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You can’t understate the advantages of travel. There’s nothing like visiting a new nation, state or even town to broaden horizons and change outlooks. But that certainly isn’t easy. Even household travel expenses will add up. Below are 5 tried-and-true ways to maximize every trip while reducing expenses. So read on, and then get yourself started.
1. Register for the flight deals newsletters and book well in advance
Make a rundown of the best five goals you’d prefer to visit in the following year. When your list is extensive and you’re able to book up to six months ahead, you’ll be in a perfect spot to take advantage of limited-time deals and save big time.
2. Bring a reusable bottle of water and utensils
Bottled water is relatively cheap and plentiful, but it does add up to the expense of purchasing multiples a day, both financially and environmentally. A reusable water bottle is a no brainer while traveling in developing countries where the consistency of the tap water is not an problem. One smart idea is a titanium spork-or chopsticks. It is nearly weightless, further saves waste from taking meals for single use, and is especially useful while flying and traveling by rail.
3. Adopt airplane mode and free public WiFi
Buying a local SIM card is a safe, cheap way when traveling abroad, to avoid high data and messaging fees. What’s even better is to turn your phone to airplane mode and live off free public wifi — found in many parks and plazas, and virtually every restaurant and coffee shops.
Another advantage of full aircraft mode is to limit your flexibility and access to distracting applications. In addition, GPS runs off the satellite, so if you load a map before you leave service, you will still be able to monitor movements and see your location based on street names and nearby points of interest.
4. Pack up instant coffee and oatmeal or snack bars
The go-to setup for traveling coffee enthusiasts has long been an aeropress and hand-crank coffee grinder, but recent advances in instant coffee production now allow you to dig out the equipment, save the luggage room and still enjoy high quality craft coffee wherever you are.
When combined with an instant oatmeal box or two, you have a price-conscious breakfast that can be prepared in almost any hotel room, Airbnb, or campsite. And getting a few Nice Bars — or whatever your preference is — on hand during the trip will save you from making uneducated, hangy choices like forking over $15 for a nasty meal at the airport or at the train station.
5. Leave cash at home, and rely on ATMs
Never exchange money – it’s never worth the fees associated with the ubiquitous kiosks – and then use local ATMs. The trick is, before traveling, study whether your home bank has active partners or is part of the Global ATM Alliance, allowing you to withdraw money from a foreign bank without charging a fee.