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Travel can be expensive. After the cost of a tour and the flight, there isn’t always a lot of room left in the budget. This is why we have value added tours at Sloan Travel. We believe the bulk of your investment should be done before your plane leaves the runway, not after your plane lands.

Still, we have a few easy to remember tips that could save you a lot of money in the long run. They say that experience is the best teacher, well, we’re hoping that our experiences will help you save you some serious cash.

Never exchange your currency at the airport. While it may be the most convenient spot to do it, DON’T! You will pay dearly for that convenience. On the last day of your trip, make a stop by a bank and exchange your money back. This tip will help you plan out the last day of your trip, and save you some cash in the process.
ATMS & Debit cards can be a great way to handle things.

The currency conversion is handled automatically, so you’re debit card statement are in US dollars, (assuming it’s a US-based bank.) No matter what currency the purchase was in, it’ll charge it in your countries currency.

Best of all, the exchange rate is likely going to be at a low inter-bank rate, much better than you’d get at a currency exchange kiosk.

Be careful however, because over use in small quantities could rack up the fees, depending on your bank. So make strategic large withdrawls to minimize the number of deductions. Remember cash is ALWAYS accepted.

Be sure to check with your bank to see if they charge a fee or a percentage on foreign purchases or withdrawls. Some banks are low (1%) others are high (5%) and charge per withdrawl.

The DDC or “Dynamic Currency Conversion” is a scam of sorts, keep reading and you’ll understand.

Some merchants, typically in Europe, try to capitalize on offering what is called the DCC. I myself, have fallen for this, so please do not do the same!

Merchants cheerfully charge you for converting their prices to dollars. Don’t do it. This may seem like a convenience and a kind service to offer, and you may even be more comfortable seeing the charge in US dollars, but you’ll usually end up paying an addition fee for the exchange to take place.

On top of that, Credit Cards may still may charge an additional fee for it being a foreign purchase. So, when asked if you’d like to have it charged in US Dollars or your native currency, simply smile and say, “Charge it in Euros please.”

To save a big chunk of change consider keeping your phone or tablet in airplane mode and simply using wi-fi, when available.

Many cafes, stores, and even most budget hotels have internet readily available for use. Utilize it.

Use email, skype, and text/call apps to keep in touch with your friends and family, without breaking the bank doing it.