Face it…we all like to save money whenever possible. Another accepted fact is that traveling can be expensive. However, it doesn’t have to be so expensive. The following 15 tips will help you save money while traveling and your wallet will be extremely thankful too.
Save Money While Traveling by Seeking Out Free Activities
A little research beforehand can go a long way in terms of saving money while traveling. Most hot travel spots often offer an abundance of free activities. Make sure to check out local community calendars to see what’s happening in town while you are there. You can also do self-guided walking tours to help familiarize yourself with the local area. Many museums often have a ‘pay what you can’ day once a week and sometimes have discounted admission after a certain time of day.
Book a Room with a Refrigerator & Microwave or a Kitchen Area
Some people may not like to cook while on vacation. However, making breakfast in your room can help you ave a lot of money while traveling. Preparing your own breakfast (and maybe even lunch) can save you a king’s ransom and allow you to splurge on a fancy dinner. Furthermore, a microwave and fridge are extremely helpful when it comes to leftovers!
Check Out Farmer’s Markets and Local Stores
Many farmer’s markets tend to lower their prices towards the end of the day. Also, shopping at local stores provides a way to experience local cuisine without the hefty price of a restaurant. That being said, load up on the ingredients for a local meal and prepare it yourself wherever you’re staying!
Before You Book, Be Aware of the Location of Where You’re Staying
Transportation costs can add up very quickly. That being said, you may want to stay in a central location. The ideal location is one where you can walk everywhere. Will you be near a subway or bus stop if you’re staying in a city?
Carry Snacks & Water During Outings to Save Money While Traveling
Kids will undoubtedly need snacks while you’re exploring and it simply doesn’t make sense to spend money on basic snacks. Toss a few granola bars in your bag and dish them out when your kids need fuel. Don’t even get me started on how absurd it is to spend money on bottled water when you can get a full case for the same price. That being said, carry your own water. However, don’t be afraid to splurge when it comes to treats that you can only find in the location that you are visiting.
Save Money While Traveling and Use Points or Miles
Many chain hotels, like Hilton and Marriott, have a rewards system that gives you points for staying there. These are a great way to save money while traveling by using said points to book a free overnight stays. When traveling, try to stay at the same hotels and fly the same airlines to accumulate more usable points.
Save Money While Traveling and Seek Out City Tourism Cards
Depending on the card, you can:
- Gain free admission to top tourist attractions
- Benefit from discounts at restaurants and shops
- Skip the line at busy attractions
- Use public transit for free
- Pick up free guide books
Depending on your itinerary, a local tourism card might be worth the money.
Save Money While Traveling and Don’t the Best Available Room
How much time are you actually going to use the room? Will you just be sleeping there? Do you need a room with a view or so much extra space? Will you use the on-site amenities, such as a pool or a fitness room?
Be Flexible When Flying to Save Money While Traveling
If you’re not on a tight schedule, asking yourself the following questions:
- Can you be flexible with the time of day you fly?
- Do the number of stops really matter?
- Do you care where you sit on the plane?
If possible, check the dates of your trip and see if the price of flights would go down if you tweaked the dates a bit.
Save Money While Traveling and Stay Outside the City
Location! Location! Location! That being said, you often pay for location. It is sometimes less expensive to stay away from areas with big tourist attractions. You can always to the attractions and then head back to your hotel to sleep.
Save Money While Traveling and Rent an Apartment Instead of Two Hotel Rooms
If you have three or more kids, you typically need to get adjoining hotel rooms. This can get awfully expensive. An apartment or condo is often much less expensive. Check with your travel agent to see if your destination has condos or apartments available for you to rent.
Save Money While Traveling and Go During the Off-Season
You can typically find less expensive plane tickets and hotel rooms by going during the off-season. There may even be more availability. You will not have to deal with large crowds and attractions are usually less expensive during the off-season. However, you will want to make sure that the attractions that you want to experience are open during said off-season times.
Have a BIG Lunch
Many restaurants typically offer lunch specials at less expensive prices. You can also buy extra food at lunch and save it for dinner later on.
Avoid Eating in Areas that are Close to Tourist Destinations
In most situations, walking just a few blocks away from major tourist destinations can slash prices at restaurants. Avoid eating at attractions since they typically raise prices to their captive audience.
Create a Budget & Stick to It!
Simply put, know when to save and when to splurge. It’s always nice to eat at a nice restaurant on the last night of your vacation. Look for ways to save money but also treat yourself during the trip. Having a budget is a wonderful way to keep yourself on track.