Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or plan to head overseas for the first time, there are many simple ways to cut costs without impacting on the fun or comfort of your trip.
Thumbing through well-researched, up-to-date guidebooks helps in discovering little-known delights- and also helps to save money.
Countries differ but, when it comes to shaving costs, here are some general rules to apply.
Never change money at hotel reception desks.
Foreign exchange is an easy profit source for hotels. Staff may tell you their exchange is competitive, but, hotel rates are almost always terrible.
In many countries, money-changer kiosks offer better rates than banks- but not always. Exchanging on the street is begging to be ripped off.
It’s a good idea to have some local currency when arriving in a country. But do a little checking: sometimes it’s better to change money on arrival at the airport rather than in your own country. Also, try and convert what currency you have left at the airport rather than after you get home.
Getting local cash from the ATM is generally cheaper than exchanging money- but check your card will be accepted.
You may also consider having some travelers’ cheques issued in local currency before you leave home to avoid unfavourable exchange rates. To get around paying fees, instead of cashing the cheques at local banks, buy something small with a large cheque and use the change.
Credit cards are a handy way to carry money, as they save on transaction costs and offer reasonable rates of exchange.
The trick is to deposit enough money on to the card to fund your trip before you leave so it acts as a debit card instead of a credit card. Withdrawing money from a credit card that isn’t cashed up is treated as a cash advance.
Withdrawals generally attract a high interest rate which kicks in immediately. The cost of whatever you bought with the cash you withdrew will multiply before you’ve landed back on Australian soil.
Adventure Travel in South America can be understood in many ways but I would like to focus in one of the possibilities. Let’s say you are in a career break in your life, let’s say you have some spare time, let’s say it has come the point in which you want to take this once-a-lifetime trip to discover a continent you are passionate about. What would you do? Well, here you are going to find a good proposal.
There is a company which is organizing trips on the 5 continents around the world. They are not what I would call “adventure travel”, but they are the kind of off-the-beaten-path ones. Traveling with them means you are going to find yourself in a kind of real tourism, sleeping many times in guest houses but not in luxury hotels, doing some easy-level treks and using many means of local transport. You shouldn’t go there if you are expecting luxury, but if you are looking to discover the real country life and go face to face with nature and local culture, then it is a must do activity.
One of their proposals is a trip which goes around South America, starting from Ecuador and running down to Peru, going inland then to explore the mountains and the jungle, reaching Bolivia, going back into Chile, south through the coast into Santiago, further south then, and finally turning right to reach Argentina, cross Uruguay and enter into Brazil running up along the coast reaching the end of the Amazon river.
Amsterdam is indeed a lovely place to roam around, and has been one of the top choices of foreigners for vacation. Because one can do so many fun-filled activities and visit a lot of tourist attractions there, travelers may find it convenient to rent a car so he can easily get from one site to another.
There are virtually countless places to see in Amsterdam. Museums abound in this city, something that lovers of arts and history will truly appreciate. Some of the most well-known museums in this place include the following “Van Gogh,” the “Rijks,” the “Rembrandt,” and the sex museum.
There are also fine restaurants and plenty of shops that visitors may want to visit for souvenirs. For easy site-hopping, having a vehicle would indeed be a wise idea for travelers.
A caution, however, is that renting a car in this European city is quite expensive. To rent a regular car for a week will cost around $275. Renting a luxury sedan for the same period will cost around $1,000. Nonetheless, if one has the money and is willing to maximize his tour of this lovely place, then he may find it worthwhile to travel in Amsterdam by car.
Parking a vehicle may also be expensive, especially on weekdays. On Sundays, however, parking is free outside the city-center. On the other days, one can avail himself of a full-day parking on the city’s outskirts for only 5.50 Euros. After parking, one may take a short bus ride if he wishes to go to the city-center.