Thinking of going on an expensive getaway this year? At first glance it may seem too costly but there’s a good chance it may not be as unfeasible as you had initially thought. Listed below are some tips and tricks I have picked up throughout my travels to hopefully help you save up that little extra bit of money you need for your future trip.
1. Leave one night early, cut out one night of rental costs
When traveling on a budget one very easy way to cut down on extra expenses is to leave the night before you were originally planning to depart for home. Doing this will effectively cut out one night’s worth of hotel costs and if you set up a red-eye flight you can still get a whole day worth of activities in before you have to head home. Booking flights during the traveling off-season can also net you some serious savings if you wait for the right opportunities too.
2. Cut back on unnecessary meals
Another tip I recommend is that, if possible, you should agree to cut back or cut out one meal per day. If you can’t do that then come prepared to make yourself a meal instead. Subtracting or substituting a nice lunch every day over a one week trip will add up to be a rather substantial amount of money saved.
3. Investigate alternatives to regular hotels
If you are really looking to travel on a dime lay out a budgeting plan in advance. What I mean by that is before you arrive make an effort to do some research on minimizing costs. Instead of a hotel maybe consider a hostel or a couch surfing website. You typically get a better cultural experience going through a housing alternative anyways.
4. Drink alcohol at home not at a bar
For those who plan on drinking a lot of alcohol and don’t mind doing it at home instead of at a bar you won’t regret that decision as your average drink at a bar can typically run you anywhere from $5 to $15 or even $20 whereas you can get a lot more for your money simply buying it from a store instead.
5. Scrutinize hotels and try to find the best overall deal
With hotels and tourist venues always looking to remain filled be on the lookout for coupons and other deals when it comes to anything from flights to hotels to sightseeing. One trip may appear cheaper than another but with the right deals the more expensive option may actually cost less once you factor in the savings too. Going with that train of thought it never hurts to scrutinize hotels in order to find the best deal for you. If you are the kind of person who is fine with a 1 star hotel then don’t bother compromising with a 3 or 4 star where you will end up having to pay more for things that don’t really matter to you.
6. Find connecting flights
If possible try to find cheap connecting flights in the country or countries you are visiting instead of using the train. Under certain circumstances it will not only save you time but it can also save you money depending on where you are looking to go.
7. Consider renting a car if it turns out to be cheaper
Try substituting a car rental instead of taking lots of taxi rides. For obvious reasons it will definitely be cheaper. Also when vacationing try to maximize your efficiency by visiting places in the same area at the same time. Additionally, budget out your rental car for only as long as you absolutely need it because otherwise it can burn a hole in your pocket pretty quick. One thing I recommend is segmenting off a part of the trip to only seeing things that are necessary with a car and then returning the vehicle after you are finished.
8. Travel with others
Always travel with companions. Not only is it safer but it is cheaper too. Being able to split the costs with someone else will make your budget drastically more manageable. Cramming a few extra people into a hotel room may not necessarily be fun but it is most certainly one of the best ways to cut down on costs.
9. Don’t load up on luggage
Be extra efficient when packing luggage. Having to carry around excess luggage bags is not only a nuisance but it is also costly depending on which airline you are flying. For shorter trips try cramming everything you can into one carry on. It takes some skill and practice but once you get the hang of things it will make airports transitions much less stressful too.