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Traveling doesn’t have to drain your bank account. These days there are many ways to travel cheap. This doesn’t mean you have to cut many corners either. You can still enjoy a very fabulous vacation away from home while spending minimal cash. Today I’m going to share a few smart ways to travel cheap so that you can plan better for your next vacation or business trip. After all, the more you save, the more often you can travel, right?
Smart and easy ways to travel cheap
I get it, you want to head on vacation, but sometimes the bank account just doesn’t understand how much you need that get away. I have been traveling for years on a budget, and today I am sharing five smart, easy ways to travel cheap that are available to EVERYONE. That is right, this doesn’t include “blog so you can get hosted vacations.” These are tips that the every day traveler can utilize.
Set a Budget
If you truly want to travel cheap and not break the bank, then you must learn how to set a travel budget and stick with it. Evaluate all of your bank account balances, your income and expenses. At this point you can then determine a travel budget so that you can travel cheap while maintaining a financially savvy mindset. Once you’ve established a travel budget, you’re better able to make an educated decision on transportation and accommodation options.
If you find that your budget is non-existent, look into finding ways to earn extra money for vacation. There are several ways that you can save for vacation, from odd jobs to even utilizing sites like Swagbucks to save for vacation.
Use a Trip Calculator
Find an online trip calculator or an app that will help you calculate transportation costs. This will help you determine if you should hop on a plane or drive to your destination.
I think I have been pretty clear in the fact that my family almost always drives (#roadtripsforlife) but sometimes it does make more sense to fly. A low fare calculator can help you save quite a bit of cash, sometimes by just moving your vacation around a day or two.
The Goof and I will be flying to Disneyland soon, because we were able to fly both of us for less than I could drive round trip (which is rarely the case) by moving our travel dates around a day or two.
Yapta and Hopper apps will also be beneficial to get alerts for price drops on flight costs so you can travel cheap when you must fly.
Sometimes you can travel cheap simply by switching up your preferred method of transportation. I mentioned we are flying in September, but normally, my family can drive to Disneyland for less than two of us can travel round trip. That means that with five of us, the savings driving is huge!
Review Accommodation Options
There are many websites like Priceline and Kayak that allow you to review pricing of accommodations at your final destination. When you’re serious about learning how to travel cheap, it’s important to use services like this to keep you alerted for the best accommodation deals. These sites can also let you review side by side comparisons of similar accommodation options in the area so that you’re able to make a financially smart decision about where to stay.
I have mentioned before I am a fan of Hotwire Hot Rates. I have become pretty good at narrowing down which hotel I am getting before I book, so this is a great option for me. It is also a great option for single night stays during a road trip, where all you need is a quick place to lay your head, and maybe the guaruntee of smoke-free rooms.
Also be sure to look into alternative lodging. During our Seattle to San Diego road trip, my family often stayed in cabins available to rent at RV parks. These were great as they gave us a kitchen, which helped with food (which I will talk about in a moment).
If you have a large family or group, and will need multiple hotel rooms, look into alternative lodging options such as Air BnB, vacation rentals, and more. Renting a house can save money, as well as give you extra space to spread out.
One of the luxuries of traveling is that you can dine out in new restaurants and enjoy new food options. While this is a wonderful way to indulge in the local area’s culture, it can be expensive. Make a budget and plan for when and where you’ll dine out prior to reaching your destination. This will ensure that you stay within your travel budget and are able to enjoy some nights of dining out without going broke. Food can be one of the most expensive parts of traveling if you don’t plan ahead.
If you have access to a kitchen, and want to indulge in local quisine, check out a local farmer market to purchase foods native to the area. Ask local sellers at the market how to prepare the foods. They are usually happy to help you learn how to prepare the food.
My family likes to do a mixture of preparing our own food, and eating out. This helps us stay in budget without feeling deprived. Since food is one of the biggest expenses during travel, it is also one of the best ways for us to save.
When it comes to smart ways to travel cheap you’ll simply have to think outside of the box. It’s important to know what your budget constraints are so that when you return from traveling you don’t have to put in overtime to make up for that splurging you did while traveling. Traveling is more affordable now than it ever was in the past due to advanced technology and smartphones that offer plenty of apps to make smart travel decisions.