We’ve been taught that vacations aren’t cheap, and while certain aspects of a trip can easily get out of hand, there are some tips and tricks that will help you save some serious dough and travel on a budget.
One of the most fun things about a vacation is the planning. This time plan ahead as if every dollar counts. Flights, cruises, and hotels are usually cheaper when booked in advance. However, don’t stop there. Check online for local restaurants that are reasonably priced. Everything is online now, so events, flea markets, farmers' markets, transportation, etc. can be found on your device. Make use of the internet and you will get a good idea of what to check out and what to avoid.
It may be surprising to some what a difference traveling in high and low season makes. Accommodations, transportation, and even food are often discounted in the off-season. Surprisingly, dates closer to the edges of the high and low seasons are usually not bad either. As a bonus, the crowds will be less too.
No matter where you travel, there are free things to do – it just takes a little research to discover them. From places of interest to parks, trails, and sightseeing spots, there are probably more free things to do than you would think. Most can be found easily enough online. Check community calendars for free or discounted events. Some museums offer free admission on specific days.
If you have plenty of time, consider house-sitting or pet-sitting. It’s a great way to see a particular area and not have to pay for accommodations, which is one of the highest costs associated with traveling. Volunteering abroad is also another great way to see parts of the world if you are on a budget. It also cultivates a deeper understanding and appreciation for that part of the world while giving back to our world in a meaningful way.
You can usually find better food without the higher prices if you dig a little. Ask some locals where the best food is, they will almost always be happy to help you out. The plus side is that you will meet locals who can offer other advice about the area and what to see and do while you are in town.
Depending on the grocery store, you could potentially spend a week’s worth of groceries in what one night at a nice restaurant would cost. That adds up to a lot of extra cash to do something extra that wasn’t originally in your budget.
If you are in a big city, public transportation could save you a lot of money. For the most part, it is reliable and gets you where you need to go at a fraction of the cost of taxis, shared rides, and rental cars.
In many areas, your points of interest may be just a few blocks apart. If that’s the case, consider walking. It’s great exercise and you may see something between stops that makes for a great photo opportunity. You can’t beat the price either.
If you do plan to walk a lot, a reusable water bottle is a must. Always keep hydrated. Bottled drinks can add up quickly too – and water fountains are free.
There are a number of apps like WhatsApp and Skype that can connect you with friends and family, instead of using your phone line. All you need is WIFI and you are good to go.
You would be surprised at how much fun you will have to stay with someone you haven’t seen in a while. Most of the time, your friends and family will love catching up with you too, as well as showing you around the area. It’s a great way to bond. Just make sure you extend the same hospitality to them if they are in your area.
By saving money on your vacation, you can perhaps take a second vacation later in the year or even a longer vacation next year. Plus, saving money doesn’t mean you won’t have just as much fun. Some believe they have a better time because they know they aren’t needlessly wasting money.