Travel is notorious for being expensive, but it doesn’t have to drain your bank account. In fact, if you know a few tips and tricks, you can keep your next trip perfectly on budget. Get ready to have a ton of fun—without buyer’s remorse.
Plane tickets can be the most expensive part of your trip. But they don’t have to be; try visiting SkyScanner when you’re looking to make your next booking, they have the best deals and the most affordable flights I’ve come to purchase. Flights aren’t your only option. If you’re traveling by land, buses and trains can often be a more budget-friendly option. If they don’t work for your getaway, try flying out of your area’s less popular airport for lower fares, or fly late at night with more layovers. You can also fly standby and pay less to wait for an empty seat. Whatever you do, be sure to buy your tickets a couple months out on a Tuesday. That’s when you find the lowest rates. Bonus tip: pack everything in your carryon to avoid baggage fees.
In some places, taxis and rentals are really the only safe option, but in others, you can find creative ways to save on transportation. Local buses are an easy way to save a chunk of change and get to know some locals at the same time. Often, you can walk instead of drive, or rent a bike and burn some calories, too. If you’re in a big city, see if public transport has a weekly rate so you can save on individual subway or bus trips.
You don’t have to take a booze cruise to get a real vacation experience. Enjoy nature’s gifts—go hiking, swimming, fishing, or biking outdoors for a full day of practically free adventures. If you do decide to take all the tours, see if CityPass or similar package deals are offered in your destination. Also, book ahead of time online, if you can. You can often save at least 10% that way. You could also check out Groupon for indoor deals, or do a simple google search on free things to do in that area-trust me, there’s always something.
Food can be a massive travel cost. Instead of eating out all the time, take a grocery trip and cook some of your meals in your room. Pack lunches on excursions instead of being forced to buy expensive food on site. When you do eat out, choose authentic local places outside of the main tourist district. You’ll get the best flavors for half the cost. If the weather allows it, picnics are always marvelous. You can easily buy or prepare some food, buy a cheap bottle of wine, and head over to a scenic park or area and enjoy the day.
Do you really need a carved wall hanging? What about that expensive sarong with “Hawaii” printed a hundred times on the fabric? No! You can remember your vacation without a ton of souvenirs. If you must shop, stick with a postcard and a couple small, meaningful items that you’ll use at home. An idea could be to save a little of the currency(or anything related to the vacation), tape it to a piece of a paper, write the date, and proceed to write a letter. This could be a gift to yourself as a time capsule or a souvenir to a loved one.
Budget travel isn’t tough, it just takes determination and planning! Try these tips during your next vacation and see how the dollars fall right off your tab! Maybe you can put that money toward something else… like next year’s vacation?
Fabian and Unique