Why: Living with less doesn’t mean you have to do away with vacations or trips, while trying to save every penny that you can. Living with less, means making room for MORE in life – such as traveling, road trips, romantic getaways on the beach, you get the drift. Below are numerous ways in which you can save a few bucks the next time you travel. By all means this list is not exhaustive – these are just a few ideas you may need reminders of or may have not thought about before.
1. Look at one-way tickets and round trip – it’s a toss up as to which one is always cheaper – keep your eye out for both.
2. Be flexible (if possible) with your travel dates – some days are cheaper to fly on than others (especially around the holidays)
3. Some websites allow you to receive email notifications (ex. www.kayak.com) when the price goes down.
4. It pays to keep checking prices – airline rates fluctuate often, so keeping your eyes open is often beneficial.
5. Bring food along – don’t get suck paying $9.00 for a dried-out sandwich and $3.00 for a bottle of water. Bring granola bars, fruit (if not traveling internationally), or put food in ziplock bags. Take an empty water bottle with you and fill it up after you go through security.
6. Connecting flights often bring the price down, if you have the time and want to save some money.
7. Airlines are starting to charge for luggage – try to fit all of your belonging in a carry on! Or share a suitcase with the person you are traveling with.
8. Before you board, ask if the exit row seats are available – you’d be surprised at how often they are and for no extra charge.
9. Consider booking flights, hotel, and car rental in one (the bundle).
1. Bring a cooler of food – such as milk and cereal, bagels and cream cheese, fruit, lunch meat, bread, etc. so that you do not have to pay for breakfast and lunch. Or consider eating a bigger lunch (save the leftovers) since lunch prices are usually much cheaper than dinner prices.
2. Check hotel prices for the next town over – bigger cities sometimes may have higher hotel rates. Check prices in towns within a 15 minute radius. You may be surprised at what you find.
3. If you are staying somewhere for a week, considering renting a home instead of a hotel. Vacation homes can often be comparable to a hotel; plus, you have the option of making your own food, which will save you money in the end. The extra space is a welcomed plus too.
4. Don’t book the first hotel you research – shop around. Hotwire.com can often offer unbeatable prices.
5. Continental breakfasts are not always “cheaper.” Don’t choose a hotel based on their breakfast – the extra cost per night might not be worth the breakfast.
1. www.priceline.com allows you to “bid” on prices, which can be a steal of a deal. Hotwire also has good prices on car rentals.
2. Don’t pay for insurance on your car rental – if you have full coverage on a vehicle you own, you may already have rental coverage – call your insurance company to double check.
3. The size of the car matters – smaller cars get better mileage, easier to drive around, and often you can fit everything you need in it. Luxury may not be the way to go when you rent a car.
General Traveling Tips:
1. Travel off the beaten path – tourist locations may not always be the place to go. Venture out into the unknown and you may be glad you did! Tourist traps are often more expensive and crowded – free yourself and explore!
2. Walk – don’t drive everywhere. The joy of vacation is being able to take your time – at least that is what it should be.
3. Travel in the off-season! Rentals/hotels are often cheaper and places are less crowded.
4. If you are in a new town, talk to the locals or even your waiter or waitress about places to see. They often have the inside scoop on good places to visit
5. Tour your hometown. Low on cash? Visit your town’s website, tourist/welcome center, or talk with friends about activities to do in town. Why is it that often tourists know more about your town than you do? Consider staying home.
6. Pick up free publications on your area or the place you are traveling to. You can also sign up for them online and they will ship information to you (picture above).
7. FREE – search the web for when there might be free museum days or free admission into national parks, in the area in you are visiting. Biking or hiking also is a great way to explore an area – nothing beats seeing the beauty of creation, for free, while exercising!
Confession of the Day: Planning trips is half of the fun for me. Searching for the best airline prices can be daunting at times, but being patient and searching often, helps. My husband and I were looking to fly to Florida a few years ago and the average ticket price was around $230/person. One day I jumped online and found tickets for $113/person – roundtrip. Needless to say, we booked those in a heartbeat. There are often great deals on car rentals as well. We have an SUV and a car that we don’t dare drive very far. We realized with the price of gas, it was actually cheaper to RENT a car than drive our own – plus we save the mileage from our own vehicle. We also enjoy going to places that may not always be the #1 vacation hot spot. One of our vacations was to Fripp Island, SC. Many have not heard of this island, but we were looking to travel to this general vacinity. After looking at hotel prices, we realized it would be cheaper to rent a condo on the ocean, than to stay in a hotel in town. We also were able to have beach access, could make our own food, sleep in comfortable beds, and have more space. We saved 100s by doing a little research. www.VRBO.com and www.homeaway.com are great websites to search for vacation homes. There are many ways to live with less and save money when it comes to traveling!
What are some of your ideas on how to save money when traveling? Do you have any travel tips?