One of the few downsides to travel is that it can be pretty pricey. With plane tickets, hotels, attractions just being a few things to worry about, it tends to add up. That’s why it’s important for you to try and save money whenever possible while traveling. Here are some helpful resources and other ways to save money while you travel.
1. Choose The Right Websites When You’re Looking for Flights
When it comes to flying, the website you’re looking for tickets on could make all the difference. Finding a cheaper flight can help the cost of your trip drop considerably. Airfare search engines make it easy to look on multiple sites at the same time to find you the best deal possible on tickets. There are multiple search engines like this, so check them all to find the best deal possible.
That’s not the only way to save when it comes to flights. Try flying out of an airport that’s a bit farther away from you, but bigger. Big airport hubs tend to have cheaper flights. Also, if you’re flexible with dates, you can fly on the days that are proven to be cheaper like Tuesday or Wednesday. If you don’t mind layovers, flights with longer ones are also less expensive. Consider budget airlines that might not show up in the search engines too, to get your cheapest flight possible.
2. Plan Carefully If You’re Taking A Road Trip
If you’re choosing the road trip route instead of flying, make sure you’re aware of the route you’re taking. Tolls can be pretty costly, especially if they’re a surprise and you weren’t planning on running into any. Plan out your route ahead of time and make sure you research the roads to see if they’re toll roads. Not all GPS units have a filter for keeping the tolls out, so it’s important to know before you leave.
You can research gas prices ahead of time as well. Gas Buddy is a website and mobile app that can tell you the gas prices by location in the US and Canada. There’s also a convenient Trip Cost Calculator that can give you an approximate price to expect, as well as show you the cheapest stations along your planned route.
When you’re driving, be aware of your surroundings and the road signs that you go by. Keep a close watch on the speed limit. Cops watch for people with out of state license plates, so you’re more likely to be spotted if you’re going over the limit.
3. Make Coupon Sites Your Friend
Sites like Groupon and LivingSocial have great deals based off of whatever location you choose. They offer everything from local activities to restaurants and hotels, making it easy to find a deal for whatever you need. Groupon has an entire section devoted to getaways so you could even get your entire trip for a deal on their site, as they have ones that include airfare in the cost.
4. Stay Somewhere Other Than a Hotel
When most people need to stay somewhere while traveling, they instantly think of a hotel. However, there are other options that tend to cost a lot less. The popularity of sites like Couchsurfing and Airbnb has grown over the years. Airbnb is paid and offers the opportunity for more privacy, while Couchsurfing lets you crash in someone’s house with them for free.
Hostels are also a popular alternative to hotels. They normally offer a group living situation and are cheaper than hotels usually run. Choosing one of these options instead of staying at the usual hotel can help you use more of your travel budget for things that are more fun.
Another benefit to these hotel alternatives is the opportunity to have a kitchen for you to use. If you get a booking with a kitchen, you can buy a small amount of groceries and make your own meals, which is usually a cheaper alternative than eating out for every meal of the day.
5. Walk or Bike More
If you’re visiting a big city, try to walk everywhere you can instead of using public transportation. While it may seem cheap, the cost tends to add up if you’re using it frequently while you’re there. Find the attractions that you want to visit and map it out so that the ones you see each day are relatively close together and easy to get to.
You can also look into bike rentals. They’re still cheaper than public transport and they give you a nice workout as well! You’ll get to see more of the city you’re in if you choose biking or walking over subways and taxi cabs, giving you a better experience overall.
6. Search for Free Museum Days
A lot of cities have free museums or certain days when museums have free admission. If there’s a museum you desperately want to go to, see if you can plan your trip there when they’ll have a free admission day.
Local hotels and restaurants might have brochures with coupons for popular tourist attractions as well. Check out the more touristy places and see if they have coupons for the nearest amusement park or zoo.
If you know you’re going to be visiting a lot of popular attractions, look into getting a city card. They give discounted or free admission to the top visitor attractions throughout Europe. They can also help get you to the front of the line at attractions and even free public transport.
7. Look at Exchange Rates
If you plan to travel internationally, look into which countries have the best exchange rate for your currency. Certain countries are really cheap to travel in and you still get the gorgeous accommodations and experiences you desire. If you want a gorgeous island locale, Fiji can be surprisingly inexpensive if you know where to look. There are a ton of hidden gems like this, so consider these before you choose your final destination.
Traveling doesn’t have to be something that drains your bank account. Research, plan and go on the trip of your dreams for a lot less than you thought!