Travel doesn’t have to cost your life savings. If done correctly, it can actually be very affordable. Here are my top tips on how to save money on travel.
You know what’s better than spending $100 a night on a hotel room? Spending $10 a night on a camp site. Having a place to sleep is a necessity, and while many budget travelers opt for hostels, I prefer my tent. Camping allows you to stay in some of the most beautiful places in the world, gets you outside, and gives you privacy and freedom. You also get to set your own budget depending on what you need. Want a shower, swimming pool, WIFI, and a café? $40 a night should do it. Want nothing more than a quiet spot to sleep? That will be free, yes FREE.
Go with Friends
Three words. Splitting. The. Bill. Travelling with friends can mean the difference between paying $200 for a week long car rental and $50 for a week long car rental. You can divide up gas, accommodations, rentals, and other costs. Not only that, but you get the added perk of traveling and making memories with the people you love. Just make sure you discuss how the costs will be split beforehand, and you should enjoy the best of both worlds.
While scarfing down some of the local food is part of the travel experience, that does not mean you need to eat out for every meal. Find a grocery stores and stock up on snacks and staples that you love but also require little prep (think bagels, sandwiches, chips, granola bars, etc.) If you follow the first tip and have a camp spot, you can expand your meals by cooking with either a camp stove or fire. Allow yourself opportunities to go out once or twice, but for the most part, eat like the locals REALLY do, from the store.
Unless you are planning on traveling once and only once, be flexible in your plans. Commit to a place and time last. Instead, start your planning with a rough idea of when you want to travel and a rough idea of where and start researching. You may find that flights to Ireland are cheaper than Italy, so why not head there? You may find that November is cheaper than August, so why not go then? Traveling in an off season can dramatically reduce both flights ($500 to France instead of $1,200) and accommodations. Be as flexible as your life allows and go where and when the deals take you.
Take Your Time
Travel planning can be time consuming and stressful and annoying, but if you want to save money you have to put in the work. Check ALL the best flight search websites, hotel websites, time frames, locations, etc. Look on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday, and then repeat. Be sure you are getting the best deal by looking up what others have paid, and then and only then, push submit.