5 Money Saving Travel Tips I Learned in Ireland

Money Saving Travel TipsWith the heavy summer travel season now upon us, I thought I’d throw out some quick travel tips.

These are mostly based on the money-related lessons I learned while travelling to Ireland the past three weeks.

For more detailed banking information see my previous post, Banking Tips for International Travel.

Know Your ATM and Foreign Transaction Fees– We ended up using our ATM card once and thought we’d only see a $2 fee. To our suprise, our Capital One 360 Checking account charged us 2% foreign transaction fee.

This is definitely something we should have researched prior to making the ATM withdrawal. Foreign transaction fees weren’t that bad on us the rest of the trip since we just used the local currency (Euro), but that’s definitely something you need to be aware of prior to using your credit card.

Most fees are set at 1% to 3%. Capital One is one of the only companies that doesn’t charge you this fee.

Download Skype to Save on Phone Expenses – We’re still really big on Skype and used it make all our calls back home. We called both our friends and family who have Skype themselves, and occasionally used it to call a land line or cell phone using the Skype credits I had left over from my last trip.

Skype is free for computer to computer video calls.

Consider Cancelling Services Back Home – Prior to leaving on our recent trip we’d been having some trouble with our Internet connection. So, we decided to call and just cancel it to save us from paying almost a month of service fees when we were out of town.

AT&T offered to give us a month for free and then lowered our rate going forward to keep us from cancelling. Call your service providers today and let them know of your complaints or if you think you’re paying too much. They’ll likely work with you to help you cut some from your monthly expenses.

Note: before cancelling anything, make sure you’re aware of any cancellation fees or big fees to have the service set back up when you return.

Inform Your Bank and Credit Cards – Most banks and credit card companies have fraud alerts set up on your account that prevent your card from taking any unusual charges, like in a foreign country.

So, it’s usually a good practice to call them and let them know where you’re going. I usually do this at the airport while I’m waiting.

We actually forgot to do this this time around. And suprisingly we never had a transaction questioned. Maybe it was because we were in Europe, I guess, versus a less developed country.

Add-On a Cell Phone International Feature – If and when we didn’t use Skype on our trip, we used our cell phones. Prior to leaving though, we called and made sure we had the international flat rate feature turned on.

This usually costs around $5 for the month, but it lowers your per minute and per text charges to a more reasonable rate.

Do you have a good money-related travel tip? Leave it in the comments below…

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About Philip Taylor, CPA

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, blogger, podcaster, husband, and father of three. PT is also the founder and CEO of the personal finance industry conference and trade show, FinCon. He created this website back in 2007 to share his advice on money, hold himself accountable (while paying off over $75k in debt), and to meet others passionate about moving toward financial independence. He uses Personal Capital to track his wealth. All the content on this blog is original and created or edited by PT.


  1. studenomist says

    I just got back from Europe myself and I am terried to look at my phone bill. I never ever bring a cell phone on a vacation but 3 weeks was far too long this time so I caved. I called ahead and did the whole deal with the cell phone provider.

    My only advice to others is to buy a phone card when you get to your destination. These are usually $10 and don’t offer that much time. The plus side is that you will pay less than you would as a result of roaming charges and other cell phone expenses.

    Or you could buy a pre loaded sim card. A relative did this. He bought a sim card and put it into his cell phone. The negative is that you will have a different number. The positive is that you will save tons of money and be able to call more freely.

  2. Deneil Merritt says

    My girlfriend and I are planning on going on a trip on her birthday. These tips are very helpful. Thanks for sharing.