Everybody wants to travel more, but money is often the biggest barrier to adventure. With flights, hotels, and attractions costing a small fortune, it’s no wonder that most of us stick to one vacation each year. And when your budget is less than middle-class, you may feel as though a single getaway is a luxury you can’t afford. There is good news: There are many ways to experience new sites and sounds without maxing out your credit card. Keep reading for innovative travel tips that can help you see more of the world in 2020 and beyond.
How To Save On Travel
Use deal sites and look for cashback opportunities.
If you need to book a rental car, flight, or hotel, look to sites like Priceline. This online travel agency is known for finding and posting the best available travel prices. You can often find special prices for different destinations right on the homepage. And if you sign up for an account with Rakuten, you can usually find Priceline promo codes and cashback opportunities, which you can use together to get your travel costs down to the bottom dollar.
Choose your airline wisely.
Of course, if you are set on booking directly through a provider, you can still find a slew of good deals. If you’re flying, it pays to pay attention to the cost per mile. While Southwest is typically touted as one of America’s favorite budget airlines, you may be surprised to find that Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines tend to cost less than half of Southwest’s prices. Something else to consider is the airport that you’re flying out of. If you live within just a few hours of multiple airports (e.g., if you’re in Chicago, you can choose between O’Hare and Midway), one may be cheaper than the other for the same dates and destinations.
Or don’t fly at all.
You don’t have to fly out of the country to see new sites, and no matter where you live, there are likely many places you have not visited within an eight-hour drive. For shorter trips like this, it is almost always cheaper to get behind the wheel. Forbes notes, however, that there are expenses when you are driving that you don’t incur when flying. Gas, vehicle maintenance, and the cost of hotels if you have to stop overnight are some of these. Do the math and decide if sticking closer to home can satisfy your travel needs.
When you’re traveling, you usually have two options. These are to rent a hotel room or a private vacation rental. A private rental is usually your best bet when you’re traveling with multiple people, like friends or family. If you are staying somewhere solo, you may save on travel by opting for an affordable hotel.
You can find great prices in virtually all cities, you just have to be willing to do your homework. Today.com cites Hi San_Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf as an excellent option in this otherwise expensive city, with rates starting at about $110 per night. Looking for a New York getaway, the Roxbury Motel (which has been featured on TLC and HDTV) often has a $90 nights.
How to save money on food while traveling.
After getting there and deciding where to stay, food may be your biggest financial obstacle while you’re on the roam; however, it doesn’t have to be. Discover.com recommends eating like a local and sticking to casual cafés instead of formal eateries. If you have access to a kitchen, plan to buy food for a few meals. Also, don’t skip your hotel’s free breakfast, and do take advantage of free happy hour if it’s offered. Complimentary drinks also usually mean late afternoon snacks, which may be enough to fill you up for dinner.
Use the right credit card.
While you do not want to go into debt for your vacation, using your credit card can have some benefits. Many will help you rack up points for free nights or discounted airfare. And others won’t charge you foreign transaction fees if you happen to cross the border on your vacation.
If you don’t want to be stuck at home all summer, you may have to get creative. The above tips can help you to save on travel plans while getting the most out of your excursions. Take deals where you can find them, and be selective about how you get there, where you stay, and how you eat. Finally, don’t be afraid to use your credit card if it saves you money.