Tip #5 Booking Flights with Multiple Carriers and Bag Fees

Many of us will travel using websites such as Kayak.com and Momondo.com, which bundle different flights on different carriers into one ticket. For example, London to Tokyo may have a flight on Ryanair from London to Istanbul and then a change of planes in Istanbul and fly out on Turkish Airlines from Istanbul to Tokyo. The ticket may be the cheapest you find and so that sounds and looks amazing!

BUT, consider now that you have not paid for bags or meals. Just because you booked those flights together in no way means that you will also pay one baggage fee to check a bag. No way. Once you book that ticket online, you receive 2 separate codes, one for each airline. At this point, you will need to pay a bag fee for each airline you fly with. 1 bag fee for Ryanair and another bag fee to Turkish Airlines.

Many times I have heard people say what a great deal they got, and then tell me they paid multiple bag fees because they did not think about the fact that these websites book a separate ticket for each flight, thus, more bag fees. OUCH! Now the price has gone up.

The solution – Do not check a bag OR do not book these together. Find the most direct flight to your destination or even into the country of your destination and then take a train or bus. Trains and buses usually do not charge for bags and you have added another leg to your adventure. This can save you some money off of the air ticket and another bag fee.

I took a flight from Barcelona to Seattle,WA, USA for $145 or 128 euros, and then took a train for $29 to Portland,OR, USA. This saved me a lot of money as Portland did not have many cheap flights to book.

Also, many buses now have USB ports, WiFi, WC (bathroom) and on-board free movies on the back headrest screen. Alsa bus, Flixbus in Europe have these great amenities.

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Tip #3 Currency Abroad

      

Have you ever wondered what the best way is to exchange currency when traveling to another country or to avoid pesky foreign fees? We have all seen the currency exchange windows at the airports or foreign city centers. These are a scam. They advertise no commission fees, instead, they change the current conversion rate to be in there favor. Example:

Correct conversion – 1USD = 0.83472 Euros.

Exchange places – 1USD = 0.79367 Euros. See the difference?

This is obviously a bad deal for you. To get the correct conversion rate, ask your bank, what they need to do to make sure you are not changed foreign transaction fees or ATM fees. My account in the US is with Citibank and they changed my account type so that I did not have these fees. Anytime I made a charge using my bank card, the conversion was spot on. You can check the accurate, up to date conversion rates at www.xe.com. European banks also offer such accounts. My credit card, Capitol One, does not charge fees as part of the card benefits by default. Make sure your card has the chip as well. The US banking system is very outdated and most of the world uses cards with the Pass and chip.

This allows you to take cash out of the ATM at the current correct rate. The ATM will ask you what currency you want the withdrawal in. Always choose the currency of the country you are in. If you choose your own currency, that bank will convert the currency for you at a bad rate. So, always choose the currency of that country.

If you still have cash from your home country, save it for when you get home. You may need it in the airport when you get back. Now, if your bank is global, you may be able to exchange cash at a foreign branch, but for a fee. Do the research on your own bank before you leave. Try to limit the amount of cash you have on you while out. Use your bank cards as much as possible. And lastly, if you are eating at the terrace sidewalk tables of an eatery or cafe, ask if there is a fee. Most cities charge them a fee, which they will charge to you.