Breaking: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Found Dead At 79

Best Of Chicago

Ask A Chicago Expert: Tips For Traveling Internationally On A Budget

June 14, 2014 7:00 AM

(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Traveling internationally can become quite costly and finding ways to save money while traveling abroad can help to maximize the budget that has been allotted for travel. Chicago travel expert Cooky Kraus offers tremendous insight from her years of experience in the travel industry and shares her tips for traveling internationally on a budget.
Cooky Kraus
The Travel Gallery, Inc.
6571 N. Avondale Ave.
Chicago, IL 60631
(773) 763-6161
Cooky Kraus is a vacation consultant who works with many international travelers at The Travel Gallery Inc. in Chicago, owned and managed by Kathy Green-Seiwert. Elisabeth “Cooky” Kraus was born and raised in the Chicago area, but traveling outside Chicago soon became a big part of her life. It started with visiting her relatives in Germany and then venturing to other parts of Europe and the world. Cooky decided to make travel a part of her daily life becoming a full-time travel professional. Planning customized travel where she creates a trip, from beginning to end, just for individual travelers is what she enjoys most. She feels customized trips allow travelers to get the most of their time and their money. Cooky specializes in the Alpine countries (Germany, Austria and Switzerland). Oktoberfest and visits to the Christmas Markets are two of her favorite events and she can “make them your own.” Additionally, Cooky is a Destination Specialist for Ireland and Australia. Closer to home, Cooky is well versed on all inclusive vacations to Mexico and the Caribbean, can help you select the right cruise and knows the ins and outs of visiting the Hawaiian islands. Working with you, one-on-one, Cooky turns your dreams into your own travel reality.
Work With A Travel Agent
Travel agents have the insight, knowledge and resources to find their clients the best deals, so consulting with a travel professional is extremely important when traveling internationally on a budget.
Make Travel Plans Early
Making travel plans ahead of time offers the opportunity for the traveler to watch for air and hotel sales, plus any type of deals offered at restaurants or attractions. If traveling to special events (i.e.: Oktoberfest, certain sporting events), it is extremely important to confirm reservations.
Be Flexible
Being flexible and willing to change dates will help with getting the best prices on travel. Avoid traveling around the holidays. Also, traveling off season usually means better prices and fewer crowds.
Related: Best Holiday Travel Tips For People From Chicago
Take An Escorted Tour
Considering an escorted tour can provide good value for flights, hotels and sightseeing. In general, tour operators are professional and hold high standards and they want repeat business so they will do their best to provide travelers with the highest quality travel possible.
Eat Locally
Eat where the locals eat, it will typically be better food and pricing. The locals know where the good food is so when traveling internationally, it is important to go where the locals go.
Use Buses
The hop-on-hop-off buses are inexpensive, convenient and provide a good glimpse of major cities. Taking buses can relieve some of the pressure of trying to figure out which way to go and where to be, plus it is much easier to ride a bus and view the surroundings as opposed to driving oneself, especially in an international location.
Related: Best Travel Agents In Chicago
Michelle Guilbeau is an elementary teacher living in Chicago, Illinois. She has also experience in school administration and literacy coaching. Michelle enjoys sharing her knowledge of education and parenting issues with her readers. Her work can be found on


More From CBS Chicago

[Photos] 2016 Grammy Nominees
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!

Listen Live