Amy's Top 11 International Travel Money Savers
Here's what I do to save money and time when traveling internationally
Hey, Travel Friends!
In preparation for my upcoming solo adventure to Italy next week, I’ve been trying to recall all my tricks for saving as much money as possible when traveling. Here’s my Top 11.
What would you add?
Amy’s Top 11 International Travel Money Savers
No Fee ATM’s - Open a Charles Schwab debit card account and never pay an ATM fee no matter where you find yourself in the world.
Google all the free experiences a city has to offer. You’ll be amazed at how much there is to see and do for ZERO $.
Explore with Rick Steves Free Audio Walking Tours. All you need is your smartphone and a pair of earbuds. (for European holidays)
Fly with Frequent Flyer Miles I just so happen to have written a great little book to get you started. :) For an example, I’m traveling to Italy next week for less than $35 round trip.
Reserve hotels at least 6 months in advance when possible. I reserved hotels for my upcoming trip 9 months ago. They average $49 per night. I searched each hotel again today and many are now listed at $120+ per night. Book with free cancellation and you can never go wrong. I almost always use hotels.com.
Choose hotels that offer free breakfast. This is definitely an international-only travel trick. I don’t recommend counting on the US free continental breakfast to sustain or satisfy, but international breakfast is a totally different pleasure. I try to never book an international hotel unless it offers free breakfast. What a terrific way to load up on yummy calories and grab a few snacks for the road. Many times I can easily skip lunch and simply opt for a cappuccino and dessert midday, which is always a wonderful treat.
Eat and drink from the grocery stores. International grocery stores are a cultural experience in and of themselves. Always peruse the local markets and choose all the local treats. They are interesting, exciting and so much cheaper. Wine, cheese, meats, local fruits and candies. Bring your shopping bag and fill it up for a picnic in the park or alongside the water while taking in the views.
Only take a carry-on and small bag. I promise you can do it and you’ll be so glad you did. Not only will you save major money in baggage fees, but you’ll move in and out of the airport with ease. No lost luggage. No waiting at the carousel. Just get on with the holiday you came for.
Purchase train tickets like a local. It’s okay to skip the tourist train passes like Eurail. Purchase your tickets like a local on seat61.com and save lots of cash.
Stay in the city center and walk everywhere. This is always a top criteria when I’m searching for lodging on hotels.com or Airbnb. I prefer the city center or somewhere near the main train station, depending upon my itinerary. The lodging might cost a tiny bit more, but if it offers free breakfast and an easy location for walking to all the top locations while providing an easy mid-afternoon napping location, it’s money well spent… especially if my time in the city is short. I never want to stay somewhere where local transit is required if I have the option of staying central. A mid-range hotel in the city center saves tons of money on taxis and subways and just makes life all around a bit easier.
Don’t eat in the city center. Get off the beaten path. City center restaurants are typically tourist traps that aren’t very good and cost a fortune. Just wander three or four streets out of the center, and food will be cheaper and better.
Travel Smoothly Through the Airport this Holiday Season
Upcoming…Budget Travel in Action
Due to my adventures November 10-20, I will not be posting a regular Big Story Living newsletter during this time, BUT I will be sharing all the fun and budget-friendly tips on Instagram. Follow along @bigstoryliving!
Fabulous travel tips! I learned a lot.