Many of us have taken a hard hit financially as a result of the pandemic, but after being in lockdown for months, we also need a vacation now more than ever. So if your bank account is hurting but you’re dying to hop on a plane again, here’s 10 tips to help you travel on budget. Bring a romantic partner, close friend, or family member along for the journey, or feel free to go solo if you crave some much needed alone time after quarantine!
1. Travel During the Off Season
Try not to use up sick days for work so you can take this trip in fall, winter, or spring, avoiding holidays and peak summer months. During the off season, almost everything will be less expensive including flights, hotels, and even food. You’ll also get better deals on airfare if you travel earlier in the week instead of a weekend.
2. Avoid Renting a Car
Be sure to do your research on the destination’s public transportation before traveling, because you’ll save big if you don’t need to buy a rental car. I recommend you use mass transit systems if you can, because it's often the cheapest way to get around, especially if you’re traveling by yourself.
3. Shop at Local Supermarkets
If you’re traveling abroad, purchasing locally grown food from foreign supermarkets is a great way to experience the culture and native people, while also saving you lots of money. Also consider having a picnic outside at a nearby park if you still want to make your meals an event!
4. Plan Nice Meals for Lunch Instead of Dinner
Go big at lunch rather than dinner if you want to limit the amount of money you spend while traveling. Lots of restaurants offer dishes similar or identical to dinner plates for a cheaper price. You might also want to purchase extra food at lunch and save it for dinner.
5. Find Free Things to Do
There are plenty of activities that you can do for free while exploring a new location, so make sure to do some research before you crack open your piggy bank. Many museums and galleries often have a free admissions day at least once a month. You can also do a self-guided tour around the city or take a hike through the beautiful scenery.
6. Talk to the Locals
Make a point to talk to the locals of the destination you’re visiting because they can often provide the best advice on finding cheaper alternatives and non-touristy areas to discover. It’s also a great way to immerse yourself into the culture of the region and make memories!
7. Take Lots of Pictures and Buy Fewer Souvenirs
Let’s face it - the souvenirs you’ve collected from traveling over the years are collecting dust. It can be hard to resist, but the truth is you don’t need a new trinket from every place you visit. And they usually get lost or break anyway! Instead, bring a camera and take lots of pictures to help you remember your travels.
8. Build Your Points and Miles
Chain hotels usually have a reward system that offers points for booking rooms, so if you travel frequently then consider building up these points to earn free overnight stays! Also consider flying with the same airline to increase your miles and save on future flights.
9. Stay Outside the City
Think about staying outside the city for cheaper hotel or Airbnb costs. While it may be tempting to book a room near all of the big tourist attractions, you can always explore these areas during the day and then head back to the suburbs at night to sleep.
10. Stick to a Travel Budget
After you create a budget for your trip, stick to it! The best way to stay on track is to avoid splurging, but of course this can be difficult when you want to make the best of your experience in a new location. One idea is to save that fancy dinner for the last night of your trip, or to limit yourself to one pricy attraction.
We all know traveling expenses easily and quickly add up, so let's follow these 10 simple steps to avoid breaking the bank. After many months of merely close to home travel and remote work, we are all eager to hop back on a plane. Even though financially, times are tough, we can learn to be fiscally responsible while continuously exploring the world.
Stumped on where to travel next? Read our blog on our 2021 top travel picks to find a destination for every type of traveler!
Don't forget to stay safe and healthy as you travel this year and remember that most countries have implemented various Covid-19 safety protocols.
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This blog was written by Featured Wrighter, Annika Rowe.