I use affiliate links on my blog. When you click on my links, I may make a commission. Thank you!
It is impossible to deny that everyone needs some off time at least once a year, regardless of the status of your bank balance. Saving up the bare minimum throughout the year allows you to collect a substantial amount by the end to sate your wanderlust. However, it is not uncommon to go overboard during the planning and execution of the perfect vacation. The following paragraphs curate a list of the ultimate ways to save money on a trip without compromising on the experience.
Plan well in advance
One of the key factors that increase your expenses on a trip is the lack of planning. Last minute planning may force you to take more expensive options over cheaper ones in accommodation and travel. Set a target amount for yourself that you need to have to travel. Save money throughout the year by cutting down on frivolous expenses. Skip the fancy restaurant and try cooking at home to save money. Open an online savings account and if feasible with your existing schedule, get a second job.
Talk to friends and family that may have already been to your dream destination and collect information on their experiences and suggestions. Look up travel blogs and explore their recommendations as well. Create a mental map of the towns worth visiting and things worth doing and begin cost estimations. Planning a trip, if done right, is just as fun as the actual trip.
Book your transport at the right time and place
It is no myth that there is a right time and place to book airfare tickets. With data tracking and session management on the rise on the Internet, hide your information to prevent prices from rising based on your previous searches. Book in advance to prevent price hikes. Consider traveling in offseasons, such as the months when schools are open, as prices drop drastically during this time. Collect flyer miles and loyalty points to take advantage of in your future travels.
Monitor your expenses carefully
Do not lose track of your budget constraints while actually on vacation. Monitor your expenses carefully and do not go overboard on shopping trips. Pick a few places to visit or go through a tour operator to cover more ground at a lower cost. If traveling alone, pick cheap car rentals to drive around. For bikes such as the Honda CRF, ensure that they are in peak working condition as paying for repairs in another country can cause you to shoot past your budget easily.
Always compare different providers for all the service you avail to pick the cheapest ones. Look for cellular providers that offer free internet or calls to keep you in touch with the world at a low cost. It is not impossible to enjoy yourself without spending a large amount of money, try free fun things to do like relax on a beach, climb a mountain, watch street performances and walk to nearby places to get a glimpse of the city from a local’s perspective.
Save money on accommodation
If you have friends or family in the city you are headed to, pick staying with them over highly priced hotels. If there are none, book directly with a hotel as this method is more likely to be cheaper than going through a travel agent or external third party websites. Look for discounts and offers for family or couples based on your needs. If there are none, try booking last minute. Combining off-season months with last minute bookings is likely to give you a good price as hotel managers do not like vacant rooms and will be willing to give them off at a discount. Attempt to get hotel rooms that also offer a breakfast or dinner option as part of the package to save on expenses on food.
Another way to save on accommodation is through Couchsurfing, a venture that allows you to stay with locals and meet fellow travelers.
Outside of the standard vacation trips, camping is a great way to relax and wind down while saving up a large amount of money that would have gone into accommodation.
Interact with the locals
Interacting with the locals in a city is a surefire way to find popular spots, cheap but tasty restaurants serving the local cuisine and the best places to shop at a discount. Start up a conversation with a local about directions or where to find the cheapest yet fancy casual maxi dresses to get talking. Try using public transport instead of renting a vehicle to save up. Locals can also help you try street food, a cheap yet delicious option. Consider eating at buffets for breakfast or lunch to reduce the amount of food you require for the next meal. Shop for souvenirs in local shops instead of the tourist-targeted marts as the difference in pricing is steep. Traveling in different countries involves exchanging your currency to the local one. Enquire about the cheapest exchange rates in the city as banks and salespeople near tourist spots tend to overcharge.
This is a guest post by Jessica Smith.
“Jessica Smith has been writing for a few years now. She is a writer by day and reader by night. She was a very quiet child but writing always inspired her and that is why she began writing in her free time. She loves reading, be it a newspaper, a book or anything. She also loves cooking, traveling and dancing. She wants to be a successful writer as writing is her passion.”