No sane person likes to waste money. But many travelers are throwing away hundreds – even thousands of dollars of their hard-earned cash when they don’t have to. If you’re looking to save money on your next trip, be sure to avoid these costly travel mistakes.
Your Bulging Suitcase Will Bleed You DryI get it – you want to pack every “just in case” outfit for your travel adventure. From multiple pairs of shoes, to a rain poncho, to a shirt for every scenario . . . . . . many travelers overestimate how much they’ll actually need on their vacation – and they pay for it dearly. Remember, just because it all fits in your suitcase doesn’t mean you’ve scored a victory. Overweight luggage fees are massive – and it is how airlines get you. Want to check a bag and think you can stuff it full of stuff? Think again. Delta Airlines charges a whopping $100 for overweight bags weighing between 51–71lbs. And for bags 71–100lbs – expect to pay Delta up to $200 per bag. Even more brutal – United Airlines charges up to $400 for bags weighing over 71lbs! Pick up a luggage weight off Amazon – and weigh your bag before you go – your wallet will thank you.
Rental Car MishapsBefore you rent a car – make sure you check your credit card benefits to see if they offer rental car insurance. Many credit cards carry this feature as a benefit, especially credit cards with travel perks. But if you don’t know what your own credit card benefits are and miss this perk you’ll be suckered into buying costly rental car insurance at the rental car checkout. Be sure to also do a thorough check of your car before driving it off the parking lot. You don’t want to be charged later for something that was already damaged on your car.
Exchanging Currency At The AirportIf you’re traveling overseas and need cash – it might be tempting to fall prey to the convenience of currency exchange counters at the airport – but don’t do it! Sure, it’s convenient but you’ll pay a premium. You’re much better off checking with your local bank before you travel and exchanging your money there. Forbes reported the benefit of handling business at the bank before you go: “For example, if you’re traveling to the United Kingdom and your bank offered you an exchange rate of £72 per $100, the airport kiosk may give you only £67 per $100, costing you extra money in the form of fewer pounds for your dollars. If you had made that exchange at your home bank, you’d have an additional £5 in your pocket.” Depending on how much money you need for your trip those fees can really add up.
Final TipsAnd of course – be smart where you store your cash while traveling. Don’t carry it all in one place. And use a hotel safe if they have one. Remember the goal when traveling is to blend in – not stand out. Flaunting your expensive watch or designer purse might make you feel important. . . . . . but you won’t feel so great when you get mugged or targeted by the locals. (h/t Proud American Traveler)