14 secrets to travel on the cheap
It is more than possible to travel without breaking the bank- provided you plan ahead and stick to some basic guidelines. To assist you in stretching your money on your next trip, we have rounded up several money-saving tips from experts to keep the road cheap.
Plan and research ahead
If you desire to make traveling a habit, you should also learn to use some of the best budget travel techniques out there.
For instance, reservations with advance notice are a great way of cutting expenses. Thus, you would need to invest some time in planning and research. You should also lookout for the cost of living in the place you wish to visit.
Moreover, budget-conscious travelers make it a habit to compare the costs of accommodation and airfare. Plane tickets can be much inexpensive if you make an early booking. Similarly, discounts and promotions can offer you a great deal.
Enjoy day trips
Enjoying the summer can be a day outing with friends, family, or just on your own. Day trips are ideal for nearby attractions or national parks. Day trips are a great way to do some light travel and still save money by sleeping in your own bed at night.
Make the most out of the whole day by waking up early in the morning and heading out to your destination. Have all you will need prepared, packed, and ready to go.
Save money on meals by packing dinner or lunch. Or simply budget dining out near your destination- what better way to truly explore the area than to eat? If family and friends accompany you, you can split the costs to save even more.
If you are heading away from urban areas, sometimes gas is cheaper there. So ensure you fill up before heading out and make excessive use of the savings.
Take advantage of miles and rewards
Air miles are the world’s greatest unofficial currency and act as both reward and weapon for the frequent traveler. Remain fiercely loyal to your hotels and airlines of choice to maximize comfort, familiarity, and speed and long-term rewards on the roads.
Rewards can go a long way. But remember, if you are going to rack up points, you will need to ensure you are using the card responsibly, and you can pay off your balance in full every month.
Travel when others do not
Traveling during peak season or on holidays is going to cost you more. If possible, plan your vacations during the off-season. Accommodation prices can be up to fifty-percent lower during the low seasons, so the savings really add up. Another pro tip is going low- chances are your destinations will be much less crowded.
Book your flight months ahead
This is a clever piece of travel advice; however, also one of the most essential that you can follow.
Typically, some of the cheapest months to book vacations are in November and May (the off-seasons). Besides, the earlier you book, the cheaper the flight will be. While it might appear like a lot of commitment to reserve this far ahead, the advantages it will offer in the long run will be great (besides, you will have something to look forward to).
Look out for package deals
Package deals can help you save money on a trip. Typically, the reason why these deals exist is that they are trying to sell a less popular item than a top-rated product. For this reason, you should do an extensive amount of research before committing. However, the value of finding a good one can be tremendous.
Practice financial sustainable traveling
After you start traveling and exploring the world, the beauty of this activity can easily make you addicted. However, even though you find a continuous income stream, you should never forget about your ongoing expenses.
Thus, the so-called responsible traveling is a must. One of the tips that can assist you with this process is to create a daily budget and stick to it on your vacations. Similarly, most travelers say that using cash instead of credit cards assists them to spend less money. Of course, you should still have your credit cards around for emergencies.
Whether you are an urbanite or outdoors person, they are great options for you to select from. Nonetheless, if you are traveling internationally, the location is super crucial. Some countries are cheaper than others. For instance, if you are coming from the United States, a South American or even a country such as Thailand could be a much cheaper country to travel than Europe.
Hiking is a great method to explore and exercise natural landmarks when you are traveling. Besides, it is super cheap. State parks are usually free, and other parks are affordable to get into.
You can also do fish, boat, and camp for cheap as well. A simple Google search for state parks will offer you the closest options to you or the location you are traveling to. If you would like to look for a place with more historical significance, the National Park Service offers its own search engine and enables you to find a park closest to you.
Be flexible when booking flights
You have to be flexible on dates to get the best prices. Before you book flights, search Momondo and Skyscanner, which both offer you an idea of the cheapest days and months to fly. These sites will also send you email alerts to update you on the price of flights.
Go where locals go
Act like a local to avoid overpriced tourist traps. Locals do not eat out every night, and neither should you. Visit the local supermarket to check what the local palate is like and cook a great dinner. If there is no kitchen where you stay, hit the markets and make yourself some sandwiches for a picnic in the park.
When you eat, ask around for the best spots to get good, inexpensive food. And when you need to splurge, eat at an expensive restaurant during lunch. Most restaurants provide lunch specials much cheaper than those on the normal dinner menu.
Embrace the city
If you are a city person who likes to be around many attractions and play tourist, there are various options available in most busy cities. The best part about exploring a new city is that you can make excessive use of savings methods that locals use, especially public transportation. Make sure you also search for free activities most cities offer and check out sites such as LivingSocial and Groupon to check out deals.
Save money on lodging
Many sites such as Kayak and Expedia enable you to compare hotel rates; however, a growing service allows travelers to save on lodging. Airbnb lets residents of an area list their apartment, home, or even a spare room, for travelers to feel welcome, and usually at a lower price than a hotel room.
The potential traveler creates a profile and searches the site for a place to stay during the dates of travel. Possible areas are displayed with details concerning amenities and the owner’s rules of stay. The city also offers reviews for the place and the owner from other travelers, which helps you make an informed decision.
If you like a place, you will have to request the space to the owner directly. You will have already read their rules concerning refunds- you have to read carefully since some listings have a very strict policy. Specific properties will enable you to enter your dates and book your stay immediately; however, others will need the host’s approval.
The owner then assesses the request, and if the dates work for them, you will have booked the space. Even if the area is listed for your dates, the owner can refuse the booking since they might not be available for personal reasons. Therefore, you will need a backup. Also, note that an owner can potentially cancel a reservation without notice.
How to finance your trips?
If you are on a mission to travel and learn about new cultures, you must deal with financing. The type of funding you have is in direct relation to the kind of trip you can take.
Three methods can sponsor your annually travels:
- Passive income
- Active income
The first option would enable you to focus on relaxation and enjoyment. In simple words, you would not have to work during the journey. Nonetheless, financial discipline would be necessary for the months leading up to the trip.
An active income translates to working during the trip. For example, you can join the freelance industry and look for work online. Or, you can search for a temporary job at your travel destination. Either way, the monetary value should be enough to cover the expense.
If you have chosen to work while you travel, the commitments may prevent you from sightseeing and enjoying your trip to the fullest. Therefore, the best method would be to depend on your passive income. It can take years to develop an investment or rental income.
Nonetheless, modern technologies can speed up the process. For example, websites and other kinds of online content can generate income while enjoying yourself at the beach.