Believing These 5 Travel Myths Will Cost You Money

Travelling can be intimidating, especially for international destinations. These five myths can cost travelers a lot of money.

1. “Bring Cash or Traveler’s Checks to International Destinations”

Keeping your money safe during travel does not have to mean getting a stack of traveler’s checks, or hiding a huge wallet under your clothes said Benjamin Glaser, features editor with Deal News, which offers discounts, coupons and other money-saving tools online.

“Your bank probably has domestic and international partners that allow you to use their ATMs for low or no fees,” he said. For example, Citibank offers access to more than 45,000 ATMs in 30-plus countries. It also offers other services, including foreign currency delivery and free phone access to a home-country customer service representative. If you are worried about your card security, try an RFID sleeve or RFID wallet to protect your information.

2. “Lower Cost Means Lower Quality”

Glaser said one of the biggest travel-related money myths is that saving cash always means sacrificing quality. But that is not always the case. Visiting popular destinations during off-peak seasons means fewer crowds, more affordable accommodations and perhaps more interactions from the locals, he said.

3. “Never Book a Room with Free Breakfast”

Breakfast is usually of one of the most affordable meals of the day. So opting for a minimum hotel that doesn’t offer eats in the morning might be your best in some cases. But in other situations, early day dining options are few and far between. In that case, booking a hotel that offers free breakfast can save travelers time and money.

4. “Duty-Free Shops Are a Steal”

Although some travelers can score deals on some items at duty-free shops (such as cigarettes or alcohol), most items are actually more expensive than found elsewhere (read: watches, perfumes, and other luxuries).

5. “Travel Insurance Never Pays”

People typically buy travel insurance to protect themselves against a large financial loss if they unexpectedly have to cancel an expensive trip, or in case they have an accident or suddenly get ill while traveling.

Should you buy travel insurance? If your trip is not expensive and your health insurance offers adequate coverage where you are going, travel insurance might be an unnecessary expense.

For big-budget trips and remote adventures, it can be worth putting out an extra 5 or 6 percent of your trip’s total cost for an insurance policy, said Rachael Taft, content manager for the travel insurance review and comparison site SquareMouth.

“Travel insurance can cover medical bills if you are traveling somewhere that you don’t have health insurance coverage, or your coverage is limited she said. “Travel insurance can also help in the event you need to be evacuated to a medical facility, which can be costly, particularly for cruisers or travelers in remote locations.”