Summer is around the corner and many of us are starting to plan vacations. We love to explore the world, but the dollar signs quickly add up. Here are 9 ways we have found to save money on your vacation and make the most of your travels.
1. Travel off season
Try to avoid traveling during peak travel times such as spring break, summer, or over major holidays. For example, you’ll have to bundle up, but visiting Europe in the winter can be quite enjoyable and lower your overall costs. Traveling in the off season may require more preparation on your part, but should save you money in the long run.
2. Stay off the beaten path
Look for hotels, hostels or even AirBnB apartments or homes at least 6 blocks away from any major tourist destination. The farther away from the city center you stay, the more affordable your lodging bill may be. However, booking too far away from your favorite destinations increases your transportation costs and time spent on traveling.
3. Use deal sites
Groupon, LivingSocial and similar sites offer some amazing package deals to locations all over the world. Often times they are helping new hotels or recently remodeled properties increase their bookings. Before you book, check other reputable travel review sites to make sure the hotel meets your expectations. Keep an eye on deal sites for local experiences and dining as well.
4. Redeem points and miles
You’ve been collecting points and miles on your credit cards waiting for the perfect time to use them. There is no time like the present! If you have enough rewards to cover your flights or hotels, use them to help keep your travel expenses down and free up funds for fun experiences.
5. Hit the road
If airfares are too costly, consider taking a road trip. Not only will you create memories, you could save a bundle. Consider stopping at local, small town joints to enhance your road trip experience. Ask the locals what you should see and do before you drive on to your next destination.
6. Use cash
Before you hit the road for your trip, withdraw the money you have planned to spend in cash. Using cash can prevent you from spending more than you planned, because when the cash is gone, your spending is done. Consider organizing the cash in envelopes: either one for each day or one for each activity to keep you on track.
7. Skip souvenirs
It may be tempting to buy a miniature Eiffel Tower, but if you’re trying to stay on budget on your trip, try to avoid the tourist shops and their trinkets. Instead, focus your spending on creating memories and taking pictures you and your travel companions can reminisce over for years.
8. Get out of your room
You may have walked all over the city to see every landmark, restaurant and activity on your to-do list and you’re feeling tired. While your bed may be comfortable, you may spend a lot more than necessary to order room service. Find a nearby restaurant or market to save money and experience more of the city.
9. Explore like a local
Most major cities have efficient and affordable public transportation. If you know you’ll be out and about for most of the day, look into purchasing a day pass. If you’re staying for a while, see if the city offers week long passes to save even more. Many cities even have mobile apps you can download to plan your trip. You can also use GoogleMaps and select the public transportation option to find the best way to your destination.
We hope wherever your travels take you that you will make memories to last a lifetime.
Where are you planning to travel this year?