Are you an avid traveler? Or someone who is just looking to get out of town for a while? While traveling is fun and can be a good cultural experience, the costs associated with it are often daunting. Seeing the world should not mean having to break the bank. Below are 5 tips for traveling on a budget, allowing you to enjoy your getaway without the daily stress of having to worry about your finances.
1.) Travel Out-of-Season
Traveling out-of-season can save you a lot of money. Because the travel industry will purposely increase their rates during the busy times of the year, it is best to avoid these windows. What are the peak travel times? They can vary depending on where you are headed, but typically included are breaks during the spring and summer as well as major holidays. If you can avoid these peak times of year, flights and accommodations will be much less expensive.
2.) Search for the Best Airfare
If you are travelling by plane, there are a few things you can do to minimize ticket prices. First, since most vacationers travel on Friday and return on Sunday, aim for a flight that departs and returns on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday. Also, plan on leaving either very early or very late to avoid the busy hours. When looking to book a ticket, shop 1-3 months before your intended departure for the cheapest domestic flights, and 2-6 months for the cheapest international flights. Also, you can always set an online airfare alert and let the deals come to you. Bottom line…make sure you shop around and compare prices across airlines.
3.) Try Different Accommodations
Instead of staying in a hotel, and if you don’t mind staying with other fellow travelers, look at available hostels in your area. For a very low price, you can share a general living space with fellow travelers (And who knows, you might make some good friends this way!). Some hostels also offer inexpensive single or double rooms. If you’re uncomfortable staying in a hostel, look for rentals in the area. AirBnB and Craigslist offer single rooms for much lower rates than you’ll find at a hotel.
4.) Look for Cheaper Cities and Airports Near Your Destination
Depending on where you are flying, you can often find less expensive airports to fly into in the surrounding area. Then, instead of renting a car, look for public transportation options to get where you’re going. If your destination is Paris, look at flights to Spain, Belgium, or other cities in France to see if there is a difference in price. Not only might this save you some money, but it also can add a fun and exciting aspect to your trip that you never would have considered.
5.) Little Ways to Save
While traveling, there are a lot of little things you can do to save money. Here are some general ideas:
- Avoid checking luggage (Especially when travelling domestically. Some international flights will allow you one free checked bag).
- Skip purchasing souvenirs, and take photos instead to give to family and friends.
- Instead of dining out, buy local groceries and cook meals.
- Look for free activities to do in surrounding areas.
- Search for tour discounts and other discounted activities online before you travel.
Needless to say, the most important thing you can do when travelling on a budget is to plan ahead. If you’re doing everything last minute, expect costs to be higher. By planning ahead, you can certainly manage an inexpensive, yet fun getaway. Start arranging your adventure now!