From time to time, everyone gets the urge to stretch their legs a bit and venture somewhere different, new 1024px-Airplane_takeoff_on_blue_skyor familiar as it may be. Whether across town, across the country, or across continents, travel is part of what makes the human experience enjoyable. In this final entry in our series (check out parts one and two while you’re at it) we look at a few of the ways that you can explpre the world as you see it without being subjected to unnecessary expenses and travel fees that can crop up along the way. Bon voyage!

The Cost of Free?

Many credit card providers offer airline-travel points accumulation over time, eventually allowing you to purchase tickets toward a flight using points rather than dollars. However, many airlines and providers will charge fees that make a “free” flight more costly than it appears. These may include fuel surcharges and booking fees that are billed separately from the ticket itself and therefore cannot be paid for with points. Some of these can be avoided by booking well in advance, but others have simply become a fact of life for many air travellers in the current economic climate – the best option is to do your research and apply for a points system with as few up-front restrictions on points usage as you can find.

Check Yourself

The days when travellers were allowed to check luggage for air travel look to be coming to an end: most airlines will now charge for any checked bags you bring with you on a flight. Carry-on bags are still free of charge, however. Winnowing down your list of essentials to take along on a trip may be a tricky process, but it’s worth doing in the end. Be especially vigilant about the weights and sizes of your bags: overweight and oversize items are hit with significant surcharges.

Roam With Care

In today’s data-centric world, it can be hard to let go of your phone or mobile device. And you’d be remiss if you didn’t grab the coolest Instagram of that impressive international landmark to share with your friends, right? Canadian wireless carriers are unfortunately some of the least lenient around when it comes to roaming international use of cellular and data. The purchase price of add-on international plans is often not justifiable at the current rates, but penalties for roaming use are even more painful. Travellers should start by being judicious with their Airplane Mode: make sure that your devices aren’t accessing networks in the background. Depending on your device, you can purchase a SIM card in the region you’re staying in and swap out your Canadian chip temporarily in order to be considered a native rather than roaming user. And there’s always Wi-Fi to be sought out! Hopping from hotspot to hotspot can keep you logged on, especially in urban areas.

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