Save money on your vacation without sacrificing fun with these helpful tips.
Watch your ATM fees – Check with your bank to find out how much overseas ATM charge for withdrawals. It’s not uncommon to see a $5.00 withdrawal fee on top of bank fees and the exchange rate. A one-month vacation with these fees can easily eat up a tenth of your budget. Look to carry cash or use your debit card as much as possible.
Get travel insurance - A one-week travel insurance policy can cost as low as $60 and includes as low as a $100 deductible on benefits such as trip cancellation, emergency medical, baggage coverage, and travel accidents. However, travel insurance policies are laced with fine print (e.g. non coverage of existing medical conditions) so be sure to check the conditions carefully.
Don't overstock on malarial's and "anti-Condition X" medicine – Unless you are planning an exotic trip to the depths of a Brazilian jungle, buy generics in the country of destination instead. Usually, in third-world countries, it costs a fraction of US prices.
Negotiate with hotels for free rooms and other perks – This trick works well especially with independently run hotels. Call front desk reception and let them know you have a reservation at another hotel but willing to become their customer in exchange for an extra night free. You can try your luck with national chains, but make sure they are not advertising a free night already.
Home swapping – Home swapping has become quite the phenomenon over the past 5 years with swapping sites couchsurfing.com and homeexchange.com attracting millions of visitors. Swapping homes is a safe alternative to hotel lodging. Often times, the homeowner is even willing to trade cars. Save on restaurants, cars, and lodging while immersing yourself more as a local.