Are you an adventurer and traveler at heart but your wallet doesn’t allow you to fulfill your dreams? Don’t worry, there are ways you can hit the road without spending too much money. Here are a few tips that will definitely come in handy next time you start itching to see the world.
Pick the best day for your flight
This is probably the biggest mystery, but if you figure out how airlines work, you can get better deals. Traditionally, the best time to buy tickets is about two months before your flight. Try to book your flight early in the week when airlines adjust their prices. However, the real answer is a little more complicated because fairs always vary. Make sure to arm yourself with patience, fallow major airlines on social media, sign up for award programs and subscribe for newsletters. This will allow you to track details and grab some good deals.
Find affordable accommodation
Smart budget travelers don’t book the first room they see and call it a day. First, they research the locations (how close the accommodation is to major sights) and make sure their hotel room doesn’t come with long and expensive commutes to the city center. Second, they call the hotel and ask for the best prices and possible free upgrades. When in a serious pinch, they don’t shy away from checking HotelTonight for last-minute deals.
Book your car early
Cars are super practical transportation options that give you a lot of freedom at your destination for a good price. However, in order to get the best deals possible, find a trusted cheap car rental and book your vehicle early. Pick something small and compact and you’ll be comfortable enough both with the price and your wheels. And make sure to check out their deals for free days when you book your rental for longer.
Traveling light is not only more practical, but it’s also cheaper—no baggage fees! Start packing early to avoid panicking, match and roll your tops and bottoms, pack as few shoes as humanly possible and put on your heaviest layers on while you fly. Also, when in doubt, just leave the item at home—people rarely regret leaving out when packing.
Learn about resort fees
Make sure to ask in advance about all the resort fee policies. Find out what’s included in your all-inclusive packages, check which amenities you need to pay for and ask about free Wi-Fi and parking. That’s your only way to avoid paying a ton of money during your checkout.
Catch free museum days
Of course, the most famous museums in the world have admission prices, but some museums typically have free hours each week or free days each month. Make sure to check out their websites and enquire about those freebies. Sure, you’re not going to plan your trip around museums, but who knows, maybe you’re lucky to hit just the right days. Also, don’t try to see everything in the museum. Instead, locate free guided tours, hands-on classes for kids and adults or enquire about evening hours when the crowds are much smaller than during the day.
Consider National Parks
National parks are one of the best ideas in human history. They not only keep our environment protected, but they are also perfect for travelers on a tight budget. Compared to other vacation spots, national parks and state parks offer a great bang for the buck. Once you pay the admission price (usually per vehicle, not per person) you’ll be greeted with a ton of free activities. All the wildlife, trails, ranger talks, presentation, evening programs, junior ranger programs and just about everything else is free! If you’re on good terms with camping, you can even skip expensive lodging and find good camping ground that will cost you very little.
If you’re traveling somewhere for your honeymoon, engagement or anniversary, make sure to tell everyone. This might sound crazy, especially if you’re trying to spend some romantic time with your SO, but mentioning your special occasion can get you upgrades at planes, complimentary drinks or dessert with waiters and upgrades, rooms with balconies and complimentary wine with hotel managers. So, be chatty if you want to prosper!
Many people never travel because they think they can’t afford it. However, if you just know how and where to look, you can save a lot of money and pull off a great trip even on your shoe-string budget.