1. DON'T ACTIVATE ROAMING - purchase a prepaid sim card for about $30 at your destination or use free wi-fi (most hotels and cafes have this available) or buy a calling card for $10 which can have up to 6 hours of talking time.
2. USE ATMS - if you have a short trip just use an ATM at your destination it's much safer to travel without the money, bank travel cards are a rip off and if you exchange the money at a good rate before you leave how much are you really saving? $50 maybe? (The exchange rate could increase by the time you get to your destination anyway!) Or just use your debit/credit card to make shopping purchases in stores.
If your bank is affiliated with a bank at your destination (like Westpac and Bank of America) you won't even be charged a fee so you will get the exact exchange rate.
You can pull out a $1000 from a bank ATM so pull out a large amount each time.
3. LEARN - find out about the laws in the country you're travelling to.
4. USE PUBLIC TRANSPORT - it's really not that bad and you will save time plus a lot of money.
Buses in LA are $1.50, Subways in New York are $2.50 and that can get you from Brooklyn to Queens and Paris is about 2€.
5. KEEP WATER - keep large bottles of water in your back pack and refill them from your hotel before you leave each day. Water is cheap but if your anything like my husband and I and spend up to $20 a day on water... well that $20 could go towards more shopping ;-) plus it will avoid you searching and stopping to buy water every half an hour.
This is assuming the water is safe to drink (see tip No.12)
6. STOCK UP - on snacks from groceries stores and keep them in your hotel room & back pack.
7. COPY THIS - keep a photocopy of your passport, ID cards & certificates in your hotel room!
8. HAGGLE - don't get ripped off! Pay attention to prices! I walked into a electronic store in New York and was told the price for a USB was $75 I walked straight back out and had the man run after me saying okay okay $20. Also candy bars are $1 each in the United States so when you see a candy bar for $3 you are being ripped off. It's not about the money its about the principle!
If something doesn't have the price tag on it don't pay for the first price they tell you unless you are comfortable to pay that much. I usually just say no thanks and they will offer me a cheaper price or I just walk away. But if you're a haggler then haggle haggle haggle!
9. PLAN - plan your day ahead of time. I like to write a list of what to do each day.
I break my list up into sections, so in Paris I would do everything in the 10th arrondissement on one day and the next day I will do everything in the 11th arrondissesement and so on.
I also like to keep a map and circle the location of each place I want to visit and walk from one to another.
(If your location is not on the map find the address and add it in yourself).
10. STOP OVER - learn about the rules and options for your stop over.
If it's a long stop over, find out if you can leave the airport and see a bit of the country.
Abu Dhabi is amazing for this!
If it's a short stop over find ways to refresh yourself. Singapore airport has an outdoor pool!
11. HIRE - it's a lot easier and cheaper to travel from state to state country to country if you hire a car.
The wonderful things and extra places you see on the way are a massive BONUS!