Cheap travel is real folks. It’s not a myth.
My husband and I are school teachers and our family has been traveling for years. We do not live luxuriously. In fact, we live on a very tight budget.
There is not some secret code to type in when you book your flight. You don’t even have to endure a timeshare presentation to get a room. The key to an inexpensive holiday is quite simple actually – smart planning.
First, you need to begin by establishing your budget. Write it down. Keep it in a notebook. Grab a chisel and carve it in stone. Your budget is non-negotiable.
Once you have you budget established, create a basic itinerary. Not a minute-by-minute plan, just where you’re going, howlong you’re staying, and how you will get there.
Now, you’re ready to plan.
Have a seat, relax, and hang out a while. I’m going to share our tried-and-true money-saving tips with you. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll save on your next getaway.
Travel Cheap – 6 Tips For a Vacation on a Budget
Consider a Vacation Home –
The words “Vacation Home” may send dollar signs spinning through your brain. Stay with me a minute, though. I’m not talking about a mansion with an infinity pool. No, things in the vacation rental industry have changed drastically. You can find everything from a studio apartment to and eight bedroom villa.
Many of today’s options are the same, or less, than a standard hotel room. But, price is not the only benefit to this type of lodging. Most of the homes that are available offer kitchens. This can be a big money saver if you are traveling for more than a couple days. Cooking your own food can save a lot of money.
If you prefer to stay in a hotel, be sure to call several hotels directly and jot down the rates you are quoted. Ask about corporate discounts. Then, check for the same hotels on any of the various hotel booking sites. Most of the time, I find the booking sites to be the cheaper option.
Call the airline directly, or visit their website and see if there are any sales in progress. Next, find out if your employer has any corporate rates available for employees. Also, check with any professional organizations of which you are a member. Then, as with hotels, compare the price to those online.
Car Rental –
Again, check for sales and discounts offered through the company directly. Check for corporate discounts. Then, visit one of the online booking sites and compare the rates. Go with the smallest option you feel comfortable driving. This will save you even more.
As I said earlier, cooking is always the least expensive option. Let’s face it though, you’re on vacation. Cooking probably didn’t make your Top 10 Fun Ideas list.
If you’re going to be dining out, be smart about it. Dine at off times. This is especially true for your evening meals. Eat just before the menu switches from lunch to dinner. Lunch prices are generally much more budget friendly than dinner.
Consider ordering a variety of appetizers instead of big entrees. Also, if you know the restaurant serves large portions, think about splitting with one of your travel companions.
There are several ways to save on trinkets for your friends and family. First of all, if you are traveling to a foreign country, do some research. Do the vendors in that country haggle, or is it considered rude? If haggling is an option, pick one general souvenir item and ask what type of discount you can get from buying in bulk. This will also save you the angst of trying to choose the perfect item for everyone on your list.
Another way to save is by giving copies of your vacation pictures as gifts. This can actually make a really special gift. You can take specific pictures for each person. Pick up a frame at the dollar store. Voila! You have a great memento.
Using even a couple of these tips will help you save on your next vacation.
Do you have any go-to tips for saving money while traveling? Be sure to share. I would love to read them!