Thrifty Ways to Save on Travel

Vacations are those times when the much needed rest and relaxation are in order. It is an important part of one’s life to avoid monotony and boredom. But for some, vacations become a rather stressful event especially after spending too much and feeling the pressure of having spent more than one can afford.

If you are planning a vacation, always remember that vacations need not be expensive to be fun. There are many ways to keep the expenses at a minimum while still keeping the amount of relaxation and fun intact. Here are some aspects you need to consider to have a reasonably priced vacation:

iStock 000016755927XSmall Thrifty Ways to Save on Travel

The Date of Visit

The date of the travel is important since rates for accommodations and transportation vary depending on the season. It is best to travel during off seasons when airline tickets and hotel prices are at its lowest. It is the time when travel agents compete to give a better deal to lure more customers.

Peak seasons include holidays but may depend on the place you want to visit. If you plan to visit a place where the beach is the main attraction then summertime is the peak season. But remember that off season may have its drawbacks too. Some reasons why a time is considered an off season can be because of the bad weather or some attractions are closed. It is then advisable to weigh the benefits with the cost.

The Place to Visit

 When choosing the place to visit, you may first want to consider visiting places that are closest to home. This is so to keep the amount spent on transportation at a minimum. But if your destination in mind is far and requires airline tickets, it is best to search for seat sale and compare prices of different airlines. Some websites offer discounted airline, tour and hotel bundles that can actually save some money. You can also compare which kind of transportation is better, to drive, ride the bus or airplane, if the destination in mind is accessible by more than one kind of transportation.

Compare the time spent on the road and the amount that will be spent on gas with the actual amount difference of airline tickets. The Internet is a huge doorway leading to various promos, package deals and discounts. Searching online can save you both money and time. But both for airline and hotels, it is advisable to check the online prices with the prices in the reservation or ticketing offices. You can also consider going with a group. The advantage of being with a group is that the expenses like gas and hotel rooms can be shared. Some travel agents even offer discounts if packages are purchased in bulk.

The Location of Accommodations and Attractions

In choosing the place to stay, remember that the location is just as important as its price. It does not matter much if the hotel you are staying in is unbelievably cheap. If it is far from attractions and point of interests then the amount you saved on the cheap hotel accommodation may be eaten up by transportation expenses. It will also be a waste of time to travel from one place to another. Remember to compare prices as well as locations.

Food and shopping

During vacations, always remember to eat and shop sensibly. It is understandable that as a first timer in a place, you may be attracted to try the different cuisines that the place offers. Just choose the ones that are priced reasonably and still within budget. When shopping for souvenirs, choose the ones that represent the place nicely and is a good reminder of the vacation. Resist the temptation to splurge on tacky souvenir items. Most of them end up as junk and is a waste of money.

Spending too much on vacations does not necessarily mean that the vacation is going to be a blast. It may even add to the stress of paying up the expenses once the bills come. Being thrifty and still having a fun vacation is not an impossible task. With a bit of planning you can have a ton of fun and save a lot of money.

So, do you like to travel and if so, how do you cut down on costs?

This post was written by YFS.


Comments

Thrifty Ways to Save on Travel — 23 Comments

  1. Love this! I would also add being aware of school vacation weeks to the first bullet point as well as something about food being souvenirs to the last–some of my favorite things (other than art or hand-made items) that I’ve brought home from various trips around the world have been things I’ve purchased in the local grocery stores. I like to try to re-create an “authentic” meal when I get home–it doesn’t always work out as well but it’s a fun reminder of the great trip I just went on!

  2. This post came at a good time! I made a travel post today also. I can’t stop thinking about it. I think location is very important to me. If I’m staying at a place that’s just horrible and is far away from everything, it defeats the purpose of a vacation.

  3. I agree that an expensive trip often becomes more stressful as you start realizing how much it all costs. At the same time though, you don’t want to be overly cheap and miss out on some good experiences. I think it helps to balance the more expensive vacations with some closer destinations. Instead of flying somewhere every year, pick some destinations you can drive to some years.

  4. I enjoy travelling, but have done much less now that we have three children! They tend to slow things down a little. I like choosing flights that are very indirect and hopefully less expensive than the direct route premium. When flying between Sydney and L.A. I would often go via Tokyo and spend a night there. The food is worth this alone, and the discounts were a bonus.

  5. I always research the places we want to see. That way we spend money on the things that seem to be really worth it. We also allow time to just walk around and explore parks in the area. It’s a nice break and helps keep us from getting too stressed out trying to see everything at once.

  6. My wife and I have travelled extensively (we lived in Asia for 16 years, and Africa before that). Some of the best vacations we have had have been some of the least expensive. And a few years ago we vacationed about 30 miles from our Central Texas home. That one was wonderful — no driving!!

  7. As I read this I am wondering where my wife and I can take our next trip…Then I wake up to realize we just became a 2 income family and we have a ways ahead of us and need to pay off some debt before we think of any destinations. I think as Thad said some of our best vacations have been the cheapest and closest to home. So it doesnt always have to be that trip to hawaii or somewhere exotic. Just somewhere to unwind a few days and recharge the batteries.

    • It’s even better when you pay off the debt! Don’t let the 2 income go to waste. I think you should continue to live off 1 income until you’re debt free

  8. If you are traveling around the country, use coupons, discounts and promo codes, if you can. Why pay $4 for something when you can get it for $2, just because you are on “vacation.”

    Spend the savings on something else you need or souvenirs! Don’t be embarrassed–no one will know you!

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