Planning that next trip out of the country, while fun for some, can be quite daunting to others… especially when it comes to the expense$. Here are my top 3 tips on how you can travel like a pro and save while you’re at it!
ATMs vs. Money Changers
ATMs all the way! Most Filipinos in this day and age still prefer to change their money (Philippine Pesos) to US Dollars before traveling overseas. But did you know that between exchanging your money from PHP to USD to the currency of your country of destination, you would have already lost quite an amount? And let’s not even start with the hassle and dangers of getting a huge sum of money exchanged.
The solution to this? Use your ATM/debit card. Ask your local bank to activate it so you can use it abroad and upon landing, find the nearest ATM and withdraw the amount you need. Quick, easy and saves you money in the end.
Be informed. Ask your local bank how much they charge per withdrawal. For BPI, it’s 2% of the amount withdrawn or $3.50 for every withdrawal (whichever’s higher), and $1.50 for every balance inquiry.
Roaming vs. Local Sim Card
This one’s easy. Get a local sim card and skip the nightmare of being charged ridiculous amounts for activating your roaming services. Telephone companies almost always have hidden fees and the last thing you need is to be coming home to a huge cellphone bill. So before traveling, make sure your cellphone line is open in order to be able to use other sim cards aside from your usual carrier.
Do your research. Before arriving, ask around in travel forums or use good ‘ol Google to find out which telephone company provides the clearest signals in the areas where you’ll be staying. Also, when purchasing a local sim card, ask about the deals they have for foreigners/travelers. Most times, they’ll have sim cards that fit your needs — 7 days, 3 weeks, 1 month stay, with unlimited internet and a few minutes local calls.
Bribes vs. Getting an International Drivers License
(for long-term travelers)
Planning on driving around overseas? Apply for your International Drivers License (IDL) before leaving your home country and avoid the hassle of being pulled over and ticketed. While bribes work for most Southeast Asian countries, it really isn’t advisable (shame on you!) and could perhaps land you in jail causing you to shell out more money.
So next time you travel, keep these 3 things in mind.
Peace Love and Lipgloss,