Saving for a Trip? Here’s 5 Ways to Budget Travel
Have you been saving for a trip that you never get to go on? Maybe traveling just seems too expensive to be realistic. Maybe you have concerns about traveling during different seasons. But when it comes down to it, there are ways you can travel on a budget to make your trip more affordable and attainable. That way, you can stop saving and start going somewhere! Follow these five tips for traveling on a budget:
Choose Your Lodging Wisely
Lodging is one of the biggest expenses that eats up a travel budget, but there are ways to get around that. First of all, hostels provide an inexpensive option if you don’t mind the dorm- or camp-like atmosphere. Some hostels are even open to you providing a service, such as cleaning, in exchange for a room or bed. There are also campgrounds around the world where you can stay in a tent, camper, cabin or RV.
If you would prefer a nicer option, you can still save. Many independent motels, hotels and B&Bs charge less per night than chains, also providing a cozy, inviting setting. You could join a house swap program or stay in a house through Airbnb, HomeAway or another venue. These options give you more space and often provide a better value. You can sometimes pay less for just a room in a house, or split the cost of a house with travel companions.
Save on Travel Fares
The cost of transportation to and from your destination is one of the costs that can eat up almost your whole budget. Save there and you’ll have a much more affordable trip (or some extra money to spend while you’re there!). Check for fares at different times and check for sales, because you can find differences in price from one time to the next. Also, check different carriers and look at price comparison and cost-saving websites. If you’re heading overseas, check to see if overseas carriers will offer you a better deal than an American one would.
Within a country, do some research to figure out the least expensive way to get around. Maybe it’s to travel by car, but don’t forget to factor in gas, tolls and the price of a rental. You might save by taking a train, a bus or a plane from place to place. If you plan to hop from place to place across a continent, you’ll save by flying into one city at the beginning of your trip and out of another at the end.
Have Your Expenses Included
You can often save on the cost of your trip overall if you purchase an inclusive package with the bulk of your expenses included. This option could include staying at a resort, going on a cruise ship or being part of a group tour. In these situations, your price covers lodging, food and activities. In some cases, it also includes air transportation. The Royal Holiday travel club can help you find these kinds of opportunities and provide tips for other ways to save on your travels. As a bonus, when you choose an inclusive trip, it can keep you on track so you don’t spend extra money on impromptu activities, shopping ventures and expensive restaurants.
Find Free Activities
When you mix free tourist activities in with the ones that cost money, you can reduce the price of your trip as a whole and still have a great time. Every tourist destination will have some activities you can do for free. Consider a nature outing to a park, hiking trails or the beach. Many popular tourist destinations are free to explore – think monuments and memorials in Washington, D.C., cathedrals around the world and the Pantheon in Rome. Free guided walking tours are another option, or you could simply walk around on your own and see the outside of popular spots, such as the Eiffel Tower, without paying to explore the inside.
One of the best ways to travel on a budget is to do your research so you can find the best options. Without preparation, you’re likely to find a more expensive restaurant to eat at, lodge at the nearest place you can find and spend more on activities than you need to. Through research, you can find deals and coupons, and search for the least expensive options for every part of your trip. You can also look up tips for traveling inexpensively for the specific location where you plan to travel, whether it’s in your home country or abroad.
You don’t have to stick to dreaming about traveling because you don’t think you’ll ever be able to afford it. You can find many ways to maximize your money no matter where you plan to go.