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Ask An Expert: Tips For Traveling Internationally On A Budget

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Traveling internationally on a budget doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the travel experience. Penny-wise travel is possible by taking the hard-earned advice of world-renowned international travel expert Peter Greenberg. Known as America's most recognized and respected front-line travel news journalist, logging over 400,000 travel miles per year, Greenberg is a multiple Emmy-winning investigative reporter, producer and travel editor for CBS News. He's often the keynote speaker at popular travel shows, a TED talk speaker and he's the author of The New York Times best-selling "Travel Detective" series. His website,, is a leading travel news resource and an insider's guide to travel tips and inspiration as well. We interviewed Greenberg to uncover today's top five tips on how to best travel internationally on a budget. From secret flights to savvy strategies, Greenberg's advice will make traveling not only easier, but also more affordable.

1. Don't think point-to-point when making airline reservations
For example, a Los Angeles-to-London ticket can be very expensive. Greenberg advises to ask for pricing on an RTW ticket - an "around the world" ticket. While you may pay $500 dollars more than a round-trip coach ticket to London, the advantage of an RTW ticket is it allows the option to travel the world and make multiple stops."There are two great things about this.
1.) You get to see the world
2.) You accrue so much mileage; you actually create another free ticket," shares Greenberg.
An airport baggage handler loads bags onto a cart
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2. Minimize baggage fees and excess weight fees
Avoid paying excess baggage and weight fees - which can be as high as $500 per ticket - by purchasing toiletries and certain clothing items locally. Greenberg advises, "There are pharmacies all over the world. You don't have to pack 30 pairs of underwear, 30 pairs of shoes, and you don't have to pack all of your lotions and potions." Be a smart packer by keeping your bags light, and save along the way.Related: Five Reasons To Visit Los Angeles This Summer

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3. Look for secret seats
Some of the best, most comfortable seats in coach are known as "secret seats." But, you have to know how to find them. Since the tail of planes taper, there are often two seats instead of three at the tail. By knowing which seats to look for, it's possible to reserve a seat with an open space next to you. Extra spaciousness equals extra comfort, especially on extra long flights. Add value to your next flight by requesting a secret seat. Sorted by airline type and airline, find out which seats are secret at Book a secret seat
Greenberg advises to think outside typical flight schedules and obvious airlines to discover secret flights. Secret flights are not actually secret, they are in the schedules, but nobody knows about them. They are not advertised.For example, Greenberg explains, most people would think of taking Lufthansa if they were flying from New York to Frankfurt, Germany. But not many people know that Singapore Airlines also flies that route.Another example: LA to São Paulo, Brazil. Most think of American Airlines but Korean Airlines also flies this route, non-stop. Going from LA to London? He recommends taking Air New Zealand. LA to Paris? Take Air Tahiti."These are great flights for two reasons," says Greenberg, "1.) They are usually not crowded, 2.) You usually get better service and sometimes better deals."

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5. Be in-the-know about renting a car overseas
"Renting a car overseas is a lot different than renting a car in the U.S.," says Greenberg. In the U.S., it's straightforward and transparent – you call an 800 number or go online, receive a confirmation number and know the price you will pay. Overseas, it's important to have a conversation with the manager and confirm your rental agreement. "Otherwise, you're going to be sadly disappointed in terms of what you're getting, or how much you're paying," shares Greenberg. Since the terms "luxury" and "compact" hold different definitions overseas, having a conversation with the rental car manager is the best way to mitigate potential disappointments.Related: Overseas Destinations You Can Travel To Without A Passport

Jessica Blotter, M.A.Ed., is a contributing writer for CBS Los Angeles, Fast Company and Examiner news outlets covering the topics of travel and social impact. She is also founder of creative group Publicly Loved and was a former earth science teacher with UCSD's Preuss School. Sign up to be part of her next project at Read more on and @publiclyloved.

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