Travelling, especially around Europe, can be very expensive. There are so many places to see, so much food to sample, and there are so many buildings that boast the best view of the city. All of these things come at a price. That is without the added cost of foreign transaction fees, accommodation, transport (in between cities and around cities!) and food just to name a few. On my most recent trip to Europe I managed to save over $4,000 in a couple of very simple ways
Check out how I saved over $4000 during a four month trip to Europe
I was super hesitant about using the Eurail pass. I had only ever travelled on trains in Europe by reserving my ticket weeks before and I had read many reviews saying that the Eurail pass was not worth the money. During my trip, I kept a track of how much the tickets would have cost without the Eurail pass and how much we were paying (most trains we did not need to pay extra). We travelled on trains for just over two months of our trip, the pass cost us $2,500 for an unlimited three month pass. The total cost for all the train trips without a pass would have cost us $5,476. We saved $2,976 on our train trips.
Cash back apps and services
Why not get a cash back on something you are going to need to book anyway? Anytime I booked anything, I booked through a cash back app or website. The main app/website that I use is Rakuten and also Shop Back, for most of my bookings I received between 1 and 10% cashback. This may not seem like a lot but when you are booking accommodation every night every dollar adds up pretty quickly.
No foreign transaction ATM card
This is one that I have been caught out on before. You go to take out $100 and end up being charged an extra $10-20 as a fee, or you swipe your card at the local restaurant and end up paying 4% extra on foreign transaction fees. All of these costs add up. I bank with ING and Up Bank and have for quite a few years, every time I get charged a fee my bank reimbursed the fee. Over four months this added up to $600 reimbursed into my account.
Pay in the local currency
If you choose to use your credit/debit card (hopefully one that does not charge your fees) when you are overseas they will give you the option to pay in your home currency or in the local currency. ALWAYS CHOOSE THE LOCAL CURRENCY as the conversion rates provided by your bank are better than the rates provided by the bank associated with the machine. I worked out some of the differences and quite often the difference was at least $10. This would have saved me hundreds of dollars on our trip.
Hotel booking Loyalty programs
Loyalty can still pay sometimes. If you choose to book through a booking website I recommend that you stick with the same website where possible. I use Hotels.com and Booking.com and for both of those I receive discounts because I am a member with them. During my trip around Europe I mostly used Hotels.com as I received free night for every ten nights I booked. I also became a gold member because of the number of nights I booked with them during my trip, this gave me some perks on some hotels such as free room upgrades. I booked over $700 worth of free nights
In most cases you find a voucher online that will provide a discount for the restaurant, accommodation or activity you are booking. One example that is great in the United Kingdom is Voucher Cloud
Unfortunately, I do not have an exact amount saved using cash backs, vouchers or for paying in the local currency but excluding these three money saving avenues, I saved $4,276 while spending four months in Europe! For the budget we were using this equated to 50 nights of accommodation!!!
If you have any other money saving tricks that have worked for you please comment below!!
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