It’s Your Money: 9 tips to enjoying international travel without wasting money

NEWS: Lots of people were ready to travel once COVID restrictions were lifted, but rising costs are getting in the way of a lot of travelers’ plans this summer, according to Destination Analysts, a website that focuses on travel trends.

WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU: Maybe planning an international trip was all that got you through the pandemic years, and now you’re locked in, despite rising costs. Or maybe you’re taking a trip now that COVID-19 restrictions have eased, rising costs be damned. (Or maybe you’re hate-reading this because, with inflation, you can’t even afford to drive to the next state to your traditional beach rental this year).

If you’re a seasoned world traveler, then today’s column isn’t for you. This is for the occasional, or even once-in-a-lifetime, traveler. Travel has changed a lot, even in the last few years. We’re going to take a look at some simple tips to be smart about your travel expenses. 

According to Destination Analysts, the number of travelers who feel they’re better off this year than last year dropped from 33.6 percent to 31 percent between the first and second quarter of this year. Still, 43.4 percent think they’ll be better off next year, up from 42.8 percent. Travel decisions have definitely been affected by the downward trend in people’s finances. But more are still traveling internationally than a year ago. If you’re like me and my sister, who have been planning a trip for two years, you’re channeling the woman with the meat tenderizer on the Kayak commercial: “I am not canceling this vacation!”

With that in mind, here are some tips to make your money go further:

1) It’s all about the plastic

In 1995, my sister and I took a 10-day trip to the UK. Before

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How to prepare for international travel, 10 tips

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – After sacrificing some of the most enjoyable aspects of life for COVID-related quarantines and social distancing, many in the U.S. are eager to resume one of the activities they love most, traveling overseas.  

According to one report, in 2021, international departures from the U.S. totaled 49.1 million.

But what are some things a person can do in preparation to make their trip as safe and enjoyable as possible?  

The following suggestions may be helpful in this regard:

Study up on the culture

Use Google, YouTube, and online encyclopedias to learn a bit about the country’s history and the day-to-day lives of locals. Some aspects of the culture to pay special attention to are ways they show respect to each other, how to avoid disrespecting anyone in the culture, popular local foods, and upcoming local festivals.

Learn some basic phrases in the local language

While you don’t need to become a fluent speaker, it will be very helpful to learn a few basic terms and questions. A few suggested phrases to start with would be, “My name is___,” “What is your name?” and “I speak English, do you speak English?”   

Protect your health

Look into the area’s overall reputation of the healthcare system and scout out a few hospitals in the cities you will be staying. In addition to this, consult with your doctor to ensure you’re up-to-date on any and all vaccines recommended for those engaging in international travel.

Consider purchasing medical and travel assistance

An article from Chubb states that, “81% of Americans consider 24-hour emergency travel assistance very important.1 Familiarize yourself with your destination’s conditions that could impact your health, such as high altitude or pollution, as well as the types of medical facilities available.”

Prepare documentation to have on hand, and

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