How to Travel Economically

Taking an amazing vacation is the dream that many of us share. We dream about visiting exotic lands and experiencing new things with those we love. However, the one thing that always holds us back from taking these dream vacations seems to be the money to travel. There never seems to be enough to do all the things we want and traveling can be very expensive. But traveling doesn’t have to cost a fortune! In our day and age it is easier than ever to score some really great deals on the destinations that interest us most. In fact, if you follow these helpful tips, affording your dream vacation is closer than you think. You, too, can travel economically.

Make Plans Ahead

The first step to cutting down traveling costs is to plan out a specific budget for your travels. If you don’t set a limit for how much you want to spend, you are pretty much guaranteed to spend more than you want. Add up all the costs you can think of that involved in your trip; things like plane tickets, parking expenses, food costs, fuel costs, rental car expenses, entertainment costs, hotels, etc. Really take some time to think about all the things you spend money on when you travel. The little things you don’t think about can add up and bust your budget if you aren’t careful. Next, you need to figure out the maximum amount of money you are comfortable spending in each of these areas. What is the highest amount you will spend for one night’s lodging? How much is okay to spend on food in one day? Decide ahead of time or it will be very hard to control the expenses.

Nippon Travel Agency Kusatsu Branch. It is the...

Nippon Travel Agency Kusatsu Branch. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The next step is to examine each of these spending categories one by one and find ways to make each cost as low as possible, and the Internet is the absolute very best place to find ways to cut expenses on traveling costs. For example, airline tickets are a huge expense of any vacation. But nowadays there are numerous sites that are completely dedicated to finding low airfares. In fact, there are many websites that let you set up an alert system that sends you an email or text when the airfare you are looking for meets the parameters that you specifically set up. Orbitz.com and farecompare.com are just a few of the travel websites that you can use to find the best airfare out there. If you are taking a cruise, cruisecompete.com is a great place to post the desired cruise parameters you want and then let different travel agencies bid for your booking. The Internet is also a great place to save money on hotels. Priceline.com lets you bid on hotels based on how much you want to spend per night, the location you would like or how many stars you would like your hotel to have. And there is one more tip concerning hotels you shouldn’t forget: whenever possible, try to book a hotel that includes free breakfast. If you are going to stay at a hotel anyway, get a great freebie to go with it. It’s a small thing, but little savings along the way can really add up in the end. Another great website to utilize when planning travel is groupon.com. This huge discount website allows me to find good deals on activities, food, lodging, goods and services in the cities you are traveling to. Groupon.com has sometimes even offered discounted airport parking, airport taxis, and even rental cars. In fact, groupon.com even has a dedicated sub site called Groupon Travel. If you have time and a little flexibility with your schedule, keep an eye on discount sites like groupon.com, livingsocial.com, and amazonlocal.com. You never know what you can find that will save you when traveling. And these sites don’t have to be used in advance. All three sites have mobile apps that can let you find good deals on the go, which can come in handy when you are out on the road or your schedule changes at the last minute.

There are Other Ways that Help When You Travel

If the Internet can’t help you save all the money you would like on hotels, food or parking, one good way to cut down on these expenses is to take advantage of family and friends. Sometimes it may seem like an imposition to stay in someone else’s house or bum a ride to the airport, but most of our families and friends truly don’t mind a few days of putting up with a house guest or two or giving a ride to a friend. Remember to be hospitable and respectful all along the way, but use your friends and family when you can. They can save you a ton of money!

Missionaries traveling by cart in North China.

Missionaries traveling by cart in North China. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another way to save on travel is to travel during the off-season or the least popular times of year. While this may not be convenient for everyone, it can save you thousands of dollars. For example, if you want to take a cruise, going in the summer is going to be the most expensive time of year to do so. If you can travel either in late fall or the beginning of the year, the same cruise can cost about $500 less. If you want to take an outdoor vacation with hiking and mountain biking, try visiting a ski resort in the summer. When there is no snow on the ground, ski resorts are making great deals to keep their beds full. Traveling to popular family destinations during the school year can drastically reduce the price you pay for things like theme parks and other attractions. While it is true that traveling can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be that way, especially with all the tools and websites at our disposal. With a little planning and savvy use of the Internet, you can save a bundle on the places you want to go and the things you want to do. Life is short, so get out and see the world!

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