Ways to Save Money on Travel
Traveling doesn't have to cost a fortune. In fact, you could easily book a vacation on a lot less than you imagined possible just by following a few steps. The more you plan in advance, the easier it will be to come up with a vacation plan that makes the most of each dollar.
Especially when it comes to plane tickets, being open may be the key to saving money on your next vacation. Websites like Priceline offer you a chance to look for discount tickets or last-minute offers and can be a great resource if you're willing to compromise on certain things, like the time of departure or arrival (night flights are usually cheaper because they are inconvenient). You may also want to try connecting flights (direct flights are more expensive), round-trip tickets (one-way tickets are usually more expensive) and flying from smaller airports, rather than the main, centrally located ones.
Stay Away From Hotels
Hotels are the first choice of accommodation for most travelers. Not only are they convenient, but they are less threatening, as travelers know what to expect when booking a two-, three- or four-star hotel. Because of their popularity, however, they may not be the cheapest option out there. For those on a budget, there are numerous alternatives that will not only cost less but may also open up a completely new world. Service apartments are a great option for families, since not only are they cheaper, but also have a kitchen, which will save you money on meals. For the younger crowd or those with a sense of adventure, hostels may be a solution. There are also home stays, home exchanges and even convent stays for people who want a more personal approach.
Plan Your Meals
You probably don't want to go on vacation and have to use coupons, but there's nothing wrong with taking along a few snacks, especially if you're traveling nearby and planning a few stops along the way. If you're renting a service apartment, you have the option of cooking all meals, but even if you're in a hotel, you could still put together some quick sandwiches or wraps in your room before heading out for the day (just make sure you're shopping for the ingredients at a local market and not in tourist shops). If you want to eat out, do it for lunch (dinner is more expensive) and then have a quick snack or something on the go at night.
Claire Taylor is a health, wellness and travel writer with credits in publications such as "Woman's Day," "Marie Claire," "Adirondack Life" and "Self." Taylor is also a seasoned independent traveler, as well as a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant.