International Vacations

International Vacation Deals

International vacations offer unforgettable global experiences, and many of the best trips around the world are cheaper than you might think.

Pick the Best Season

If you're looking for budget deals, the best time to travel internationally is during your destination's low season. This varies by location, so it's smart to get to know your preferred locale as intimately as possible. In Europe, low season typically falls between November and March with a moderate shoulder season from April to June. Tropical locales often see a dip in hotel and other travel prices during hurricane season. Riviera Maya is least expensive between August and November while hurricane risk is high but crowds are low. Early May is the best time to go to Japan, just after the cherry blossom festivals. Spend early June in Thailand, and you can escape the heat of April and May while hitting this destination ahead of the summer crowd.

Plan Ahead for Foreign Transactions

Don't rely on your credit cards for international shopping even if they're accepted for all your major purchases. Approximately 90 percent of credit cards charge foreign transaction fees for purchases processed outside the United States. If you go this route, you'll end up paying far more for those unique international finds than you really need to. If you want to use a credit card, make the effort to find one without foreign transaction fees. If you want to access cash while you're overseas, use a debit card with low international withdrawal fees. This will help you minimize the threat of theft by carrying only small amounts of cash with you at any given time.

Dine Around the World for Less

You'll pay a premium to enjoy a meal at a city's most lauded restaurants, but as many seasoned travelers can tell you, those Michelin stars and celebrity chefs don't always translate to the tastiest dishes in the country. In many cases, the most authentic and satisfying meals are those that are prepared by small local restaurant owners. The less decor and ambiance a restaurant has, the more time and attention it often gives to its food. Street food and small three or four-table restaurants often serve up outstanding local dishes for astoundingly low prices. You just need to take the time to seek out these lesser-known spots. Disregard your travel books and popular websites and ask a taxi driver where to get a cheap meal instead. You'll be pleased with the results.