A lot of people never look into traveling because they just assume immediately that they will not be able to afford it. When you actually consider the options with traveling and work with a professional to find the best deals for quality trips, it becomes very clear that travel on a budget is possible.
Best Ways to Save Money When Traveling
A travel agent is able to look into all the details of a trip and determine where money can be saved without the quality of the trip suffering. Since a travel agent knows many areas very well, they aren’t just relying on website listings and photos to determine if a location is safe, nice, and a good deal for the price. These tips will help you travel on a budget like a travel agent:
Travel During the Off-Season
Depending on where you are traveling, usually one particular season or a period of 6 months or so is the “hot time” to go to that spot. Going to the mountains in Colorado is typically on-season during winter months when people are skiing, whereas the main season for Hiltonhead tends to be late spring and summer months when it’s warm enough to enjoy the beach there. During these seasons, lodging, food, and activities tend to be marked up quite a bit because of the demand they face during that time of year. Traveling during the off-season can save loads of money. Since the competition is low for airlines, lodging, and activities, many travelers can score big discounts during this time, making it much easier to travel on a budget.
Research the Area Before Traveling
This is one of the reasons why using a travel agent is so beneficial if you have never been to the area you want to visit, but there are other ways to really research the area and determine where it makes sense to stay, eat, and set up a good plan so you can have everything laid out in front of you and set up a budget for yourself. If you go in blind, you’ll tend to just go wherever is nearby rather than researching the most budget-friendly places. Many areas have free events, parks, and sightseeing opportunities that could be worked into the plan too. If you have to purchase tickets for something, buying tickets ahead of time can save you money.
Research reviews online, and Facebook groups can be helpful for getting people’s personal experiences in a particular location so you know what is actually a good spot and what’s not. It’s even helpful when you research the area beforehand, because sometimes it seems like you have to stay right there in the city, but staying just outside of the city in some areas can be way less expensive and not much farther from where you want to go—and you may even find some cool things to do in the areas outside the city where you would be staying.
Research and Book Your Flights and Hotel in Advance
Just like researching the area before you travel to it, researching and booking your flights and hotel in advance can be really helpful when you are trying to travel on a budget. Spend time researching flights and hotels in the area. Prices and amenities vary greatly between companies.
When looking at a hotel, use the following as qualifiers to help travel on a budget:
- Do they offer free breakfast?
- Is there a gym and/or pool?
- Is the kitchen equipped for cooking most meals there? (Being able to cook breakfast in the hotel or house will save a lot of money versus eating out for every meal.)
When considering a flight, traveling on a budget can be a little bit of a challenge, but ask the right questions to save money:
- Do they include the bag and carry-on fee in the ticket price?
- If so, how many bags do they allow, and what is the additional cost for extras?
- Do they offer complimentary snacks or beverages?
Compare using these questions, and determine what you even need in a flight and hotel. Knowing what you want and being able to get them all in one place can help you save money by not having to spend it elsewhere and not getting nickel and dimed on extra costs.
Pack Lightly but Thoughtfully
Decreasing the amount of luggage you’re bringing will decrease additional bag fees. But you don’t want to leave out any important items. Buying essential items through an airport, tourist spot, etc. will cost you exponentially more than bringing it from home. This includes not planning to buy clothes in the local shops for dinners out or beachwear, because tourist shops upcharge significantly compared to local or online stores you will find at home. Plan accordingly, and get really good at playing packing tetris if you have a long trip.
One tip for packing lightly and saving money is to stay in a house or hotel that offers laundry options. This way, if you are staying for more than a week, you can pack for a week, wash your clothes, and still be ready to go out on the town with nice clean clothes. This is especially helpful if you’ll be doing outdoor adventures or going to the beach where you will get your clothes dirty but want to rewear them. This way you can pack less—and not have to bring home dirty clothes.
Snacks and beverages purchased on-the-go cost much more due to convenience. If applicable, pack as many snack items as you need to keep yourself from spending money at gas stations and airports. Even having snacks at your place of lodging will save you money so you aren’t running down to the concierge or local shops for snacks, all of which will charge you more money than your local grocery store.
Shop at the Local Grocery Store
Restaurant food is often the biggest unnecessary expense during vacation. Shopping at the local grocery store and making meals at your hotel, condo, etc. will keep you from a large restaurant bill. If you do eat at a restaurant, skip the drinks and desserts, as this can add up quickly. It helps to fill up before you go out to eat and just get an appetizer or a few of them to share as a table so you can taste some of the local food without spending all the money.
Pearl Travel Can Help You Travel on a Budget or Travel Luxuriously—You Choose!
Pearl Travel is pleased to offer unparalleled personal service via our dedicated team of travel advisors! We are able to share an amazing wealth of collective experience and expertise. The use of a personal travel advisor will be sure to enhance your travel experience – we specialize in all forms of travel from all inclusive resorts that are laid out for ease to custom travel that allows for the most unique of adventures. Contact Pearl Travel today or learn more.