3 Ways To Travel On A Budget And Save Big

On vacationWhen I ask people why they do not travel more regularly, the most common answer is the fact that it is just too expensive.

There is no doubt that travelling is one of the most enjoyable experiences around, although that extra added pressure on your wallet is enough to leave one running away in fear.

Luckily, there are a large number of travelling tips and special secrets designed to make travelling much more economical.

If you are clever with your budget and visit the more economical places, it is possible to enjoy all the fantastic benefits of travelling, without having your wallet lose too much weight.

Travelling the world greatly enriches your life, allowing you to gain a better understanding of the people around you and the rife histories attached to each and every destination.

On top of that my favourite reason to travel is that it allows me to recharge my batteries in a sense.

When you’re living in the daily hustle and bustle life can wear you down but a vacation just can be that little bit of spark to recharge your inner battery and get into the swing of things.

If you are planning on travelling on a budget, here are some important tips to always keep in mind.

Accommodation

Before you can even begin to explore the wonderful place that your holiday has taken you to, it is important to first find the perfect accommodation, a soft place to rest your head each night. With most resorts, you can look online to try and find a good deal!

The problem with many accommodation options is the fact that it often knocks a huge chunk out of your budget before the vacation has even begun.

The best way to save on your accommodation is by staying away from hotels. No matter where in the world you may be, spending your nights at one of the many cozey cottages or apartments available, not only provides you with a much more cultural experience, but also saves you a decent amount.

When it comes to vacations with my family this is how I like to take vacations.  Some might argue that cabins and cottages are more expensive but I disagree.

With cabins, you usually get a full kitchen which allows you to cook your own meals which is what we do almost 90% of the time.  On top of that most places will have other amenities such as a great view, hot tube, and peace and quiet.

Just to give you an idea of how much I saved on the last trip I took my family down to southern Ohio in the offseason in early November for a weekend getaway and I had a total of $270 in the cabin for 2 nights.

You can get a hotel for much less than $135 a night anyways so why not get a cabin and get all the extras.

Transportation

Besides the airfare that is needed to initially get you to your holiday destination, once you are there, you often need to fork out massive amounts to get from point A to point B.

The best way to lower airfares is by travelling during off-season. Besides that, you should also spend some time researching budget airlines, often offering a number of great discounts or special prices.

I personally like to watch airfares way ahead of time.  This allows me to see what is a good deal what isn’t.  To learn more on my methods of how I find airline tickets check this article out.

Once at the destination, renting a vehicle is often a rather steep approach. For longer distances, try using public transport, which may be slower, but will allow that budget to last longer.

Many countries, especially in Europe, have implemented an economical bicycle-share system, allowing one to travel around the city for next to nothing.

One way I personally try to do this is by booking my hotel in a place that isn’t far from everything I want to do.  For example, on a trip I took to Las Vegas a few years back I attended a convention.

However, rather than staying at the resort that was holding the conference because it was a bit pricier, I decide to stay at a cheap hotel further off the beaten path.

Sure the hotel off the beaten path was cheaper but for all the extra cost in transportation to back to the other hotel I would have been better off staying at the higher-priced resort.

Eating

When you are in popular tourist destinations, one of the best ways to save money is by staying away from hotel food and touristy restaurants.

Finding that informal looking hole-in-the-wall will bring you closer to achieving the true cultures and traditions of that country, in a way that leaves your wallet smiling.

I personally did this when I took a trip to New Orleans.  Rather than eating at all the high-end restaurants, I would ask the locals where to get good food for a good price.

What’s kind of funny about all of this is that they didn’t recommend any of the touristy places. So sometimes it pays to ask the locals and you could save big.

My Final Thoughts…

When it comes to vacations I feel it is a critical piece to our lives that we must not take for granted.  It doesn’t have to be as expensive as people make it out to be if you plan properly.

So what is your favourite travel hack?  Share it in the comments below.

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3 Comments

  1. Traveling is my thing… the thing I save money for all year! I’m a huge fan of vacation rentals/short term rentals. Not only can you save money on lodging but also on food. You can stock up on staples at the grocery store and only eat out perhaps once per day and you can also bring back leftovers from eating out.

    When I have to stay in a hotel, I will go to a site like tripadvisor and sort the hotels by “cheapest.” Then I’ll look for ones with the highest customer rating and read the reviews. So, still relatively cheap, but not a fleabag motel. I’ve found some great gems searching that way. I use tripadvisor a LOT.

    However, it’s getting harder and harder to find cheap transportation. Airfare, no matter how far in advance I try to plan and even when using sites like kayak or priceline, just keeps going up and up. A relatively close flight I need to take here soon is almost twice as much as it was about 18 months ago. Very frustrating, but I just try to cut back in other areas to compensate. I love traveling to cities where you don’t need a car once you reach your destination. New Orleans and San Antonio are perfect examples. You can walk, rent a bike, take the street car, and perhaps the odd cab ride if necessary. It’s still much cheaper than renting a car.

    Absolutely avoiding the tourist trap restaurants is a must! Not only will you get great food while saving money, you can strike up wonderful conversations with local people to find other things of interest in the area you’re visiting. Most people really enjoy talking about their city and the local finds that most visitors overlook.

  2. I agree Lori traveling is one of my favorite things to do and something I look forward to all year long. As for the flights I actually found round trip tickets to New Orleans last year from Ohio for $273 a person. I found it by regularly checking on Airfarewatchdog.com and travelocity.com which are the 2 sites I have the most luck with.

    Anyways thanks for sharing.

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