Would you like to know how to travel on a budget? Many people believe that a vacation must have some 5-star hotel and resort, with a ton of luxuries. Do you wish to be stuck in your room watching movies and ordering room service? You can do that at home. Wouldn’t you rather immerse yourself in a new culture and lifestyle? It is certainly possible to have a fantastic vacation to special places like the USA without spending a ton of money if you know some simple facts. Here are some tips to have a simple travel budget plan and save money:
Get The Cheapest Airfare
Make a budget for your flights and stick to it. You can usually get a cheaper rate by getting connecting flights instead of flights that go directly to your destination, or by traveling during the off-season. By booking your airline tickets at least 14 days in advance, you can cut the cost quite a bit. You may also save money by choosing a smaller airport to arrive into and taking a train or bus to your travel destination. Another option is to fly as a courier. The requirements for such a ticket are to apply for a position and be available to go whenever called upon. You will usually be carrying things that are to be shipped by airmail that needs to have a guaranteed delivery. You can save up to 50% on the cost of your flight by traveling as a courier. You can also get a cheap airfare by shopping online. Many online auction sites will offer better prices than by booking directly through the airlines. Do some simple research on the search engines, and you can usually find the best rates and travel coupons as well.
The best hotel rates can be found by booking your stay during the week when most people are working. It also helps to look at the individual hotels’ discounts and promotions for reserving your room early. If you travel just after the holidays when prices are the highest, you can take advantage of the post-rush lower rates. Some of the cheapest places to stay are in hostels, which are located in cities all around the world. They are cheaper than hotels and motels. Reserving a bed in one of their dorm rooms can help in cutting costs. Another option is to find a home exchange program online, swap homes, and stay for free. Many families prefer to trade homes during the holidays especially. An added benefit is the comfort of staying in a 1-4 bedroom home with a kitchen, as opposed to a cramped motel or an expensive hotel suite.
An exceptional way to save money on food is to buy it from a grocery store near your motel. You could make two of your meals from the food purchased at the store, and then budget one restaurant meal every day. Simply purchase snacks and breakfast foods from the store and keep them in your room. Remember, many hotels offer a free continental breakfast which will save you, even more, money.
By walking to your destination, you can find many places like libraries and museums which offer free admission. It is also the least expensive way to get around. There is also public transportation which will save you money over using a taxi service. Plan ahead by looking at the local newspapers or websites of your vacation destination, and you might be able to find free local activities like wine tasting, festivals, and community events. If you wish to purchase souvenirs, don’t buy from the gift shops. These items will mostly be way overpriced. Go to the local shopping area to find deals on shirts, key-chains, mugs, and other collectibles. Strip malls and discount shops are the best spots to find affordable gifts to bring back home.
Avoid peak travel times
If you vacation when the masses do, you are going to pay for it. Consider straying from the norm a bit when it comes time to your booking dates, and you can save thousands. Off-peak travel time is when businesses are starved and not expecting much business, so this is when you get your best deals. You can even call a company and try to negotiate for a lower rate or fare when you take advantage of off-peak travel times.
Following the above travel tips, you can afford to travel even when money is tight. Working within a budget doesn’t have to mean that you have to stay at home throughout your vacation. With these tips, you can make the most out of your vacation time, no matter how much money you have to spend and still have a very good time.