Tips for the Frugal Traveler
We all have our own style of traveling, some prefer staying at 5 star hotels and others don’t mind renting a small Airbnb room. While my husband enjoys dinner at a popular restaurant, I don’t mind eating at McDonalds; but something we can both agree on is that we don’t want to be broke when we get back! This doesn’t mean we will be living on bread and peanut butter or fitting our three kids and grandma in one room, but with a bit of planning, you can travel like a movie star without breaking the bank.
Here we are including a few tips that will help you plan ahead and save some money along the way:
Carry-on is the way to go!
If you can travel light, carry-ons will save you money on baggage fees. To save some space, wear your bulkiest shoes and pack your sandals in your carry-on. If you’re taking a sweater or a heavy coat, wear it, you’ll have a lot more room in your luggage to fit in a pair of jeans, a few shirts and don’t forget your underwear!
Most airlines have weight limits, so pack only what you need. If you have snacks, medicines and other belonging you may need in the middle of the flight, place them on top of your second carry-on and everything you will not need in the bottom.
Should I drink water?
Of course, we can’t survive without it! Summer in Israel can be a hot, so it’s important to stay hydrated and cool. While you will find small shops selling water bottles for your convenience, it can get a bit expensive! Since tap water is safe and drinkable in Israel (except in the Dead Sea area), we suggest you pack a reusable water bottle with a filter. You’ll find affordable Brita bottles on Amazon or at Target.
Find someone to travel with you
Most tour companies base their pricing on double occupancy, therefore single travelers will have to pay a single supplement fee. Save that money by inviting your friends on Facebook! You will be surprised of how many people on your friend list have always wanted to visit the Holy Land.
Avoid those expensive service charges
Using your ATM while traveling international can be a bit complicated and expensive. You will have to be cautious about foreign transaction charges, exchange rates and ATM service charge fees. You saved all this money to enjoy your trip and you’re giving it back to the bank?
Call your credit card company and bank before you travel, to ask about those fees. Pick a credit card or bank with a Global ATM Network, some offer free ATM withdrawal fees. Most credit cards charge an additional 3% on purchases made overseas, find a good credit card that will not have fees if you travel outside of the United States. And make sure to clean out your wallet and only take a few credit cards.
Avoid roaming charges and expensive cellphone bills
When traveling abroad, it’s important you check with your mobile service provider before departing. To see if you need an international calling plan to be able to call your friends and family. Online services such as Facetime, Google Hangouts, Skype and Snapchat allow you to connect with your loved ones for free avoiding those expensive roaming fees. When you arrive to the hotel, ask for the WIFI password! The city of Tel Aviv also offers free WIFI throughout the streets, so make sure to connect to the nearest WIFI signal!