It’s the perfect time of the year for international travel. With all the advancements in technology and mobile apps, traveling abroad isn’t as expensive as it used to be and there are plenty of ways to cut costs while getting more bang for your buck. Whether you’re embarking on your first journey abroad or you’re an experienced jet setter, here are a few tools to help you save money on the things that can eat up your travel budget faster than you can plan your trip.–Corvida Raven
Searching site by site for the right flight at the right price is a thing of the past. Enter Kayak, your one-stop site for booking cheap flights, hotels, and car rentals on the fly. Kayak is great for simultaneously searching multiple sites to quickly find the best travels deals available. Best of all, you don’t need to be at a computer to get a great deal right now. Kayak is available for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows Phone.
Skip hotels and hostels and stay in a real home in just about any city you visit with Airbnb. Whether you’re interested in seeing how the locals live or looking for a place to stay at the last minute, the community marketplace welcomes you with open arms (and wallets) into their homes. You can rent a room, an amazing abode or even a boat for as low as $45 a night with more amenities than most hotels will ever offer.
If you really want to save some money while traveling overseas, keep an eye on the currency exchange rates for your destination of choice. Tools like XE Currency keep you aware of what things really cost across thousands of currencies and countries. You’ll want to keep their mobile app handy so you’ll always know the difference between $100 and £100. (The latter is worth much more than the former.)
Don’t bother with the restaurants that hotels recommend unless you want to spend a fortune on dinner. The local eateries usually have better food for lower prices, which is especially essential if you’re traveling abroad for more than a week. Apps like Urbanspoon are great for identifying local spots that serve delectable and reasonably priced meals.
If you’d rather ditch a rental car and don’t want to rack up cab expenses, then you’ll want to add MetrO to your international app traveling toolkit. Public transportation is one of the cheapest transportation options and most cities provide relatively reliable transit systems. From the U.S. to Australia, MetrO provides offline transit directions for over 400 cities to help you get around quickly with little to no cost. No Wi-Fi necessary.
If you find yourself in need of Internet access while traveling internationally, data plans will significantly raise the cost. For a paltry 300 MBs of data you’ll be asked to cough up $200 or more. It’s easier to skip the data plan and stick with free Wi-Fi spots to save money and stay connected on the go. How do you find those free hotspots? Starbucks and Barnes and Nobles are well known for offering free Wi-Fi. If you can’t find those stores, check out WeFi, a service that aggregates over 1 million free Wi-Fi hotspots from all over the world. Use WeFi to find a free Wi-Fi hotspot near you.
No matter how old fashioned they sound coupons are still a boon for saving money, even for international travel. RetailMeNot offers thousands of discounts via promotional codes and coupons for printing in over five countries. From pizza to computers, you’ll find a coupon for just about everything here.
With the help of technology, everyone can fit a little traveling abroad in their summer plans this year. On my recent trip to Sydney, Australia, I spent less than $150 during my entire trip (one week) thanks to these sites and services. In fact, I spent more money on souvenirs to bring back for my loved ones than actually getting around the city. These services are only the tip of the iceberg, but can save you hundreds of dollars—no matter where you’re headed this summer!