One of the primary reasons people put off traveling, no matter how great the desire, is affordability. When Bankrate conducted a survey recently, they found that of the nearly half of participants who aren’t planning to vacation this summer, 50 percent said it was because they couldn’t afford it.
But you don’t have to give up the opportunity to see the world, or simply enjoy a weekend at the beach, when there are some great ways to make it more budget-friendly with multiple options for saving money on travel, regardless of where you plan to go.
1. Discounts And Coupons
Do some research before you go to see if you can obtain coupons or special discounts online. You might be surprised at how many deals you’ll find. Check out offers from promotional sites like Living Social or Groupon. In conjunction with Expedia, Groupon Getaways provides hand picked deals on resorts and hotels that even come with a booking guarantee. GrouponLive offers expedited admission and discount entertainment tickets while pay-in-advance deals from Restaurant.com can help you save big when it comes to dining out. Or, simply googling the spot you plan to travel to + restaurant discounts can turn up all sorts of bargains.
2. Take Advantage Of A Genius App For Affordable Travel
No time or patience when it comes to searching for coupons? Try a browser add-on like Piggy. Even if you do seek out discounts and coupons too, you’ll be attacking those bargains from all sides. Whenever you hit the checkout button on a retail site, the app automatically hunts for coupons that are available and then applies them against the total. It’s not only good for stores like Overstock and Macys where you can pick up a new travel outfit, travel gear and the like, but for travel-focused sites like Expedia.
The Piggy browser extension is available for Chrome, Firefox and Safari, and it not only applies coupons on select sites when you’re checking out, but it serves as an automatic cash back shopping portal so that you’ll earn cash back on your purchases too.
3. Time It Right
If you’re planning a trip that requires a flight, airfare varies considerably depending on the season, month, day of the week and even the time you want to travel. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, generally, booking in the off-season, say the summer if you want to visit a tropical destination like the Caribbean, or late fall through mid-spring for places that tend to get the majority of visitors during the summer months.
Booking well in advance, especially for international travel, usually brings the best deals, as does avoiding flying over the weekend. While it’s not always true, most of the time traveling from a Wednesday to a Wednesday is less expensive than a Friday to Friday.
Try using Google Flights and you’ll be able to use this handy search tool to see which particular dates are the cheapest to travel. You can also sign up to track those flights and receive alerts when the price goes up or down.
4. Cook Some Of Your Own Meals By Booking A Rental With A Kitchen
Going out for all your meals can take up a good chunk of any travel budget. By booking an apartment, cottage, home or other type of rental that includes a kitchen on sites like Airbnb, VRBO, etc., you’ll be able to cook some of your own meals and potentially save quite a bit of cash.
5. Street Fare And Markets
If getting a place with a kitchen isn’t an option, or you just don’t want to cook, there are still ways to save on meals. Some of the world’s tastiest foods can be found on city streets. Dining on street cuisine, places like food trucks, curbside vendors, and the like, will not only help you to avoid spending an arm and a leg, but you’ll be able to sample all sorts of local delicacies that you probably wouldn’t be able to taste back home.