5 Budget Travel Tips to Make Your Next Trip More Affordable
Budget Travel Tips
There are more ways to travel than ever before. At the same time, airfares, hotel rooms, dining out, entertainment, and other travel expenses are soaring in many places. Much of the travel information you find online, such as by doing a Google search for "cheap flights" or "cheap hotels" only brings up normal prices. If you want real bargains, you have to dig a little deeper. Here are creative tips for people who want to save money when they travel.
1. Consider Alternatives to Hotels
While Airbnb as an alternative to hotels is quite well known, not everyone realizes just how much money you can save this way. When you search on Airbnb, try adjusting the price filter. The catch is that are also many private rooms, sometimes even with private bathrooms in this price range. In addition to being potentially cheaper, the Airbnb experience is often more enjoyable than staying at a hotel, allowing you to live more like a local than a tourist.
Another option is Couchsurfing, where hosts let you stay in their homes for free. Home exchanges are a variation on this idea if you have a home you're willing to let someone stay in while you travel. There are now quite a few hotel alternatives that can make your trip both cheaper and more interesting.
2. Be Flexible About Air Travel
It's common knowledge that airfares vary a great deal depending on your dates and destinations. However, most travelers don't fully take advantage of the many options to save money. If you're set on a specific destination or you have firm travel dates, this isn't an option. However, if you're a little flexible you can often save hundreds of dollars on airfare.
On Skyscanner, for example, you can start with your airport of origin and check prices to "Everywhere." This lets you identify the very cheapest fares for your requested dates. If you're planning a vacation, one strategy is to choose your destination based on airfares. It also helps if you can plan your trip offseason. If you're traveling in the middle of summer or near the winter holidays, it's often hard to find cheap flights anywhere.
3. Stay Close to Home
Exciting trips don't necessarily have to involve long-distance travel. When you're looking for ways to drastically cut down on your expenses, one of the best strategies is to look closer to home. No matter where you live, there are probably some interesting destinations within a few hours' drive. This option also lets you cut down on the amount of time you spend traveling and lets you spend more time actually enjoying your trip.
If you live in a city, look for the nearest lake, mountain cabin, or beach town. If you're already in a quiet area, a weekend or longer in the nearest metropolis might be an ideal and affordable getaway. Don't make the mistake of
4. Become a Housesitter
House or pet sitting is one of the best-kept secrets for budget travel. This is a situation where you stay at someone's home and care for pets or take on other household duties. In some cases, all you have to do is water a few plants and take the mail in. If you're creative and persistent, you may be able to arrange weeks or even months of housesits in a certain area.
You still have to pay to get there and for food and other daily expenses, but your accommodations are usually free. It helps to be flexible about your destinations. The more popular destinations, such as capital cities, are quite competitive. If you're willing to try more remote areas, you have a better chance. As you gain experience, you can accumulate reviews for your services which makes it easier to obtain sits in the future.
5. Practice Cheap But Tasty Dining Tips
Food is one of the pleasures of travel, whether you're visiting a nearby city or a distant country. It can also be a major expense if you're constantly dining out. There are some ways to save money on food and actually enhance your culinary experiences. Avoid overpriced restaurants. Specifically, don't dine