4 Trips That Will Give You a Good Return on Your Money

Kip Tips

4 Trips That Will Give You a Good Return on Your Money

Travel to destinations where the dollar goes farther or turn a trip into a money-making venture.

By Emily Co, Guest Columnist

Editor's note: Our regular Kip Tips columnist Cameron Huddleston, is taking a deserved vacation but has solicited the help of her favorite personal-finance bloggers to guide Kip Tip readers in her absence.

Travel can get expensive, but you don’t always have to take trips that will drain dollars from your account. There are certain types of vacations that can actually pay off. Read on for suggestions:

Make your dollar work for you. Go to a country where you can take advantage of the low cost of living. For example, in Vietnam you can get a Vietnamese sub or Banh Mi for 75 cents versus the $5 you’d pay for a subway sandwich back in San Francisco.

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Visit developing nations, such as India and Argentina, which have currencies that are weak against the dollar. Do your research on what activities and services you can enjoy for cheap in the country and make full use of it. For example, a friend of mine makes sure to pamper herself with cheap massages and manicures when she’s in China. You can also tailor your clothing or get custom-made clothes like suits and even wedding dresses in some of these countries at a steal. However, keep in mind that some of the major cities can be pricier, and items like imported goods and electronics are still costly.


Go treasure hunting. Take a fun trip to a treasure hunting spot too look for precious materials; you never know what you may find! Last month, a Colorado resident took a trip to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas and found an 8.66-carat diamond, which is estimated by the Daily Mail to be worth hundreds of thousands. Check out Travel Channel’s picks for the top ten treasure-hunting spots in America.

Dig for shellfish. Make plans to go on a clam- or oyster-digging adventure. Pay the one-day license fee, which is usually $10, for an all-you-can-eat buffet of clams and oysters. Compare that with the standard $30 for 12 oysters at restaurants, and you have yourself a deal.

Intern overseas. If you’re a student, consider taking a trip to another country during the summer to do an internship. Your best bet is to ask your friends, family and school to see if they have the network to get you placed in a company overseas. Although work visas can be tricky to get, another option is to enlist the help of companies that specialize in placing people in internships, such as Abroad China. There is a fee, but you won’t have to deal with complicated visa issues.

These cross-cultural internships will stand out on your resume. Ground experience in another country will reflect your ability to tackle challenges and the unknown, as well as the skill of navigating and adapting quickly to different environments. Better career prospects will mean higher salaries in the long run -- I’d say those travel dollars are being put to good use!

Emily Co is the associate editor of the PopSugar Network's SavvySugar, a career and personal finance Web site for savvy women. You can also find her blogging about quirky news from Asia and culture on AbsolutelyFobulous.com. Find her on LinkedIn!