Making your travel dreams a reality does not have to come at the expense of all your hard-earned money. Travel can fit into any budget. Often, people worry that travel can’t be a reality for them because of cost, but with these simple and practical tips, you can make your travel dreams come true.
Whether you’re flying across the globe and looking for the best flight deals or heading out on a road trip and need roadside assistance plans, there are many ways to make travel more affordable. Here are some of the best ones to keep in mind.
Shop Around for the Best Rates
For everything from flights to insurance, it’s best to do your research and shop around to find the best price possible. The four major expenses of any trip are transportation, accommodation, insurance, and the activities you partake in your location such as tours, eating out, or drinks.
Transportation can quickly add up to the most expensive aspect of any trip. You’ll have to consider everything from car rentals, flight options, driving costs like gas, or even using ride-sharing apps. This is where the research comes in. Finding the cheapest transportation options isn’t always easy, but if you’re patient and put in the work, it can save you lots of money.
There are tons of different types of accommodations to choose from at all different budget levels. If you have a bit more wiggle room, you can look into hotels and resorts. But if you want to cut costs, those don’t have to be your only options.
If you’re going abroad and want to save money, perhaps check out the hostel options. You could also look at rentals like Air that tend to have more budget-friendly options. Camping is also a great inexpensive option.
There are various types of insurance you will need depending on what type of trip you’ll be going on. Road trip? You will need car insurance, maybe something with roadside assistance. If you’ll be renting a car, you’ll want to look into car rental insurance. If you’re flying to another country, you want to make sure you have international traveler’s insurance.
There are countless options. This is where you will have to do a bit of research and compare the price and coverage of each insurance plan. While some may be more expensive, it might be worth it for better coverage and peace of mind on your trip. It could end up saving you money in the long run if something were to go wrong.
Activities and Attractions
If there are popular tourist attractions in your destination or must-do activities, it’s likely that there are multiple tour companies offering similar experiences at these places. Shop around and compare prices and offers from each group. You might also want to check with your accommodation to see if they offer anything at a discounted rate.
This is an area where you can make smart decisions to save money. Choose not to go to the most expensive restaurant, or perhaps cook a meal at your Airbnb. You could even stop at the grocery store and pick up items for breakfast and lunch to save on two meals a day. This is an area where you can save loads of money or rack up a big bill quickly.
Travel During the Off-Season
This might just be one of the top money-saving travel hacks out there. Traveling to a destination during its off season can save you loads of money. Typically, accommodation prices jump way up during peak season, as do popular tourist attractions. Flights may also drop dramatically during these off periods.
Going to a location during their less busy season can have many additional benefits. Having fewer people to contend with means smaller crowds and fewer lines. You might also get to see a place from a different viewpoint because you are visiting when most people don’t. It can be special to visit a place during these less crowded times of the year.
Use Point Systems and Travel Credit Cards
Using points systems such as airline miles and travel credit cards that let you redeem points to cover travel costs can be a huge money saver. It may not seem like it, but these points can add up quickly, and in the long run, they will save you money on baggage fees, accommodations, rentals, and more. Some rewards programs are even free.
Keep in mind that you have to find the right credit card for you and a point system that fits your needs. For example, if one card offers points for shopping at a particular grocery store, make sure you actually shop at that grocery store, or you won’t accumulate points very quickly.
Make Travel a Priority
At the end of the day, you won’t save money for travel unless you really want to travel. You have to make it a priority to save extra money for travel. Can you forego that latte? Can you cut your monthly budget by not eating out and save the extra for your next trip? Every little bit helps, and when you commit to saving for travel, you will be that much closer to making it a reality.
Sam Timmerman writes and researches for the car insurance comparison site, CarInsurance.org. She is an experienced budget traveler who has been to more than 40 countries around the world.