How To Plan a Scaled Back Holiday Abroad

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Recently, it emerged that many holiday-goers lost tons of money when traveling abroad just because they didn’t know how much it would be worth. As much as a third of these travelers admit they didn’t know how much money to take. Oftentimes, they do not take the time to find out what the price of items in their native currency is and fall for overpriced souvenirs or other goods. In some cases, holiday-goers do not take any foreign currency with them. They charge everything to credit cards at the resort and are subjected to extra fees. The charges for withdrawing from ATMs abroad are quite steep. This is why, you must always take the time to learn about the currency exchange rates in the country you plan to visit; so, you do not fall victim to speculators. Destinations outside the U.S. and the Euro-zone, such as some Eastern European countries, Turkey, Gambia, Egypt, and Cape Verde are excellent value at present, plus ideal for winter holidays because of the mild climate.

The world-weary will tell you: either book early or late. If you choose to book early, the best time is eleven months before you travel. The flight details are just released, and a lot of low-cost seats are available. The other option is to book a few days before the flight. Sometimes, there are unsold hotel rooms and seats waiting for you to grab them.

Do not neglect package deals. Some of us prefer arranging our own trips, but keep in mind that if you book a flight and a hotel or a flight and a car, a travel agent can strike a much better deal than if you book separately. Some travel companies offer free child places and discounts for adults. If you are bringing your children with you, you might want to check this out.

Go on a holiday with friends or family members – if you can stand them, of course. An accommodation for 12 will rarely be three times as expensive as one for 4. You may also opt for youth hostels, with many offering family rooms, or for well-known low-cost hotel franchises like the Holiday Inn and Travelodge. For instance, in France, a room for three costs around $30 CAD.

You may think your home is horrid, but a foreigner might love it. This is where house swapping comes in. There was a movie with Cameron Diaz about this. Hate the cold weather? Trust us, people in southern Italy won’t.

Plenty of websites offer flight and holiday comparisons; so, surf for the best deal. If you can’t find anything cheap enough, check back later. For example, you can e-mail a given hotel with questions about a deal and do that again a few weeks later. The price may have dropped. Also, sign up for special offers by e-mail.

Alternative forms of tourism such as camping, biking, and traveling by boat and train should not be overlooked. They come cheap and are a nice reprieve from cars and traffic jams, which you have to deal with on a daily basis on returning back home.

Melissa Dean writes for Credit Card Review with an emphasis on the Canadian credit card industry.

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