Everyone enjoys going on vacations but those who are on a tight budget might feel as if this is a completely unrealistic possibility. Luckily, this is not true. While the cost of your vacation can quickly add up, there are ways to keep your spending down. With careful planning and the right knowledge, you can find plenty of budget travel options to places you want to see. You simply need to know where to look and what to do. Here are some of the best tips to make your cheap travel plans a definite possibility.
If you plan on flying to your destination flights are one of the biggest challenges for your budget travel plans. There are ways to get around, this however and not all of them involve going with cheaper airlines that offer fewer services. When you are on a budget you want to spend the least amount of money possible on your flight, but realistically this isn’t always an option. Everyone knows that booking too late will lead to paying incredibly high prices, but few people realize that booking too early can do the same thing. Experts suggest you buy your plane tickets about two months before flying for the best deals.
How To Get There
While flying is usually the only option if your destination is overseas but if you are travelling domestically you have other budget travel options as well. The most popular option other than flying is of course driving, but when considering which of these two options will best fit into your plans for cheap travel, be sure to consider gas as well as the extra mileage it will put on your car. You should also consider if you would need to spend an extra night in a hotel on the way there. You can also try looking into buses or trains that will take you to your destination as these are usually more affordable than flights.
If you are serious about saving money when traveling, it is important that you stay as flexible as possible with your travel dates. For example, if you are looking at flights you may notice a $20 price difference per person if you leave on Tuesday instead of Monday. Depending on how many people are going with you, this savings can really add up. To save even more money, be flexible about your destination as well. If you want to travel internationally but don’t know where to go, try going somewhere with a recession as everything will be cheaper.
Plan Your Meals
One of the biggest costs while traveling that most people do not consider is food. That is because you will be eating out for every meal while you are on vacation (unless of course your hotel includes breakfast) and this can add up to a lot of money. To help save money do some research ahead of time by either looking in a guidebook or online. If you know where to find cheap restaurants that serve good food, you will be less likely to succumb to hunger while exploring a city and simply eat at the first place you see, no matter the price.
If you really want to save money, you can even try making yourself sandwiches for lunch instead of going out to eat. Or opt for a big lunch and try having the sandwiches for dinner. Another great way to save money on meals is to simply ask the locals for advice. In most cases the places that locals eat will be much cheaper (and maybe even have better food) simply because other restaurants can charge “tourist prices.”
It is obviously important to compare hotels when you are making your budget travel plans, but some people see this as simply viewing the price for one night; in reality, it is much more than just that. We already mentioned that some hotels include breakfast; if you are looking at a hotel that is only $10 more a night but includes breakfast for your whole family, that is a great way to save money; you could easily spend $30 to $40 on breakfast for a family of four if you go out to eat. You also want to compare any offers that the hotels have. Some will offer a free night if you stay for a certain number or even offer bonus features such as a discount in their restaurant or access to a spa.
Make A Budget
Everyone knows that one of the most important things when making your cheap travel plans is to create a budget but not everyone knows what to do with this budget. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you should always overestimate your spending; you don’t want to risk running out of money while away as you can end up stuck in your hotel room with nothing to do. Even if you overestimate your spending, you should still try to spend as little as possible each day. But there is one thing most people forget when making cheap travel plans or while on the vacation: if you have a once in a lifetime opportunity but it is more than your daily budget you shouldn’t just rule it out. You need to decide if it would really be worth it and if you could make up the money by cutting costs on other days. You don’t want to miss out on something because of your budget and regret it for the rest of your life.
Where To Go
We already talked about flexibility and that plays a role in deciding where to go. To get the most out of your cheap travel experience you should try spending more time in fewer places. While you may want to go more places and see more things, it doesn’t always make the most sense. You will end up spending more money on travel costs and lose out on great hotel deals that only apply when you stay for several nights. Even worse, you may get completely exhausted from traveling too much and not be able to enjoy your budget travel trip.