Traveling Cheap When Living Abroad

overseas_travelPerhaps this is a rookie mistake for fresh-faced travelers who have just discovered the wonders of living abroad, but many are wasting a lot of their hard earned money on expensive modes of transport.  What happens when you are relocated semi-permanently to a new country or city? Air travel is by far the most expensive, but believe it or not, can be replaced with another mode of transport that will add volumes to your overall experience. 

When moving to one region for more than a year, why not buy a second hand vehicle and just drive yourself? Although this option may not be feasible if you are only staying for a couple of months, people who are temporarily locating to a new country (be it for work or travel) may find that it is a very savvy way of turning what would have been a pricey series of cab fares into a great personal travel experience.  Buying a car is a straight forward process when following the right advice. Check out RACQ’s guide to buying a car before you make the commitment. This method is also great for those who cannot stand the squeeze and commotion of public transport.

We love public transport because it can save you a lot of money. And although this is a no brainer, we find that a lot of semi-permanent travelers still prefer to take cabs and taxis to and from central attractions that, by now, have a well-developed transport system servicing them. Ironically, this is probably because of the sheer amount of people who visit the attraction every day, so it makes us wonder, why it is so essential then for tourists that they still get about by taxi. It must be the convenience of hailing a cab and being able to hop in without the worry of getting disastrously lost.

But we believe that public transport systems are made simple enough for all to understand, even if you are foreign to the language and might have trouble at first. Simply taking the time to ask a local or information desk for the easiest and most direct route via public transport could save you a surprising amount of money. Take Bangkok for example: The city has a very efficient metro system that services all the popular destinations in the city. Travelers going from one end of town to another can save about an hour’s travel time by taking a train instead of sitting in a taxi in the busy streets of the city. You will not only arrive faster but with more bahts in your pocket!

Check out well known travel forums, such as Tripadvisor, to get tips from genuine travelers sharing their knowledge about getting around each city. Or you can simply whip out the smart phone and load up Google Maps to see what public transport is available on the day, if you like to live on the wild side.

Kelly is a freelance writing who specializes in personal financial writing. She has written a number of personal finance blogs and travels when she is not writing. 

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