Avoid ATM Fees:
We discussed savings accounts, but you’ll also want to sign up for a Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account. In my opinion, this is the best checking account out there, because they reimburse you for any and all ATM fees. Which means you can say goodbye to paying $5 every time you need to pull out money! Also, it earns 0.37% interest which is exactly 37x more than even most standard savings accounts. I’ve had it for about four years and have never been charged a fee once! Plus, having a Schwab account is a great way to get into investing.
Avoid Foreign Transaction Fees:
Foreign transaction fees come with using credit and debit cards in other countries, but only if you’re using the wrong card. Almost all of the cards listed in our travel credit cards blog post have zero foreign transaction fees. Between a credit card with no foreign transaction fee and a Schwab debit card, you should never have any extra hidden financial fees of any kind while traveling!
Ask to Get Charged in the Currency of the Country You’re In:
Find Cheap Flights Using Dollar Flight Club
This seems simple enough, but it’s a game changer. Sam and I always pack at least a dozen RXBAR’s when we go anywhere. There’s nothing worse than a combination of hanger and traveling. You’ll end up making a bad decision and eating at the closest place to you. Which probably means, low quality food at high prices. It’ll also save you from spending too much money on airport food or worse, paying for food on the plane. Do yourself a favor and pack snacks. So you never have to spend money just to eat. You won’t regret it. Plus, you’ll always have food you know you like, which can be a real comfort when you’re traveling abroad.
Shop at Local Markets or Grocery Stores:
Eating out every meal while you’re traveling adds up. Stop by local markets in the morning and grab some fruit that you can snack on throughout the day. Or head to the grocery store when you arrive. Grab a small carton of milk (or almond milk) and cereal, yogurt and granola, or peanut butter and bread. Most hotels have a small fridge you can use to put a few things in. And then you’ll have a quick, cheap, and easy meal whenever you need it.
Use Wifi Instead of Data:
This might seem hard, and while every once in a while you might be traveling to a place where wifi isn’t that reliable, for the most part, relying on free wifi instead of paying your provider for international data or buying a SIM is a great way to save money while you’re abroad. We’ve saved so much money by doing this over the years. Most hotels offer free wifi. And there’s often cafes, restaurants, or McDonalds that have free wifi you can use when you’re out and about in the city. Plus, being disconnected while you’re traveling allows you to really be able to relax and live in the moment during your trip!
This might seem obvious, but it’s crucial. When you haven’t planned ahead, you inevitably spend more money because you lose all flexibility and some decision making power when it comes to planning activities on a trip. Here are a few examples of how planning ahead and doing extra research has saved us money.
When we were in Paris, we found out online that Friday night’s are free at the Louvre if you’re under 26. And the first Saturday night of every month is free for all visitors. And when we were in Barcelona, we did some research and found out that you can visit Park Güell in the morning before it technically “opens” without having to pay. We’ve saved a lot of money just from planning ahead!
We hope this series has helped you see that it is possible for you to travel and helped you set your mind to saving so you can experience all the world has to offer!