Everyone needs a vacation now and then, and if you find yourself daydreaming about the beach while accruing an astronomical amount of vacation days because you can’t afford to travel, it’s time to make a change. There are ways to take that much-needed vacation without breaking the bank! With an arsenal of travel tips that can help you save money, it’s possible for you to explore areas of the world beyond the edge of your cubicle. As you plan your trip, keep these suggestions for budget travel in mind:
Don’t Schedule During Peak Times
If you’re looking for someplace warm to go during the winter, chances are you’re not the only one. This high demand can drive up airfare and hotel prices, eliminating any dreams a budget traveler has of going on vacation. You can save a bundle by scheduling your trip for the off season–spring and fall are usually best. However, different regions have different off-seasons. For example, if you’ve been dying to go to Mexico, schedule your trip for the summer when rates are low. Or if you’ve been saving up for a trip to Europe, schedule your flight some time between Thanksgiving and Easter when most tourists opt to stay home.
Consider a Road Trip
Are flights simply outside of your travel budget? Take a road trip! Spending hours at a time in the car was no fun as a kid, but as an adult it gives you the opportunity to see more of the landscape and stop at those quirky locations just off the highway (don’t pretend that you haven’t been dying to see Carhenge). Of course, driving isn’t always cheaper than flying, especially when gas prices are off the charts. Head to Costtodrive.com to do a quick comparison.
Find a Cheap Flight
If air travel is a must–perhaps you’re going somewhere across the pond–there are a few cost-effective options you should consider. There are a variety of search engines available online that allow you to compare airfare in an attempt to find the cheapest flight possible. If you’re willing to be patient and flexible with your travel plans, flying standby or giving up your seat on an overbooked flight is also a great way to save money.
Limit Your Restaurant Bill
Often, one of the most expensive parts of traveling is feeding yourself. The cost of dining out at a restaurant for every meal can add up quickly–particularly if you’re indulging in an alcoholic beverage or two. To circumvent this issue, head to the local grocery store upon getting into town and stock up on all the essentials. Picnic in a local park or as you watch the sunset at the beach. When you do eat out, do your best to eat like a local instead of succumbing to tourist traps. Hole-in-the-wall restaurants and food carts will allow you to partake in culinary delights on the cheap.