This is a guest post about travel.
If you have a tight budget, it may seem like your dream vacation is out of reach. However, even if you’re tight on money, it’s possible to go on a trip that doesn’t break the bank. It’s really all about what you choose to spend money on and what your priorities are. We could all use a vacation right now. Here are some of the biggest ways to save money when planning a trip.
Figure out What’s Your Biggest Cost
When planning a trip, it’s beneficial to create a budget of all your expenses. This way it’s easier to see where you’re spending the most money and where you could potentially cut costs to save money.
Set Travel Alerts
Many flight websites allow you to set travel alerts for destinations that inform you when flight prices have dropped. This can help you snag some really great deals.
Go in Low Season
Most travel destinations have a high season and a low season for tourism. High season is when most tourists travel to that particular destination which causes a spike in travel fare and raises accommodation and activity prices. These seasons are typically dependent on the weather. However, try visiting a destination during their low season. Depending on where you go, the weather can still be reasonable. For example the high season in Italy is the summer months, however if you visit in September and October, the weather is still very nice and the sea is warm. When you visit during low season, you’ll most likely find a drastic change in value. There will also be way less people which is a huge bonus.
Cook Your Own Meals
Most people tend to spend a large portion of their budget eating out at restaurants. Try booking an accommodation with a kitchen so you can cook many of your own meals. Airbnb usually has great options to rent apartments so you can feel like home while you’re traveling. Booking an accommodation with a kitchen to cook your own meals will end up saving you a lot of money that you can use for other things. Then you can occasionally treat yourself to a nice dinner.
It can be tempting to book a really nice hotel, however if you’re into adventure, it may be unlikely you’ll even be spending much time there. Opt for a less expensive accommodation instead so you can spend more money on your experiences. A lot of times location is more important. Choose an accommodation that’s conveniently located so you can save time and money on transportation. Tip: You can even choose to stay at a cheaper accommodation the majority of the trip and then treat yourself on the last night in a nicer place.
Instead of renting a car, consider using public transportation while traveling. Most cities and destinations have public transportation such as subways and buses and they’re reasonably priced. This will also give you the incentive to walk more, which is good for you to get a bit of exercise and you’ll also have more opportunities for spontaneous experiences when walking about.
Stay off the Tourist Track
In every tourist destination there is always a track that most tourists follow. This can include popular landmarks, attractions, and restaurants which will cause prices to go up for these activities. Try doing things off the beaten path. These things tend to be less expensive and also less touristy. You’ll have a unique experience and will likely save some cash.
You don’t always need to spend money on all your activities. There are plenty of things to do while you’re traveling that cost absolutely nothing. Visit a beach or have a picnic in a park. Even window shopping can be fun. These are great ways to enjoy the day and enjoy some people watching. You can also do a quick google search and see if there are any free community activities. As they say, the best things in life are free.
When money is tight, it can cause a lot of stress in your life. But just because you’re on a budget, your social life doesn’t need to suffer. There are ways to save money when planning your dream vacation. If you’re feeling stressed out because of money or have any other mental health concerns, it could be beneficial to reach out to a professional for support. Visit https://www.mytherapist.com/advice/ for guidance on how to improve your mental health.
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.