Inexpensive travel is possible. Living a life of frugality doesn’t mean you need to eliminate or sacrifice on travel. In fact, adopting a frugal lifestyle can help you see even more of your chosen destination. Since you manage to spend less money on each trip, that means you can go on more trips, given the same amount of money allocated to traveling.
That’s definitely a big plus for those who want to see everything the world has to offer. Sure, you could stay at luxurious five-star hotels, eat at famous fine-dining restaurants and travel in style, but for the frugal traveler, it’s all about seeing more of the world, learning more about the culture and country, and getting to meet the locals.
Here are a few ways that you can make inexpensive travel more fulfilling:
Inexpensive Travel Tip: Book your Flight Early
Tickets booked way in advance are much cheaper than tickets booked several weeks ahead. There is one exception to this and that is if you have time and schedule flexibility, buy your tickets at the last minute for some unusual savings. If you’ve pretty much set your mind on your travel dates, then go ahead and buy your tickets. However, if you like to have a bit of flexibility as a form of contingency, you should try to obtain a ticket that allows for free changes in the dates; you might have to pay a little bit more, but at least you get peace of mind.
Another resource you might want to check out is
for little known bargains.
Inexpensive Travel Tip: Go during Off-Peak Seasons
This is the BIG money saver. Planning a vacation during the off-peak season can save you a ton of money: your flight ticket will be cheaper, hotels and motels will offer lower rates, guided tours might offer significant discounts and so on. Oh, and let’s not forget another great reason for going during the off-peak season: less tourists, which means you can enjoy all the great spots to yourself.
Inexpensive Travel Tip: Don’t Stay at 5-Star Hotels
Think about it: do you really need the 5-Star treatment? Sure, we all like to be pampered occasionally, but 5-Star hotel rates can really put a huge dent in your budget.
The truth is you’ll only be in your hotel room when you’re sleeping, so why not look for cheaper options?
Some great alternatives are staying in a 3-Star budget hotel, a motel, or short-term renting of an apartment. One of the most overlooked areas for frugal accommodations is timeshare rentals. These are offered by timeshare owners who cannot use their timeshare week(s) for whatever reason. Timeshares are located all over the world and can offer 30% or more in room savings. In addition, most come with a full kitchen which means more savings by allowing you to prepare a few meals in your room. As an example of a timeshare accommodation at a five star resort in Newport Beach, California, I went online and put into Google “timeshare + rental”. I was able to find one site that had 68 rentals available starting at $ 1400 per week. These units included two bedrooms, full kitchens, ocean view rooms and hundreds of other amenities. An equivalent hotel would cost around $ 2500 per week.
Inexpensive Travel Tip: Check out all the Travel Promotions
You could also base your vacation around a travel promotion, potentially saving even more money. Go through all the travel promotions that you can find and see which one fits your budget and interest. Don’t be reluctant to find travel agents who can give you a good deal; sometimes they may be able to give you a better deal as opposed to you trying to piece the whole trip together on your own.
Inexpensive Travel Tip: Try to Limit Eating Expenses
Another important place for trimming your travel expenses is in the food and beverages department. Eating three expensive sit-down meals is generally a costly proposition. Talk to the hotel desk clerk and find out where the locals eat.
Try to eat breakfast in your room and then designate one of the two meals left as the more expensive sit-down meal you will enjoy for that day. If you’re in another country, you should be savoring the local cuisine and delicacies. But the sad fact is that most restaurants that are advertised to travelers are usually of the expensive and flashy variety. They might serve good, even great food, but some raise their prices thinking they can get away with charging more to unsuspecting vacationers.
Once again, The best way around this is to ask the locals where the great but affordable eating spots are; they’ll be more than happy to point you in the direction of their favorite haunts.
You’ll be able to enjoy great food at prices that won’t splinter your budget. If you are traveling in the US, don’t leave home without your coupons. You can purchase an entertainment book for the city you are planning on visiting at entertainment.com and discounted restaurant coupons from restaurant.com.
Inexpensive Travel Tip: Avoid Miscellaneous Expenses
There are some costs which you should definitely not incur. Avoid getting your laundry done by Hotel staff; find the nearest laundry facility and get your clothes washed and dried at a mere fraction of the price. Use your mobile phone instead of the hotel’s phone for making outgoing calls. And whatever you do, avoid all the heavily marked-up goodies in the mini-bar.
Inexpensive Travel Tip: Do Your Planning
Just as planning is a key factor in living the frugal way, thinking ahead will ensure an economical and enjoyable travel experience. Consider these actions:
Have a back up plan that can give you alternative destinations and attractions in the event weather or other problems come up. If you are traveling to areas that have seasonal weather periods such as hurricane season in Florida, you may want to consider trip insurance.
Use online websites such as tripadvisor.com to not only get good suggestions on what to do (many free) but reviews from other travelers on their experiences with accommodations, restaurants, etc.
To get the most out of your time, give priority to those activities that are most important to you or those with specific time or schedule limitations. If a downtown walking tour you want to do is scheduled for 10:00 AM each day, don’t find yourself somewhere else at that time.
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