6 Ways To Save Money When Traveling Abroad

I recently returned from a nice vacation in Mexico. This was my first time in Mexico. For those of you who are planning to travel internationally, there is a good chance you will encounter various street vendors during your travel. These vendors will sell anything from jewelry to massages to potential gifts for the important people in your life. In highly touristy areas, vendors will often come up to you with the goal of starting a sales process. It is important to negotiate down prices so you don’t overpay for everything on your trip. This will save you lots of money. Below are 6 techniques I use to save money when haggling while abroad.

#1 Understand you are not obligated to buy anything

Often times there is pressure for us to purchase something after talking to someone or after asking for the price of a particular product. This needs to go away. You have zero requirements to do so. It’s ok to browse and ask about multiple products. This may make the seller push harder to make a sale, but don’t buy something if you don’t want it.

076#2 State a price below what you are willing to pay

Mark-ups vary from country to country, but generally there is at least a 25% discount you can get pretty easily. If something costs $40 I would try starting at $25 and see where you can go from there. Any sell over what the seller paid for the product/service is a profit for the seller.

#3 Limit your words

Keep your mouth shut. Psychologically speaking if you don’t talk, the other person (in this case selling) is more likely to talk to fill in the space. The more they talk the more likely they will lower the price in order to complete a sale. This is especially helpful after stating your initial price.

#4 Be overly polite

Being overly polite is never a bad thing. This is especially true in a foreign country. If someone is nice to you, you are more likely to help them out. The same applies to this situation. These vendors are people too.

121#5 Walk away

If you have engaged in conversation, the salesperson will have a lot harder time letting you walk away without buying anything. Sometimes just walking away can get you the deal you wanted. Other times it won’t work, but if they won’t negotiate I am sure you can find someone selling something very similar that is willing to negotiate.

#6 Carry a set amount of cash

This final tip is what I found has worked the best. I limit the cash in my travel wallet, but still carry my normal wallet. I put a set amount in my travel wallet. After engaging in conversation and showing how much money you actually have in your travel wallet.

Say you only have $22 for an item that the seller wanted $40. If they see you have no more money they are a lot more likely to accept your offer. Of course you still would have more money in your other wallet.


2 thoughts on “6 Ways To Save Money When Traveling Abroad”

  1. Great post. In America we are not used to negotiating/haggling for anything, but in most foreign countries it is normal to negotiate. I have realized though that once you start negotiating, you need to be prepared to buy. That is the custom. if you are willing to negotiate at all it means you “want” to buy, so you have to be prepared to purchase; otherwise, you are wasting the vendor’s time. A native of Egypt taught me that. In a way, it was like when I sold advertising or in real estate. If the buyer goes through the negotiating process, which is hard core and can last a long time and THEN decides to walk away, it creates bitter feelings, especially, if the buyer was making the seller go through hoops to come down to the lowest price. The key is this, the Buyer must KNOW what they are willing to pay (within reason), they can’t expect the seller to just give away a product for nothing, THEN the negotiating can be a fun process for both parties. I AGREE with you, it is good to have a special wallet with the amount you are willing to spend, because if the negotiating turns emotional/hectic, you can show that THIS IS ALL you have to spend — not more than that. Negotiating is a learned skill, we should teach this in our schools! Glad you shared your insights on this, it will help others.


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