There’s a myth that traveling is for the rich, privileged and connected.
While it may seem that way from the outside, you can see the world on a dime when you’re in the know. Travel only becomes an expensive habit when you want it to, but for the most part, it can be very affordable.
Here are a few proven tips so you can save big money on travel and create memories that’ll last a lifetime.
One of the best ways to save money on travel is to go on a trip when everyone else isn’t!
It’s actually a no brainer, but the best times to travel are during low season and when the kids are in school. Do your homework on the place you’re planning to visit and take note of its seasons. Some sites even have two low seasons, so planning is everything.
The “kids are in school” part works excellent if you don’t have any, but it can get tricky when you do and need to bring them. You can always plan around it though if you’re creative and flexible enough.
When searching online for the best deals, use the private browsing option on your browser and a VPN if you have one. The incognito mode on your browser won’t save your history and cookies so vendors can’t track you.
Companies can raise prices if they know what your plans are and when you plan on leaving. Companies following you around the web is creepy and annoying. Always make yourself invisible when planning your itinerary. Don’t eat cookies. Delete them.
There’s a Perfect Time to Book Airline Tickets
Statistics don’t lie, and this is not an urban legend! Booking your flight on the weekend can save you as much as 19% on airfare as compared to weekday reservations except Tuesday. Why Tuesday? According to the Telegraph, most airlines announce discount fares on Monday.
Competing airlines will then try to match by lowering their prices on Tuesday, and you can nab a fare at a discount. Never book on a Friday, because ticket prices are 13% higher.
Choosing Where to Stay
Solo travelers have plenty of cheap and free accommodation options. Hostels and inns can give you a roof over your head for your stay without burning a hole in your budget. Then there’s Couchsurfing, which is always free and a great way to meet locals.
Be careful when Couchsurfing though, and choose your host wisely. Check profiles for red flags, do a people search online and don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you’re traveling as a family or group, there’s always Airbnb and other hotel options.
Use site aggregators such as Booking.com or Kayak for price comparisons on all the hotels and apartments in your destination. You can either book through these sites or directly to the hotel. Hotels encourage guests to book direct and will often offer a lower price than online booking sites.
Don’t Bring the Kitchen Sink
Many people fall into the mistake of packing everything like a good boy scout. You don’t need to lug around half your house when traveling. Embrace minimalism and pack light. Choose a place that has a laundry room so you can wash your clothes.
Avoid check-in luggage and try to fit the essentials in a carry-on you can stow on the plane’s compartment. You’ll save big on extra luggage costs and won’t have to worry about the airline losing your stuff. You’re also going to be able to get out of the airport faster.
Free is Always Good
When traveling on a budget, free is always useful and welcome, so take advantage of it! Choose an accommodation that offers free meals or free airport transfers. Museums have days when admission is free, and some don’t even charge at all. Old churches are always free or charge a small fee to help with maintenance.
Time to Go
When the travel bug bites you, there’s nothing you can do to scratch that wanderlust itch! But traveling doesn’t have to be expensive. With the right approach, you can be on your way to the destination of your dreams with just a backpack and a smile. Follow these tips and save big on your next trip!