Allocate Your Money Wisely When Traveling With Amida
July with Amida is the season of friendship and celebration! Oftentimes, the summer brings lots of fun activities – including travel. This blog is for travel abroad lovers! Amida would like to share 3 ways to allocate your money wisely when traveling. At Amida we don’t use the word budget. Instead, we use the word allocate to give the power back to ourselves. In other words, we guide our spending, and guide the way we choose to spend our money to help us attain our goals. Here are 3 unique ways to allocate your money when traveling this July.
First, Find The Best Exchange Rate When Traveling Abroad
An exchange rate refers to the value at which one currency can be exchanged for another. It represents the ratio between the two currencies and determines how much of one currency is needed to purchase a certain amount of the other currency.
Airport currency kiosks may be convenient, but they also tend to be pricey, charging anywhere from $5 to $15 to exchange money. Even so-called no-fee exchanges tend to make a profit off their highly unfavorable exchange rates. Cash withdrawals from ATMs are generally the best choice for day-to-day funds—but, again, beware of transaction fees. Some banks impose a flat fee per withdrawal, while others do not and may even refund those levied by others.
If you anticipate needing cash, exchanging currency at your local bank or credit union before you leave may provide a lower rate. Once you arrive at your destination, you might be able to get a decent exchange rate at your hotel as well.
Additionally, Watch out for “dynamic currency conversion” Many travelers are enticed by the convenience and familiarity of receiving bills—at restaurants, for instance—in U.S. dollars. But this new trend, called dynamic currency conversion, often comes with an unfavorable exchange rate, transaction fees, or both. So, when asked if you want to pay a bill in the local currency or in U.S. dollars, go with the local option—unless you can verify that the cost is negligible and worth it, to you, for the familiarity factor.
Second, Use Your Credit Card Wisely
Credit card points and rewards can be valuable resources for saving/allocating money while traveling. Here are some key aspects to consider when utilizing credit card points and choosing the right credit card company:
- Research credit card rewards programs: Different credit card companies offer various rewards programs, including travel-specific ones. Research and compare the rewards offered by different cards, such as airline miles, hotel points, or cashback on travel expenses. Look for cards that align with your travel preferences and offer the most advantageous rewards for your needs.
- Travel-specific perks: Some credit cards offer additional perks tailored for travelers, such as airport lounge access, travel insurance, or waived foreign transaction fees. These benefits can enhance your travel experience and save you money on various travel-related expenses. Consider the perks that are important to you and select a card that offers them.
- Redeeming points effectively: Understand the redemption options for your credit card points and find the best way to maximize their value. This can include redeeming points for flights, hotel stays, car rentals, or even transferring points to partner loyalty programs for added flexibility. Calculate the value of each redemption option to ensure you get the most out of your points.
Third, Connect With Locals
Locals can provide valuable insights into affordable dining options, hidden gems, and off-the-beaten-path attractions. Engage with locals through social platforms, join local events, or consider homestays to gain a deeper understanding of the local culture while saving money. Connecting with locals when traveling is beneficial for several reasons:
- Authentic cultural experience: Locals can provide insights into the local culture, traditions, and way of life that you might not find in guidebooks or tourist attractions. Interacting with locals allows you to immerse yourself in the local customs and gain a deeper understanding of the destination.
- Local recommendations: Locals have firsthand knowledge of their hometown or city. They can recommend lesser-known attractions, hidden gems, and off-the-beaten-path experiences that tourists often miss. By tapping into their expertise, you can discover unique and memorable experiences that cater to your interests.
- Local cuisine and dining recommendations: Food is an essential part of any travel experience, and locals can guide you to the best local restaurants, street food vendors, or traditional dishes. They can introduce you to regional specialties and help you navigate the local dining scene, ensuring you have an authentic culinary adventure.
- Social connections and friendships: Traveling is an opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds and forge connections. By connecting with locals, you have the chance to make new friends, exchange stories, and create lasting memories. These connections can enrich your travel experience and even lead to future visits or hosting opportunities.
- Sustainable and responsible tourism: Engaging with locals contributes to sustainable and responsible tourism practices. By supporting local businesses, artisans, and community initiatives, you can have a positive impact on the local economy and help preserve the cultural heritage of the destination.
Lastly, Travel Off-Season
Traveling during the off-season can be a great way to save money, avoid crowds, and have a more authentic experience in your destination. Here are some tips for traveling during the off-season:
- Research destination seasons: Different destinations have varying off-seasons, so it’s important to research when the off-season occurs in your chosen location. It could be due to weather conditions, school holidays, or other factors.
- Be flexible with travel dates: When planning your trip, try to be flexible with your travel dates. Prices can vary significantly depending on the day of the week or time of the month. Use flexible date search options on travel websites or consider midweek departures, as they are often cheaper than weekends.
- Book in advance: While the off-season generally offers more availability, it’s still a good idea to book your accommodations and transportation in advance. This ensures you get the best deals and secures your preferred options.
- Pack appropriately: Consider the weather conditions during the off-season and pack accordingly. It’s important to have appropriate clothing and gear to ensure your comfort and enjoyment during your trip.
- Embrace the local culture: Since there are fewer tourists during the off-season, you have a better opportunity to interact with locals and experience the authentic culture of your destination. Take part in local festivals, events, and activities that might be happening during that time.
Remember that while off-season travel has its advantages, it’s important to be aware of any potential downsides such as weather conditions or limited services. By planning ahead and having flexibility, you can make the most of your off-season trip.
Amida Wealth Family Conversations
At your next family or friends gathering share this blog! Do you know someone who loves adventure and travel? Perhaps, you can share these tips with them to help enhance their journey. Remember, when we allocate our finances we create more room in our lives for exactly it is what we want. Don’t have travel plans and love it? Perhaps, consider creating a travel savings account (alone or with your partner). Get excited about your future and what it is you want to create!
In honor of the season of July, Amida would like to join you in celebration. Whether you are traveling abroad, or to the next town over. Remember the power of allocation strategy, in order to create the life of your dreams. System are set in place (for example, credit cards) in many ways that can serve us when we are educated about them properly! Above all, remember that Amida is always one phone call and email away!