If you’ve been bitten by the travel bug, you know how much fun it is to plan your next getaway. The only problem is that most of us have to save money in order to afford travel. Unfortunately, this means that many people put off travel or avoid it altogether, assuming the cost is out of reach. We know the costs of traveling can add up, but there are surprising ways you can save money on just about every travel-related expense, which makes it much more affordable than you might imagine.
Start Saving Before You Go
Saving money on big-ticket purchases like airfare and accommodations certainly makes a difference, but many people overlook how much all the small things add up. The reality is that it’s easy to save on the small things through websites like Rakuten that have coupons for all kinds of travel gear.
Make sure you always use these online deals, whether you’re shopping for more expensive items like luggage and outdoor gear or smaller items like toiletries and snacks for the road. What’s even better is that you can often find cashback offers, which is the perfect way to stash extra savings for your travels.
Book Budget-Conscious Accommodations
When we suggest booking budget-conscious accommodations, that doesn’t necessarily mean booking a budget-quality hotel (although there are some great budget hotel chains to choose from). Some of our favorite money-saving tips from The Huffington Post include staying outside of a city, opting out-of-room upgrades, and choosing a rental rather than a hotel if you’re traveling with a group. It’s also smart to ask for discounts. Booking through a travel agency is a great way to get a lower price, plus many hotels offer discounts for AAA members, veterans, and senior citizens.
Don’t Fall for False Savings
We all have access to the internet, which means anyone can take it upon themselves to search for travel deals online. There are good deals to be found, but you may run into hidden costs. For example, Forbes explains how using a budget airline doesn’t always add up to the savings you expect because many charge for checked luggage and other amenities that are included on other carriers.
Don’t Let Sightseeing Bust Your Budget
After accommodations and transportation, spending money while on your trip takes another big chunk of your budget. Saving money on tours is another benefit of booking through a travel agent, but you can still reduce sightseeing costs when traveling on your own. Our top tip for adventure travelers is to explore the outdoors. Exploring on foot is free, and it gives you a more authentic experience, whether you’re in a city or visiting a natural wonder.
For urban travelers who want to see multiple tourist sites, it may be worth purchasing a city pass. Many big cities offer these, and the amount you save is significant if you plan on visiting enough attractions. And while using a city pass is already a good deal, you can often get them at a discount to save even more.
If you think about any trip you’ve taken in the past, you’ll probably remember how the experience of being somewhere new is what made it amazing. What does that mean for budget-conscious travelers? It means you can save money by skipping some excursions, eating in more, and staying in a mid-range room. You can do all of this without missing a thing, which means your next great vacation may be closer than you think.