How to Save Money Abroad: Tips and Tricks
By Yuka Adachi ’17: Marketing and Human Resource Management and Carly Federico ’20: Japanese and Integrated Media Major
Has anyone thought that traveling is not worth spending money? Nowadays, you can use google maps to see famous places, you can try the international food in the States, and going to those touristy places costs a lot of money and they are always crowded. It takes forever to get there and can be very stressful. These things likely will happen if you follow the same trip plan that others have, but what can make it different?
Make global friends
The solution is: get unique resources and meet the local people! It is great to have global friends. First, you have a reason to travel and visit them and they may let you stay at their house. Second, they are the most useful resources you can get on your trip. They can share local information and show you around. Lastly, they can make your trip completely unique. They can take you to the places where local people go and you can really interact with the culture. Most of the touristy places are customized for tourists and it is usually expensive. All you see is other tourists. Going to the local places can help you save money!
Earn points on membership programs from different websites
When you buy flight tickets, you may go to Google and search for them. Let’s say you decided to use Delta. You go to Delta’s official website and purchase it. You will get the mileage points from Delta if you have membership (usually free). This is a usual scenario. However, you could earn more reward points by buying the exact same flight elsewhere. For example, if you purchase the flight tickets from a travel agency such as Expedia, you could earn both Expedia and Delta’s reward points at the same time.
Also, airlines usually have partnership with other airlines. For example, Delta is partner with Hawaiian airlines. By using Delta, you could also earn Hawaiian airline’s reward points if you are member. In addition, if you purchased with a credit card or PayPal, you can get the credit card redeem or points (debit cards do not usually have any cash back). This is just an example. There are many possible ways to earn different points with one purchase. When you purchase flight tickets online, make sure you think about the possible ways to earn the maximum points you could get!
Here I want to share my friend Carly Federico’s story about how she saved money for traveling to Japan:
“Every time I thought about spending money, I’d think about how much the new item would cost and calculate how long I would have to work to make that amount of money back. Say a new video game was $40, I would have to work about 5 hours to get that money again. If you think about it, slaving five hours over a game that may be give you 24 hours of enjoyment was not a good deal. Also, spending $40 on one meal that would give you half an hour of enjoyment wasn’t a good idea. Every pay check that I received I would think about how many hours I slaved over my job to make each cent. With that mentality, I spent maybe less than 2% of each paycheck. I did have some days where I spent a lot, but I was really disciplined about how much money I spent.
I also had a fundraiser and sold T-shirts for $15 each that said in Japanese, “I sent Carly to Japan”. I invested $500 in the fundraiser party I had and made over $1,500. We had a spaghetti dinner and a “Chinese auction” (Which means there’s a bunch of gift baskets that you can see the contents of and you buy tickets to place a bet on each one and then the winner is pulled from the basket.) A lot of family members and people from my church donated to me as well because they knew it was my dream to go to Japan.”