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How to Travel the World on a Budget

May 19, 2017

Last week we covered the various savings account options available to PFCU members. Now we can explore the fun ways to spend your hard earned cash – with a vacation! Travel expenses, especially for international travel, can add up fast, but there are tips and tricks for making economical decisions to make the most of your budget when planning your trip and exploring your destination.

Four Tips for Traveling the World on a Budget

Be flexible.

The first step in planning an affordable trip abroad is flexibility. Flexibility when traveling can work a couple different ways. The first is if you’re open to any destination for a vacation. Without a set destination you can select a locale that is the best fit for your budget. Try exploring the destination options from your departing airport on your preferred travel website. This should spark new ideas when setting your sights on a new trip. Some airlines even offer multi-day layovers – allowing you to explore two cities for the price of one flight.

Comparatively, flexibility with timing for your vacation also gives you the option to profit from last minute travel deals. If you’re truly the adventurous type you can save hundreds on flash sales. Nearly all discount travel websites have a section dedicated to last minute travel discounts – keep your eyes peeled for sales on flights and hotels. Make sure you have your bags packed because many of these trips leave within a week of booking!

Get creative.

Think outside the box when it comes to traveling abroad. Instead of standard hotels for accommodations, look into house share services or B&B rentals. This option not only saves money, but allows you to experience the destination as a local. When it comes to things to do, check out local coffee shops and book stores that are off the beaten path. They will typically have community boards with event postings not usually advertised to tourists.

Do your research.

You’ll save money and time if you do your research before you depart. Take a look into your destination’s public transportation system and try to utilize trains and buses over taxis and ride-share services. Also, look into travel bloggers that have recently visited your destination for key learnings from their trips. Personal travel blogs are a filled with detailed first hand experiences and recommendations for sightseeing, dining and accommodations. A quick search for your destination city and “travel blog” should turn up a gold mine of information!

Spend savvy. 

Small purchases and fees add up! Before you depart, make sure you check in with your cell phone provider to determine what the international fees are. You may be able to temporarily change your plan in order to avoid astronomical charges. Also, be wary of international fees from your credit card purchases and ATM withdrawals. By using a PFCU Check Card while traveling abroad your international fees are waived. And don’t forget to let PFCU know about your international travel in advance so someone from our member service team can flag your account to avoid any fraud alerts!

Traveling internationally can be done on a budget with a little forethought and flexibility. By doing your research ahead of time you’re sure to have a fun adventure without breaking the bank! 


Erin Ellis
Accredited Financial Counselor
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