Here’s What You Shouldn’t Buy While Traveling

Everything is expensive, but these are easy ways to save

Passport arranged with currency in a money belt
Did you pack enough cash?

Thanks to high gas prices, airfare at a premium, high demand and inflation as a whole, traveling right now is a massive financial undertaking.

Luckily, per a new report from Travel + Leisure, there are a few easy — if not potentially obvious — ways travelers who are good with money save. And, spoiler alert, it has to do with what they’re not buying when they travel.

According to Kristen Gall, retail and shopping expert at Rakuten, souvenirs are a huge money suck. “When it comes to traveling, it’s hard to resist buying items so you can have a piece of that memory at home,” she said. “However, it’s important to remember that you don’t need every souvenir that catches your eye.”

“When traveling abroad, I recommend only purchasing items that you can’t get back at home, or that are small enough to not impact your luggage weight. If you’re set on bringing home a souvenir, save up for one special thing, rather than wasting your money on a bunch of trinkets you may not think twice about once you return home,” she added.

The other benefit to not splurging on souvenirs is that you also won’t have to worry about squeezing it into your suitcase when it’s time to head home. That’s important if you have a propensity for overpacking — even a few souvenirs can push you over the luggage weight limit. And even if you don’t exceed the weight limit, things can get lost in transit or confiscated at customs.

Beyond forgoing souvenirs, you may be able to pass on travel insurance depending on the nature of your trip. While travel insurance can be useful for mitigating certain issues, it doesn’t cover everything (read the fine print). I, for example, never purchase travel insurance and, knock on wood, I’ve never needed it, either. It’s important, particularly given the climate, sure — but not absolutely essential.

There’s also, according to the experts, a lot to be said for booking in advance. Whether it be hotel rooms or rental cars, you’re always going to wind up paying more on the spot than you would have had you made arrangements ahead of time.

Lastly, consider using a credit card that provides cash rebates and/or has no foreign exchange fees, and avoid tourist traps, which are, by and large, more expensive than other areas. Again, it’s not particularly revelatory as travel tips go, but in this economy, every little bit helps.


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