Thursday, January 24, 2013

10 Ways to Travel Cheap

If you only see dollar signs when you hear the word 'vacation' this post is for especially for you! Vacations can be expensive but if you do it right you will save money and see sandy beaches and delicious food when you hear 'vacation.' So with spring break and tax refunds coming up, it is time to start planning your next adventure!

1. Scope Out Deals: As you enjoy your morning cup of coffee check-out these deal sites. This is the only way my friends and I travel now because the deals are AWESOME!  Most of the packages that you can get from these sites come with luxurious suites, bar and spa credits, and some are all-inclusive!


2. Avoid Weekend Travel: Try to make your main travel days Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  Hotel rates are much cheaper during the week than they are on the weekend.  Plus, if you are going to Vegas or somewhere similar, during the week you have a greater chance at getting better deals on shows and spa treatments.

3. Flying Tips: The best absolute best day to book your flight is Tuesday morning around 6am. And when you are booking your flight, fly red-eye!  When you fly red-eye you can knock off up to $80 per ticket! While I love saving money because I fly at night or early morning I also LOVE that everyone is sleeping and quiet when flying at these times.

4. Pack Light: This is another flying tip, pack as light as possible because many airlines still allow you to bring on two carry-on bags like a suitcase and large purse. If you check your luggage in you are looking at $60 per bag or MORE if you go over the 50lb limit! And lets not forget how expensive it will be if the airline loses your luggage and you have to buy new clothes while on vacation...not worth it, just pack light.

5. Become a Local: Many people think that because they are on vacation they need to eat at a restaurant for all of their meals. This is not a good idea. Not only will eating out at every meal cause you to gain unwanted pounds but it is SO darn expensive!! After you are done unpacking and getting settled in go grocery shopping and buy food that you can prepare and eat on-the-go. I'm not saying you shouldn't go out to a fancy or fun restaurant the whole time you are on vacation, but you should put a limit on it.  I suggest going to local farmer's markets for fresh fruits, veggies, and fish so your prepared food tastes is also a delicacy.

6. Negotiate: Sometimes prices fluctuate and that can really throw off your budget, so negotiate.  Be polite and nice when negotiating, that is number one. Ask the hotel for local deals, promotions, and specials; it can't hurt to ask.

7. Ditch the Hotel: I personally have not tried this yet, but I am looking into it after hearing so many wonderful things about it. Instead of staying at an over-priced hotel check out these websites that have apartments, condos, and even rooms for rent. They have the same luxurious feel and can give you a better taste of the local culture than a hotel.

8. Insurance: Always check with your current insurance policies and your credit card policies because they almost-always cover car rental insurance, lost luggage insurance, etc. There is NO reason for you to pay twice on a service that you already have.

9. Travel in Groups: Try and get some friends or family to travel with you because then you can rent a house and split the cost to save money. Just because you travel together it doesn't mean you have to spend every second together.

10. Off-Season: Not every vacation destination can be traveled in the off-season but if you can you SHOULD! You can save up to 60% off on rooms, car rentals, attractions, and more if you visit during the off-season. It's definitely worth considering.

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