The experiences you have traveling are priceless. But let’s face it; plane tickets, hotels, tours, and food all cost money. If you want to spend as much time as possible in new, exciting destinations, then knowing how to manage your finances needs to be a top priority. So, what can you do to stretch out your moolah?
Well, in this article, we’re going to give you all the best money-saving travel tips that will keep you and your wallet happy. No matter where you are in the world or what your travel preferences are, incorporating a few of these strategies will keep you on the road longer without breaking the bank.
Get ready to save money traveling, and let’s go!
1. Create a Budget
First things first, create a budget. If you don’t know how much money you can spend each day, week, or month, then managing your finances is going to be a bit complicated. So, on your phone or a piece of paper, write down all your potential spending categories and allocate a budget for each one. Make sure to include sections for essentials, such as accommodation, dining, transportation, and entertainment (if you’re traveling to a new location, do some research to get an idea of how much things cost.).
Once you’re happy with your budget, stick to it. Having a financial plan is worthless if you’re not going to follow your own rules. One helpful strategy is to only take a certain amount of cash with you each day to avoid overspending.
2. Use Flight Search Engines
Flights can be pricy–very pricy. But hold on a second! There are some great flight search engine tools that help you find incredible deals and track price trends. As you shop around for flights, be sure to check multiple sources for the best deal possible. You should also look for search engines that have reward programs so that you can save additional money in the future.
Going, formerly known as Scott’s Cheap Flights, provides members with email alerts when prices for specific destinations are lower than usual. All you have to do is plug in the airports near you and the locations you want to visit and wait for deals. The website claims to save travelers between 40% to 90% on flight costs.
Orbitz is an easy-to-use flight search engine that’s part of the Expedia Group. Although the website is similar to several other search engines, it has an incredible rewards program. Joining the rewards program is free, and you can use your Orbucks on flights, hotels, and travel packages.
Skyscanner is regarded as one of the best flight search engines in the world. The site helps you find the cheapest dates and pulls flights from every airline flying to your destination. It will also show you what the flight includes, such as snacks and drinks, so that you can compare the total value of each option.
Skiplagged is a unique flight search engine that helps you beat the system. The site finds flight itineraries with layovers at your final destination. For example, if you want to travel from Dallas to Orlando, Skiplagged may find a cheap flight from Dallas to Boston with a layover in Orlando. Using Skiplagged is completely legal, but airlines may frown on it if you continuously skip flights.
3. Travel in the Off-Season
One of the best ways to save money traveling is by scheduling your trip in the off-season. During a location’s busiest time of year, prices skyrocket. However, as the number of tourists drops, so do the prices. You’ll be amazed by the deals you can find for flights, accommodation, rental cars, and tours that would otherwise cost an arm and a leg.
Destinations’ busiest times are usually during the best weather months. Consider booking your trip just before or after the peak season so that you can still enjoy great weather at a lower price with fewer people.
4. Apply for a Travel Credit Card
Are you planning to travel abroad with your normal credit card? Well then, not only will you get hit with a foreign transaction fee on every purchase, but you’ll also miss out on a lot of savings. Most well-established banks offer travel-reward credit cards with no annual fee, such as Bank of America, Chase, Discover, and Capital One.
Foreign transaction fees are typically around 3%, depending on what bank you use. That may not seem like a lot, but when you look back at your credit card statement and add up all the fees you accumulated, you’re going to wish you had signed up for a travel credit card sooner.
5. Cook, Cook, Cook
Travel on a budget and cook as much as possible. Of course, one of the best parts about visiting new places is trying the local cuisine. But that doesn’t mean you need to eat out for every meal. Instead, make it a special occasion. If you don’t want to miss out on tasting the flavors of the area, a great option is to go shopping at the local markets and look up traditional recipes. As long as you are staying somewhere with a kitchen, cooking is easily one of the top money-saving travel tips.
6. Choose Hostels and Airbnbs
The accommodation you choose matters–big time! Staying at a five-star luxury resort may be enticing, but that’s going to put a massive dent in your budget. The cheaper route would be to look for affordable hostels and Airbnbs. If you don’t mind sharing a dorm room with others, you can find excellent hostels for less than $20 a night. However, sometimes you want your own space, so scroll through Airbnb. Many hosts offer weekly and monthly discounts that are just too good to pass up!
Affordable accommodation is one of the best parts about traveling to Mexico, but that’s not all. Read here about all the reasons why Mexico should be on everyone’s travel list!
Are you ready to hop on a plane and discover faraway places? As long as you follow these simple money-saving travel tips, you’ll be a whole lot less stressed about finances and be able to continue exploring longer. So, enjoy the trip, and remember that the best adventures aren’t always the most expensive ones.