Travelling around the world is easily one of the top bucket list items for most people. We all want to go to those exotic islands in the Maldives, travel to the shopping hub of London and Dubai, take a jungle safari in Africa and more. However, these travel goals often remain unfulfilled because they are so expensive. Our pockets tend to be empty most days, making us feel as if we will never be able to achieve these goals.
What if we were to tell you that you can get your Insta post at these beautiful locations, that too in a budget?
With the world becoming smaller due to globalization and the other advancements of the modern age, one no longer needs to be wealthy to afford international vacations. While planning an international trip, every step needs to be well thought out, making sure that you are able to save the maximum amount at each step. One of the easiest ways to save big bucks on your trips abroad is to pay using travel credit cards. These cards come with an extensive list of perks that will fit a memorable trip in your budget. Travelling on a budget is easy, all you need to do is plan ahead and plan wisely.
Let us look at some of the ways one can get the most passport stamps, that too in a budget:
- Credit rewards: Rewards saved upon your travel credit cards can be cashed up, especially during the holiday season. This will be even more useful if you can redeem the rewards as a travel statement credit. Use the credit card for booking air tickets or hotel reservations at the lowest costs and redeem your reward points gained from those charges later.
- Airline fee credit: Some credit cards especially travel credit cards provide airline fee credits. These credits cover the costs of checked baggage fees, in-flight meals and drinks, airport lounge access as well as other upgrades. One can easily trim down their vacation costs as well as travel in style by simply redeeming the credits on their trip. However, it is important to note that these rewards may have an expiry date which is usually the end of the year.
- Baggage fee waiver: Travelling light is always important but it is better said than done. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it is near impossible to leave your bags a little less full. On top of that, what does one do with all the shopping done abroad? Use the rewards on your co-branded travel credit cards to prevent yourself from paying extra at the baggage counter. In certain cases, one has to book their air tickets with the card in order to get the beg credits. At other times, one can get a fee waiver if they include their frequent flyer number on their tickets. This tip will certainly save you a lot of money if you are going to destinations that are every shopper’s paradise and are going to return with goodies for yourself and your loved ones.
- Adding a plus one: Buy one, get one free works even when you plan a trip abroad. Every time you book a trip with your partner, it is best to check if your travel credit cards let you add a plus one to your hotel reservations and airplane tickets without any extra charges or if they offer any discounts. In certain cases, one might have to meet a predefined spending threshold to avail of such benefits.
- Foreign transaction fee waiver: When you are planning an international trip, make sure to carry travel credit cards that do not charge those hefty foreign transaction fees that can fall anywhere between 1 percent to 3 percent of the value of the entire transaction. This will save you a lot of money because you are charged a foreign transaction fee every time you swipe your travel credit cards with an overseas merchant. Therefore, it is best to opt for credit cards with no foreign transaction charges.
- Insurance on trip cancellation: If your travel credit cards offer trip cancellation insurance, then do not forget to make use of it at checkout. This ensures that your hard-earned money does not go down the drain if you have to cancel your trip due to unforeseen circumstances. This benefit allows you to get your money back even on non-refundable airfare costs. The cover offered depends on your insurance provider but usually, Visa Signature cards, as well as MasterCard, offers these benefits as a complementary feature while American Express cards charge extra for offering this benefit under their cover.
- Car rental insurance: Check out whether the credit card that you are using to pay for your rental offers a primary or secondary car rental insurance. One can save up to AED 74 (USD 20) each day by refusing the CDW or collision damage waiver offered by rental companies. The majority of the travel credit cards offer a secondary cover, which means one has to first file a claim with the car insurance company. This also means that your insurance rates can go higher. However, with a primary insurance, the insurance provider first covers the damages.
Some more tips to save money on international travels:
Other than save money through travel credit cards, there are other ways to stick to a budget when travelling abroad-
- Travel during the “off” season. Such seasons see slow tourist traffic and as a result, everything from hotels to spas is cheaper.
- If you do not have to go and come back on a specific day, try to be flexible with your flights, choosing the ones with the lowest fare and best offers.
- Skip hotels for hostels as they are a much cheaper alternative for spending a few nights.
- Airbnb is another great option that will save you from the extensive hotel and restaurant bills.
- Avoid shopping near tourist attractions. Look for souvenirs somewhere else as the shops near tourist attractions charge too much.
- Be mindful of how much you spend on food and drinks.
- Pay using cash rather than swiping your travel credit cards as it will pile up the foreign transaction fees each time you swipe.
- Look for hotels that offer free breakfast or buffets.
- Be sure to carry your student id if you have one. Most tourist places offer discounts on student ids.
- Explore the internet for tips and hacks by fellow travelers that will help you save a lot.
In a Nutshell
For every traveler, the most valuable gift can be the rewards and other travel- friendly benefits offered by travel credit cards. Thus it is important to carefully read and understand the many benefits offered by your card and make the most of it on your trips abroad. Remember, one does not need to overspend to make their moments cherishable. Sometimes even a budget holiday can give you a lifetime of memories.