Top 10 travel budget busters
(Reuters) - Last-minute flights and getaways are sometimes the way to go if your goal is to travel on the cheap. But when it comes to avoiding extra travel costs, it's planning ahead that's the guaranteed remedy. Online travel experts Cheapflights (www.cheapflights.com) offers its top 10 budget busting travel mistakes for travelers to avoid. Reuters has not endorsed this list:
1. Keep it light ... don't overpack
Fliers nowadays aren't just dealing with the ever-ballooning baggage fees. They're also dealing with weight limits, which unfortunately have come down as the price of fuel has gone up. The penalty for going over weight is high enough that passengers are unloading clothes in the middle of airports just to beat associated fees. Beyond that, having more bags than you can carry leads to porter and bellboy costs every time you move from point A to B. Our tip: Plan your wardrobe ahead of time and pack versatile staples - like a black dress or nice pair of jeans - to save luggage space.
2. Currency gotchas
Exchange rates matter, so be sure to research the currency value of whatever country you're traveling to before making pricey flight decisions. Destinations in Canada, Australia and pretty much anywhere in Western Europe currently boast strong currencies, so instead of Paris, try Budapest; instead of London, try Prague; and instead of Vancouver, try Hanoi. Obviously swapping Canada out for Vietnam is a bit extreme, but it pays - literally - to know how much the Vietnamese Dong offers in getting the biggest bang for your bucks. Also, be smart about where you change your currency (not at the airport).
3. Weather whoops
An amazing number of people don't check the forecast before taking off on a trip. The result: they end up the lucky owners of overpriced sweatshirts, flip flops and umbrellas. While an I heart London hoodie and Minnie Mouse umbrella may serve as lasting souvenirs, they can also burn up your pocket-change before you even leave the hotel lobby.
4. Keep in touch ... without the phone charges
Roaming, data chargers, third party carriers - there are as many ways to rack up extra costs as there will be zeroes added to your phone bill. But only if you aren't paying attention. Before departure, call your cell phone company to ensure you understand exactly what your provider charges its customers abroad. To avoid a devastating bill, upgrade temporarily to an international calling plan, use local Wi-Fi, invest in a SIM card, or - if you're really brave - leave your phone at home. Continued...