Travel!! Ahhhhhh, travel. That elusive thing everyone wants to do but is afraid to do so but are always concerned about the price tag.
Here is the real deal. Travel doesn’t have to be expensive unless of course you are a luxury traveler. But even then, you are getting a certain value for your expense. But who doesn’t want to minimize travel expenses, right? I would assume that luxury traveler wants to save if he/she can too.
Below are three ways to save money for or during your travels.
Most people have and use credit cards. Why not exchange one of your cards for one that rewards your purchases with miles and/or travel points. While I don’t advocate running up your credit cards you can use them to pay for your monthly bills (which you would have to pay anyway) and get rewarded in the process. Add these to the miles you are accumulating from being part of the travel rewards loyalty programs and BINGO…you are on the road to some free travel! I follow a podcast called ChooseFI where they talk about the best methods for using credit cards to essentially get free travel. They also have a website and have an entire section dedicated to this subject. They even have a free course for it. Check it out! It’s extremely informational and even I have learned a few things.
And If you travel for business and are required to use your own credit cards to pay for your travel, HELLLLLOOO, this is an amazing way to rack up on those miles or points for basically nothing.
Additionally, find a credit card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. Credit card issuers sometimes charge foreign transaction fees on transactions made and processed in a foreign currency or passing through a foreign bank. The charge is a percentage of the amount of the transaction, typically 3%. So consider a credit card that doesn’t assess foreign transaction fees — you’ll thank me on your next international trip. Nerdwallet.com recently published a list of the 6 Excellent No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards in 2022. Some on the list are travel rewards too. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!!
Get Rail Passes
Rail passes (like Eurail) are a great way to save money when it comes to train travel, especially in Europe. If you’re traveling around the region for a while, rail passes will likely be much cheaper than just booking individual trips. If you are booking individual trips, booking ahead of time can usually save you about 50% of the cost of a train ticket. However, that fixes you to a set timeline. If you don’t want to be tied into a fixed schedule, rail passes can save you a lot of money while giving you the flexibility you need.
If you live in the US and want to take advantage of train travel, Amtrak is an option. While living in NYC my friends and I would take the Amtrak train to Montreal for long weekends. It was less expensive than a flight, easier than going to the airports (especially in NYC) and a smooth trip. There is a great blog article at Koopy.com entitled “12 Clever Ways to Save Money On Your Next Amtrak Trip”
Consider an e-SIM Card in Destination:
Never heard of e-SIM cards? They are the next evolution of the SIM card. It’s a SIM card that is embedded into your device, so you don’t require a physical SIM card. You can activate it by installing the “eSIM profile” of a new operator. It’s important to note this only works with unlocked devices. With an eSIM card you can use multiple operators and subscribe simultaneously several data plans to suit your needs: when travelling, working from home or remotely. What’s even better about this is that it can be installed into your phone or laptop. In some cases, you can save up to 90% off roaming costs. One provider of e-SIM cards and service is Ubigi. They offer free e-SIM profiles and one-off (valid for 30 days), monthly and annual plans. For instance, you can purchase 3 Gigabytes of Data in France for $8 or 10GB for $19. It’s all convenient and prepaid with no commitments.
Savvy travelers who are always on the lookout for a good deal and can save money by following even just a few of these simple tips. As you travel more often you will learn new tips and tricks that resonate with you. Every little bit helps.
So, can traveling be expensive? Absolutely, but it can also be inexpensive and doesn’t require backpacking and staying in hostels. If tips and tricks to saving money before and during your travels check out my guide “Ultimate Guide To Reducing Your Travel Costs.”