posted by Guest expert - David Bakke | 1 Comments
David Bakke writes about money saving strategies on the popular personal finance resource, Money Crashers.
When you're travelling, it's important to understand that there are money traps virtually everywhere you turn. Since travel has become increasingly expensive with higher airfares and gas prices, it's important to save in any way possible. You may have many great opportunities to get out there and see the world, but the last thing you want is to incur massive personal debt that you must pay down for years. So keep an eye out for these five money traps, and do whatever you can to avoid them.
1. Overpaying for Souvenirs
Street vendors and other businesses frequently take advantage of tourists. Therefore, engage the locals for help if you can, and, at the very least, haggle over the price of souvenirs. Negotiating prices is common practice in many countries (as opposed to many Western countires) so it never hurts to ask for a discount.
2. Making Any Airport Purchases
Whether your stopover is in Amsterdam or Baltimore, understand that all purchases at airports can be obtained through less expensive methods. Resist the urge to purchase anything at all at an airport unless it's an absolute necessity or emergency.
3. Paying ATM Fees
Think ATM fees don't add up? Make a withdrawal at a foreign ATM and you may pay a fee from that bank and your bank, in addition to a possible currency conversion fee. Exchanging your money for cash at a local bank is a better option when travelling internationally. And prior to your trip, find out whether your bank has ATMs or branches in the region you will be visiting.
4. Eating All Your Meals at Restaurants
Eating out when you travel is great - just don't overdo it. Choose a lodging option that has at least some cooking or kitchen facilities. By doing so, you can buy groceries at a local store and save a great deal of money by avoiding costly restaurants.
5. Paying Foreign Transaction Fees
If you use a credit card when you travel abroad, make sure to use one without foreign transaction fees, which can add 3% to every international purchase you make. Even if you aren't physically in the country, you could be charged this fee on purchases processed through a foreign vendor. Check what fees your current credit cards apply, and if necessary, apply for a credit card without foreign transaction fees before your trip.
Although some of these expenses may seem minor, they can add up in a hurry. Once your trip has begun, it's very easy to take a relaxed attitude toward spending - however, that's not a financially wise mindset. Invest the time and do the research beforehand so you'll know how to avoid spending more money than is necessary.
Do you know of any other money traps to avoid?
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