Spring and Summer are the seasons when people tend to do more traveling. While traveling is fun, it can take a toll on your budget if you aren’t careful.
It seems that no matter how much planning you do for travel, things don’t ever go exactly as you expect, but that can be part of the fun of travelling too.
If you will be traveling this Spring or Summer, you will likely need to start planning your trip now so you can make sure you have the budget for your excursions. After all, the worst thing about travelling when you have no money is not being able to enjoy your trip because of only thinking about the dollars and cents.
We get that you want to travel and stay on budget, so here are our 4 best tips for saving money on travel.
Take Lots of Snacks and Drinks
One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made during my limited travels in the past few years is not taking my own snacks and drinks along. It may not seem like much when you are only spending $3 or $4 on snacks and drinks each time you stop, but it can really add up over the course of a multi-day trip.
I’ll be travelling for a long weekend roadtrip in a few weeks and I plan to take a cooler with ice for snacks and drinks that need to stay cool. I’ll also toss in plenty of extra bottled water and other snacks too. I know this will really help cut down on the expenses of my trip as food is usually the second most expensive part of travel after lodging.
Be Flexible With Your Travel Dates
One of the biggest ways I save so much money on travel is having a flexible schedule. That was one of my main reasons for becoming a freelancer. I no longer have to ask permission to take time off to travel. Instead, I can go whenever flights are cheap, and work while I’m gone or scale back.
I’ve been able to hop on many great deals to visit my family back home. I actually went back three times last year, and I have more trips planned this year. By flying on a Tuesday or a Wednesday, I save around an average of $100 per trip. Being restricted to leaving on the weekends doesn’t give you much wiggle room.
If you can be flexible with your travel dates, search on Kayak.com and choose the +/- 3 day option to see a whole chart of prices. You can see that more times than not, weekday flights are usually cheaper.
Pack Light and Check out Deals for Entertainment
Okay so these are two tips but they are very important. It’s best to pack mostly essentials and a few extra outfits when you travel to avoid spending extra on luggage along with having to transport all your suitcases around town. Depending on how long your trip is, you might be able to get away with one carry-on suitcase. Most airlines allow you to bring one carry-on piece of luggage and a personal item on board for free. However, if you have more items to bring, make sure you research your airline’s policy and weight limits to make sure your luggage is not over the weight limit and subjected to an extra charge. Plus, you’ll want to have extra room in you suitcase in case you decide to bring any souvenirs home.
Entertainment is one of the largest expenses you will have when you travel and while it’s only natural to want to splurge don’t neglect searching for local deals and discounts first. If you find a deal or coupon on an attraction you already wanted to see anyway, that’s a win-win. I personally like excursions and all-inclusive hotels along with Living Social and Groupon for discounts on dining, events, shopping, and more.
Go Where the Locals Go
Try to hang out in all of the local’s favorite spots when you travel somewhere new. Nine times out of ten, you will save money by picking food and entertainment spots that are off the beaten path of the tourist. So, be willing to walk (or Uber ride) several blocks away from the prime touristy areas. By going where the locals go, you’ll get a cheaper and more authentic experience of whatever city you’re visiting. Some of my best memories of travel involve eating at hole in the wall, mom and pop restaurants.