By: Tiffani Rase
Traveling is an incredibly fulfilling hobby for a lot of people. Whether it be across the state, country, or world, learning to traverse the travel planning process is exciting and new. However, the cost can often put a bit of stress on deciding the destinations and itinerary.
The adventure and excitement that comes along with traveling often offset the impact of the cost of the vacation outright, but it can be difficult to round up the funds for the flight, lodging, and food.
Deciding where you’ll be traveling to is obviously most important. Certain locations are cheaper during certain seasons, which makes beaches and most tourist towns far less expensive during the school year, when children are in school and more people are working.
When should you travel?
Rick Steves, a travel guru, breaks down each season into detail with pros and cons. The main thing you need to know is that going during peak season will ultimately cost more. If that’s the only time you can go to your selected destination, be prepared for crowds and try to stay at hotels further away from the city and rent a car to stick to your budget.
How to find planes, lodging and food on a budget
Finding plane tickets in advance is often the best way to travel. Flying on weekdays and light nights are often cheaper, as well as getting connecting flights instead of non-stop. There is a full strategy to getting the cheapest flights, and this infographic will show you a few ways. Buying tickets certain days and flying certain days, deleting your cookies in your browser after viewing flights, and signing up for email alerts are all important points when searching for flights.
Finding lodging on a budget is often easy if you can be patient and look many weeks in advance. Using hostels in international countries can save you lots of money, and when you will be out exploring most of the time anyway, you’ll only need somewhere to lay your head. Another prominent lodging choice of many travelers recently is Air BnB, a service which makes renting out someone’s space in any location simple and affordable. Often the hosts are out of town and saving money by renting out the space. This option usually provides more room with kitchens to cook and living rooms to lounge in, so they make ideal lodging choices for families or parties who don’t mind living together. Hotels are also always having deals for booking multiple nights with them, so check their websites to find the best deal.
Food is the other big expense that you can incur during a vacation. Eating cheaply is all about knowing where to go during your stay. Finding inexpensive food is often easy through street vendors and shopping at local grocery stores to make your own food. Eating a simple breakfast and having snacks around your hotel room can minimize the need to purchase three meals out every day. Save one meal per day to enjoy the local cuisine, and you’ll be able to budget each day according to how much money you have saved.
Traveling doesn’t have to be impossible to afford. With a little bit of saving and understanding where all of your money is going, as well as knowing how to save money at your destination, you can gain memories and experiences without stressing about your budget.
*Images obtained are free/unlicensed.