Whether for work or play, travel is a necessary evil for all of us at some point.

Between travel, gifts, attire and other costs, guests are expected to spend an average of $539 per wedding this year -- up more than 50% from last year's average expected expense of $339, according to the American Express Spending and Saving Tracker's recent survey of about 1,500 adults.

Almost 140 million Americans (59%) are planning a summer vacation. They expect to spend an average of $1,180 per person, on par with 2011.

With statistics like that it is important to plan for any and all expenses that you might incur while travelling, however, as much as we try to plan for any unexpected costs it is inevitable at times that we will run into situations that will leave our budgets a little shorter than anticipated. This article will highlight some common events that you may not consider and how to avoid them and their price tags.

1. AVOID ROAMING CHARGES – one way to avoid roaming charges while traveling is to ensure that you tap into available WI-FI where you are located when using data. You should also consider turning off apps, data roaming, and fetch data.

2. EAT LOCALLY – tourists often flock to touristy attractions or restaurants that they feel comfortable with, if you go to downtown Cancun, Mexico its like being right at home with Outback Steakhouse right on the corner. Of course if dining at the tourist traps you are likely to pay out the nose. Ask around or at the hotel for local restaurants to try, they are generally a lot less costly and you can be adventurous with your choices!

3. EXCHANGE RATE SCAMS – be careful about where you exchange your money when traveling abroad. Anyone with a little spare cash can set up an exchange booth and charge outrageous fees on top of the national or local exchange rate. Avoid this by exchanging money through a secure provider like at your hotel.

4. DON’T GET TAKEN FOR A RIDE – before traveling outside of the country research the best way to get around and the costs associated. When you are in an unfamiliar place taking a taxi for example may be more costly than necessary, they have little regulations around charging fares and can take you on the scenic route to increase the fare.

These are just a few ways that you can save while traveling this summer. Your best bet is to try to do some research before you head out to your destination. Most local information is readily available and just a little extra time spent researching can pay off big when you get where you are going.

While these tips can be used for personal or business related travel, check out the May issue of Strategic Sourcing News and Views for more tips on how to save on your travel expenses both for yourself and your company.
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Jennifer Ulrich

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