have no clue about the place. It is therefore makes sense to do as much research as possible. Check with friends and family who have visited that location for tips and advice. You can also check online sites where visitors post their experiences and recommendations.

These are some of the things you need to consider about your destination beforehand.

The weather/climate

This will determine what you need in terms of clothing, transportation etc. This will save you unexpected shopping costs when you get there. For example, if you are going someplace where temperature variations are larger than you are accustomed to, plan to dress in layers.


This is important and may dictate what food or drinks are available. You may have to make other plans if you have special dietary requirements.

Average costs

Holiday destinations especially those far from cities can charge high prices for simple necessitates like sunglasses. And really ridiculous prices for such “luxuries” as a bottle of water or an umbrella.

Distances between attractions

Your glossy travel brochure may fail to mention that those historic sites are only accessible by taxi, or twice a week. This will result in costly travel expenses or cancellations. Call ahead to avoid costly hassles.

Hours of operation

Many visitors get stranded when travel schedules, especially those involving public transportation, go wrong. Do not make very tight schedules, to avoid missing a connecting flight, or the last shuttle to the secluded resort.

Book in advance


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A spur of the moment adventurous trip may sound like a romantic idea (and can even be a bargain), but be prepared for late booking fees, reservation wait lists, unconfirmed bookings, and sky high rates for “impulse” excursions. Usually, you will save a lot of money by booking well in advance. This applies to hotels, airlines, concert tickets or boat cruises. Early booking gives you choice discounts, package specials and free offers. This also avails enough time for you to research and plan every little detail of your trip.

Travel off-season

Those ancient sites or pristine sandy beaches can be crowded and expensive in high season. Most businesses have to cash in during the brief holiday weeks, and will therefore charge a premium. This includes everything from airlines to the local ice cream vendor. You can save significant amounts in hotel, transport, tours, and food charges by traveling off-season.

How you pay matters

Cross border payments are a veritable gold mine for banks, credit card companies and other payment processors. Your holiday can be much more expensive when you get hit by extortionist exchange rates, check clearing fees, money transfer charges, overdraw penalties and roaming surcharges. Credit cards are the best for making payments abroad, but be sure to use those that support multiple currencies and charge low fees. Avoid using your bank account at all costs. Paying in cash may also attract penalties in certain places, such as for train or bus tickets.

Cell phone roaming

If you are not leaving you own country, this may not be a concern. But if you are traveling to another country, you may come back to find your cell phone bill with several hundred dollars in “roaming fees” even if you didn’t make or get any calls! This is because the “smartphone” nearly everyone carries these days may automatically pick up email from any carrier it finds — which comes with hefty data charges. To avoid this, contact your cell phone provider to see what fees you may encounter at your destination. If you are planning early enough, you may be able to get a foreign SIM. You might have to “unlock” your phone first, but most carriers will let you do that if you tell them you will be traveling to another country.

It may be less expensive to rent a cell phone while you are there.

Online resources

The modern traveler has a host of resources online which can make traveling much easier to plan. Services such as Turkey Visas have also gone online, making most travel requirements accessible at a click of a button.

Use all these resources to ensure your trip turns out to be a memorable one — in a good way.

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