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Money-Saving Tips While Traveling

By Elaine Elliott

Between expensive airports and tempting restaurants, it’s easy to spend more money than expected while traveling.

Before you leave for your upcoming vacation or trip, consider these money-saving tips while traveling.

These simple suggestions will give you peace of mind during your relaxing holiday.


Use a travel-focused credit card


There are plenty of credit cards out there with various perks and features, but travel cards are the best if you want to book a lot of trips. Credit cards such as Delta SkyMiles, JetBlue Plus, and United Club will give you miles toward the affiliated airline every time you make a purchase. This means when you buy groceries or go out for a date night dinner, you’re slowly accumulating more and more points toward free flights. Other cards such as the Capital One Venture and Chase Sapphire Reserve also earn air travel points. Whichever card you decide to pick, make sure the specific airline(s) fly out of your local airport often to make sure it’s worth the price of the annual fee.


Pay in cash


Due to international fees, using a credit or debit card abroad can be more expensive than expected. International fees can range from 1-5% for every purchase on a card. The best way to avoid these fees is to either use a credit card that waives these fees (many travel-focused cards do), or take out cash beforehand. US dollars can be converted to most currencies at a bank or credit union in the states.


Bring snacks to the airport


Everything in the airport is more expensive, especially food and drinks. Bring your own snacks or leftovers (as long as they aren’t liquid!) ahead of time so you can stay full without having to pay surge charges on airport meals. Bringing extra Tupperware or containers will also be helpful because you can use these to bring food back from your trip or keep leftovers from restaurants. 


Travel in the off season


Traveling during popular times of the year such as Christmas, New Year’s, and summer can mean dealing with expensive hotel rates, crowded restaurants, and pricey guided tours. Before you pick your destination of choice, double check to make sure you’re not visiting during a major holiday or tourist season. You’ll be glad you went during the off season because locals are more patient and you’ll save a bunch of money in the process.


Visit free attractions


It might be tempting to book guided tours, spa treatments, and poolside cabanas every day on your trip, but these pricey activities can burn a hole in your wallet. Check out parks, beaches, historical sites, and neighborhoods that don’t include a fee. A simple Google search can suggest plenty of beautiful areas or walking tours for DIY sightseeing. For example, Moab, Utah has a few national parks with a fee, but there are still dozens of scenic hikes off the beaten path. And popular beach destinations like Greece have beaches with an upfront fee, but for every beach with an entry fee, there is also a no frills beach nearby that is just as gorgeous.   

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