If you are a tight budget, a fantastic and well-deserved vacation might seem totally out of reach for you. But if you read these tips on how to save money on vacation, you'll see how you can go on an affordable holiday without breaking the bank.
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Save Money On Travel: do your research ahead of time
Without a doubt, the best place to research budget travel options from accommodation, flights, trains, packages and dining is the internet. The key to saving money on travel is to do your research ahead of time, have a willingness to be flexible in terms of schedule and locations, know your budget and know how to prioritize your spending.
Save money on travel tip 1:
Stay in a convent or monasteryThis is a budget travel tip you probably didn't even know existed. Many convents and monasteries around the world are open to travelers. In fact, there are monasteries in Europe which have been open to travelers, for free, for hundreds and hundreds of years! Not only can be very cheap, sometimes free, but you can to sample a way of life and meet people who might change your way of looking at the world forever.
These days, convents and monasteries will ask for a donation. It may be entirely up to you to give or not give, or there may be a recommended price. The meals and accommodation will be stripped down and simple, but the locations are often stunning, and of course, there is a chance for spiritual nurturing with visits to the chapel for prayer and meditation.
Save money on travel tip 2:
Become a member of a hospitality club and get your vacation accommodation for free...and with free local tour guides and insights thrown in!There are people who are willing to host you and your family on your next vacation for no cost at all. They simply want a chance to be hosted on their vacation. These are called Hospitality Clubs. The biggest and original one is called, "The Hospitality Club" and they boast around 550,000 members in 226 countries so you are pretty sure to find someone in the country you would like to visit. It's free to join, and they have a fantastic support and volunteer network who will even go to the effort of organizing member events in the countries you might want to visit.
The other advantage of a hospitality club, aside from the chance to save a lot on accommodation, is that you are staying with a local family who are able to give insider tips, guides and other helpful advice. Of course, on the downside there is a lack of privacy.
Save money on travel tip 3:
House swap House swapping or home exchanges are growing in popularity. It's easy to see why. Membership to most of these services is minimal (around $30-$50 annual membership) and you pay nothing for your holiday accommodation.
One of the most popular home exchange websites is exchangehomes.com. Their membership is a steal at $50 for two years, or the bargain price of $120 for lifetime membership. Some of the homes listed are unbelievably beautiful and in amazing locations. The potential downside is that you get a place which isn't all it was described as in their listing, but many home exchange sites have ratings and review sections to weed these out.
And what's more, you might save even more money as many exchangers are willing to let you use their car as long as you pay the additional insurance cover during your vacation days.
Have you seen the movie, "The Holiday" starring Jack Black, Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz? Cameron Diaz got to hook up with Jude Law during her home exchange, so anything is possible!
Save money on travel tip 4:
Visit out-of-seasonSome gorgeous and hugely popular vacation destinations can be very cheap during their off-seasons. Of course, there is a reason it's cheaper to a certain vacation resort during the low season. Although it's cheaper, you might not want to stay in the Caribbean or Florida during hurricane season. And, for example, parts of India and Egypt are almost unbearably hot in the summer months. If their prime attractions are outdoors, the overpowering heat reduces your enjoyment level. However, somewhere like a ski resort with its mountains, lakes and other outdoor attractions not to mention wild nightlife, may still be stunning in the summer.
Save money on travel tip 5:
Make Your Own BreakfastWhen you are on vacation, it's very common to eat out for every meal. Food takes up so much of any travel budget. Try preparing your own breakfast instead of heading to a nearby coffee shop. You can even turn it into an adventure by preparing a picnic and finding a beauty spot.
Save money on travel tip 6:
Make the most of those credit card or frequent flyer pointsTry to maximize your frequent flyer points. You don't have to fly to earn points. Look at the airline's website for promotions, sometimes you can earn double points for eating out, ordering flower deliveries, staying in certain hotels and in many other ways. Pay with your mileage credit card where you can. When it's time to redeem points, try to book in advance and schedule your flight for non-busy periods and days. The middle of the week from Tuesday to Thursday is often cheaper and afternoon flights usually cost less points that early morning ones.
Vacations don't have to drain anyway your savings. Save money on vacation and use the savings to go on your next vacation!
For more tips, read 101 Tips For Traveling On A Budget
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