The Ten Easiest Ways to Avoid Extra Expenses When Traveling

1. Do Transportation Research Figure out what will be the most cost-effective way to get from the airport/train station to your destination. Public transportation will probably be cheaper than shuttle buses, and shuttle buses are definitely cheaper than cabs. Copy down clear directions to avoid complications, and factor that cost into your budget.

2. Measure and Weigh Luggage
Following luggage restrictions is the easiest way to save potentially hundreds of dollars. Most flights only allow one bag per person, and there’s usually a weight and size limit. I’ve paid $100 to check a second suitcase and $200 for overweight luggage (extra pounds add up quickly). Check your airline’s preferences before packing.

3. Bring Entertainment & Food
Chocolate, chips and candy all look really appealing during that boring three-hour layover. Impulse buys are easily avoidable by packing snacks and an empty water bottle in your carry on. Do you really need to buy that WiFi package? Bring a magazine or book and enjoy being disconnected for a while.

4. Pack All-Weather Essentials
A warm sweater, small umbrella and a good pair of shoes will prevent purchases of already-owned-but-forgotten items.

5. Skip the Money Exchange
If the exchange rate is already poor, adding an overpriced transaction fee hurts. ATM’s offer wholesale exchange rates and depending on the card company, withdrawal may even be free of charge.

6. Invest in a Credit Card for Travelers
Reward programs and benefits offered by cards crafted for travelers are too awesome to pass up. From miles per dollar to free hotel stays, at the very least dozens of companies waive foreign transaction fees.

7. Disable Data Roaming
Smart phones can keep sucking data even when we think we’re not using any. Disable data roaming to prevent any unwanted charges and download a WiFi finder app to locate nearby hotspots. Knowing what chains always have free Wifi—such as Starbucks, Panera or McDonalds—is another way to stay connected.

8. Making Calls?
For long trips, skip international SIM card companies and get instead a local SIM card upon arrival. Otherwise, take advantage of those free WiFi areas to Skype or FaceTime home.

9. Texting?
Download a texting app such as WhatsApp or TextNow (or use iMessage between Apple products) to send text messages free of charge through WiFi.

10. Need Directions?
Download an offline maps app. It’s cheaper than a paper guide and who wouldn’t rather look like a techie than a tourist?

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One thought on “The Ten Easiest Ways to Avoid Extra Expenses When Traveling

  1. Excellent tips. Thank you.

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