What $100 can do Abroad

By Rachael Funk

Of all the things money can buy, the best one is opportunity: the opportunity to travel, the opportunity to engage in new experiences, and even the opportunity to share those things with someone else. Though few of us have the luxury of worry-free spending, the good news is that a little can do a lot when you travel! Here’s what freeing up $100 can do in four of our favorite travel destinations.

Paris, France

100 USD converts to 90.4726 EUR

  • A 2-day museum pass for about $60
  • Admission for one to Chateau de Versailles for about $30
  • A jambon-beurre (one of France’s favorite sandwiches) for about $4
OR, just skip the museum pass and the palace and just get 25 jambon-beurre sandwiches! No judgment - they’re delicious.

Tips to save more in France:

Travel in the off-season! Not only will everything from hotels to restaurants be cheaper, everything will be less crowded!

Get tap water in restaurants - it’s free!

Ditch the touristy areas for a day! Not only will prices drop dramatically outside of the city, you’ll get to find some of France’s many, MANY hidden gems!

Reykjavik, Iceland

100 USD converts to 12,470.74 ISK

  • Grab a bottle of red wine from the airport’s duty-free for about $20
  • Take a 1-hour puffin watching boat tour from Reykjavik for about $50
  • Snag a 24-hour city card for about $30

Tips to save more in Iceland:

Don’t rush out of the airport! Buy whatever alcohol you might want before you leave the duty-free. Once you leave the airport, the only place you’ll be able to pick it up is at government stores - for up to double the cost.

Go to a free hot spring! If the Blue Lagoon isn’t included in your package and you don’t want to leave without a soak, you can find a few around Seljavallalaug and Reykjadalur.

Pack a towel! In Iceland, towel fees are monumental and they are everywhere. Bring your own and save your money for something more fun.

Bangkok, Thailand

100 USD converts to 3,054.25 THB

  • A tuk tuk ride for about $3
  • Entry to the Grand Palace for about $16
  • Mango sticky rice for about $5
  • Entry to Wat Pho for about $4
  • Chilled, fresh fruit from a street vendor for less than $1
  • A 10-mile grab taxi ride for about $5
  • An 1-day pass (unlimited rides) on the BTS SkyTrain for about $5
  • Entry to Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World (one of the largest aquariums in Southeast Asia) for about $33
  • Entry to Wat Traimit (Temple of the Golden Buddha) and its museum for about $5
  • Entry to the National Gallery for about $1
  • Entry to the National Museum for about $7
  • Entry to the Jim Thompson house for about $4
  • A plate of street food for about $1
  • A meal in a shopping mall food court for about $3
  • A large bottle of beer in the Khao San Road area for about $3
  • A Thai curry with rice for about $4

Tips to save more in Thailand:

Confirm your fares before you accept transportation! Whether you’re hopping into a taxi or a tuk tuk, make sure you and the driver reach an agreement on price before you set off. It will help avoid confusion later.

Take out lots of cash when you visit an ATM! In Bangkok, ATM fees can be around 200 baht - that’s almost $7! If you have to use one, pull out what you think you’ll need for the whole trip all at once.

Bring your Nalgene! You can refill your water just about anywhere for about 2 baht, which is currently less than a penny. Comparatively, buying your water can cost 15 baht per bottle!

Cusco, Peru

100 USD converts to 332.031 PEN

  • A boleto turistico for about $46
  • Entry to Planetarium Cusco for about $15
  • Street food for about $2
  • A meal of cuy al horno for about $16
  • A bag of coca leaves (to prevent altitude sickness) for about $1
  • A mango for about $1
  • A salsa class for about $3
  • A bottle of water for about $1
  • A Pisco Sour cocktail for about $5
  • Ceviche for about $3
  • All the free walking tours! But, as always, be sure to tip your guides!
FYI: there are certain sites near Cusco that will not admit travelers without a boleto turistico, so grab one early. They’ll cover entry to most of the ruins (minus Machu Picchu!), museums, and monuments near Cusco so you can rest assured that you’ll get your fill of local history while you’re there! These passes last 10 days, so you’ll probably only need to get one for the whole trip!

Tips to save more in Peru:

Book your extra tours last-minute! If there’s an extra tour or two that pique your interest, wait until you’re there to buy your ticket. If you wait until the last minute, you’re more likely to get a deal. Be careful, though - this strategy isn’t fool-proof, so if you have a make-or-break tour in mind, like a visit to Machu Picchu, absolutely reserve in advance!

Skip the taxis and opt for public busses instead! Between the cobrador who yells out the stops as you climb on and the much cheaper fare, you’ll get a taste of local life as well as keeping a few extra soles in your pocket.

Don’t forget - prices can change based on when you travel, where you buy, and a host of other variables. Always do your own travel research so you’re not surprised when you get there!

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