These 5 money-saving world travel tips make exploring the world in comfort and style easier than ever.
After twenty-three years traveling to over twenty countries, I’ve discovered tips, tricks, and tactics that make exploring the world a whole lot easier, more comfortable and fun. With all the new airline baggage restrictions, you want everything you bring to count without schlepping extra stuff that you don’t need. Not to mention saving on international bank fees and cell phone plans.
Through the years, I’ve developed a traveling protocol that helps me travel light but with many of the comforts of home. Here’s my list of road-tested travel tips that make traveling even more fun.
Tip #1 Dress like an expat, not a tourist
My go-to travel outfit is a (virtually pickpocket proof) hobo purse or shopper with a top zipper that rests under my arm, comfortable thin Me Too ballerina flats with a flexible cushy sole, a crushable hat, stretch skinny jeans, a loose comfortable blouse, cozy pashmina, and Woodzee Chloe Black Pear polarized sunglasses for a chic but comfortable travel look.
When packing, I always put together outfits with basics for day and night and locales like the city or the beach. Dresses are light instant outfits and transition better from day to night than heavy jeans. I don’t even bother with heels as they are not simpatico with cobblestone streets. For fashionable travel clothes, I shop online resale at TheRealReal.com for pieces that look amazing but I’m not too precious about when I wear them to death by the end of my trip. A lightweight casual walking sneaker like Lems Primal 2, that you can roll up to fit in your suitcase is a plus.
Tips #2 Toiletries matter
Traveling can take quite a toll on your skin. Different water types and long hauls can dry it out and even cause acne. To feel fresh and pampered, even on 12-hour flights, these items have permanent residency in my travel toiletry case:
Foreo’s ISSA mini sonic toothbrush protects my gums and keep my choppers clean and white.
Foreo’s Mini Luna keeps up my skin care routine and helps minimize travel acne from clogged pores.
Fig + Yarrow’s Rose & Vanilla Lip Tint is mega moisturizing and great for dry lips from flights.
Avalon Organics Refreshing Conditioner keeps my hair from getting dry and brittle, even when using random hotel shampoo.
Frais Hand Sanitizer with basil and lemon myrtle smells fresh and kills germs.
Travel lover and executive editor of Haute Living Magazine Laura Schreffler doesn’t pack her bags without Jane Iredale’s Glow Time Full Coverage BB Cream. And for tropical environments that make hair frizz, Kim Kessler of the Four Seasons Los Angeles swears by Frizz Be Gone eco hair serum.
Tip #3 Invest in lightweight functional luggage that meets airline standards
Being hit with overweight luggage fees is costly and annoying. As is paying to check a bag that didn’t fit into the overhead bin by a fraction of an inch. Airline agents don’t budge, so don’t take the risk.
I would ditch the old backpack and other odd-sized luggage for square spinners that roll on all four wheels. Sturdy spinners handle even cobblestone streets quite well and don’t cause as much back strain. If it’s time to buy new luggage, remember that plastics aren’t all created equal and some crack after just a few flights. I found that IT Luggage’s polypropylene spinners take a beating and hold up remarkably well. Another option, although not a spinner, is Patagonia’s Transport Roller suitcase/bag constructed with 100% recycled polyester twill.
#4 Pack a dreamy sleep kit
To get a good nights sleep on the plane and after landing I bring my tried-and-true dream sleep kit. A comfortable eye mask, Mack’s silicone ear plugs, and a small bottle of Primavera lavender pillow spray. In one fell swoop, you’ll block out noise, light, and weird smells that can prevent you from sleeping. Add in melatonin for the first three nights to help battle jet lag and you’ll be rising in the morning with the locals in no time.
#5 Download these (almost free) phone apps and learn these savvy travel money saving tips
Stay in touch with friends and family for free or just a few dollars on both cell phones and landlines with WhatsApp, Viber, and Skype subscriptions. Connect to any strong wifi and you’re in. Dial away.
At ATMs and credit card machines, always choose to pay in the local currency – rather than dollars. It’s much less, sometimes up to $5.oo per transaction!
To save on travel fees, consider getting a credit and/or debit card that doesn’t charge international fees. Otherwise you might be charged up to 3 percent on every international transaction. If you don’t want to open a new account, ask if your bank has an international bank partner where you won’t be charged foreign ATM fees.
Rather than get an expensive but limited international plan on your U.S. cell phone carrier, try a local sim card instead. It’s often much cheaper. Remember to bring your passport when signing up for local service. International cell phone carriers like TIM, Wind and Vodafone usually have reasonable travel plans as well with the same sim card in different countries.
*Disclaimer: Help support EcoSalon! Our site is dedicated to helping people live a conscious lifestyle. We’ve provided some affiliate links above in case you wish to purchase any of these products.
Related on EcoSalon.com:
Image of Happy Tourist via Shutterstock