Travel is something that I enjoy immensely, so you can imagine my dismay when the pandemic placed a halt to all my travel plans. Many people wish they could spend more time traveling, but most of the time, they don’t due to lack of finances. However, traveling doesn’t have to be pricey, and I’ve shared with you how I afford to travel; you just have to get creative with your experiences. In today’s post, I will share some tips on how you can travel on a budget if you’re limited on funds.
Take the time to plan your destinations early to allow yourself to start looking for deals as soon as possible. The longer you wait to book things like hotels, plane tickets, and tickets to attractions, the more expensive they can become. Take the time to plan, and you will be able to take advantage of early-bird pricing, special rates, and even promotional deals. For example, I recently took a trip to Palm Springs, California; it was a trip that my daughter and I had talked about for months before we took the trip; however, my airline ticket doubled in price because I waited until the last minute to book. Before you travel, however, be sure to download these travel apps as they’ll come in handy on your travels.
Whether booking train tickets for a weekend excursion or buying plane tickets for a long-winded trip, sticking to off-peak travel times can drastically cut down your costs. We’ve shared in the past why traveling during the off-peak season is generally the best time to travel. Try planning your vacation during an off-peak season to take advantage of the savings and smaller crowds, but remember, peak times vary depending on your destination, so do your research. Like that time when we booked a trip for Dubai during their Ramadan, and why it’s the only time I’ll revisit Dubai.
Don’t Check A Bag
Now I can’t stress this tip enough, as I’m a carry-on bag traveler. We once visited Germany and Austria for two weeks with carry-ons. Check bag fees on airlines, especially budget airlines, can be horrendous. If traveling by plane, attempt to leave the big bulky suitcase at home; some airlines will charge you an extra fee when you check a bag. If you plan to visit a few different locations, you don’t want to lug cumbersome suitcases all over the place anyway, and I always say carry less than more. There will be stores where you’re traveling to if you forget something. For tips, we share how you can avoid overpacking in a previous post.
Skip The Souvenirs
Now, this is where you’re going to have to err on the side of caution. I simply pick up refrigerator magnets to highlight the places I’ve been. However, there are some things that you should get in each country, such as these gifts you should absolutely bring back from Dubai, and you can’t leave Australia without bringing back these gifts, and how about these uniquely Portuguese items you have to get in Portugal. But I have to admit, t-shirts, shot glasses, and keychains are adorable and all, but they also add unnecessary costs to your vacation. Snap pictures with your phone or bring a coaster from a bar or shell from the beach back with you. These things are free and will help to reduce the amount you spend.
Every destination has its “must visit” attractions and activities, but often they come with a hefty price tag, especially if you’re visiting these eight popular countries that everyone should see. Currency exchanges can make a difference, especially for those countries in Europe. Whenever I travel with Madison, we pick one or two must-visit spots and then spend the rest of our vacation participating in free alternatives. Before leaving for your vacation, research local museums, parks, and free activities at your destination to allow yourself some time to plan. There are so many free activities in each country such as these free activities you have to do in Paris or even these 20 free things to do in London.
Avoid Eating Out
While eating out at a beautiful beachside establishment is fantastic, it can quickly add to the costs of your vacation. We recently visited Jacksonville, Florida, and I highlighted these 12 family-friendly restaurants in Jacksonville; and while they were all fantastic, they can take a chunk out of your vacation fund. Instead, visit a local grocery store and stock up on groceries. This will allow you to snack or even pack a picnic lunch instead of dining out for every meal. Not only will doing this help to save you money, but it will also make it easier to find sustenance when you get hungry.
There are many ways to travel on a budget. Just makes sure to take the time to plan, go at off-peak times, pack light, skip the souvenirs, research free activities at your destination and avoid eating out as often as possible. Not only will you have a fantastic travel experience but you won’t break the bank doing it.