Planning trips can be expensive, especially if you travel alone or with friends who want to splurge on fancy food and drinks. There are ways to travel on a budget without feeling deprived.
Travel is always exciting, whether you’re traveling solo or around the world with friends. The problem is, even though you saved money on plane tickets, you might not have planned well enough to ensure you get the best deal.
Booking flights and hotels in advance is one of the smartest things you can do when planning your trip. This way, you won’t have to worry about missing out on cheap hotel deals, you’ll know exactly what kind of room you need, and you will avoid paying extra fees for booking online.
For this reason, you should always book as early as possible on popular travel dates like Thanksgiving weekend and the Christmas season. And if there isn’t too much demand on such holidays, you can also save by making reservations months in advance.
How to Travel On a Budget
1. Stay at an Airbnb
Airbnb is becoming more and more popular because it allows travelers to rent rooms from local hosts. These accommodations may cost less than traditional hotels, but still offer all of the perks of having your own space.
The best part? You don’t have to leave your home behind during your travels. You can pack light, use the kitchen, watch Netflix and read instead of hanging out in front of a TV that’s three blocks away.
If you’re interested in staying at places other than homes, consider Couchsurfing.com. You’ll meet people who let you stay in their spare bedrooms, which means no couch surfing fees. Even better, you’ll be contributing to these hosts’ income, so they’ll typically make sure to provide free breakfast.
2. Don’t Book Too Many Flights At Once
It’s tempting to go crazy and buy multiple airline tickets for different dates at once, which doesn’t usually work out well for anyone. Instead, pick one destination and fly to a few nearby airports.
Take advantage of “last-minute” specials. Sometimes major airlines will bundle tickets together for certain amounts of time, particularly after holiday seasons. Other times, you’ll find discounted fares when looking into several weeks of availability.
3. Know What Kind of Hotel To Get Without Paying More Than $200 Per Night
There are plenty of options for cheap lodging. Depending on where you’re going, hostels, Airbnbs, and smaller chain hotels may be the cheapest option available. However, if you’d rather spend some money on a nicer place to stay, these are the types of hotels you can afford:
4. Use Hotwire.com to Find Deals For Hotels
Hotel costs can vary widely depending on where you choose to stay, and sometimes it’s hard to know how good a deal is until you see it. That’s why we recommend using Hotwire.com to compare rates before committing.
You’ll save money if you know ahead of time that prices tend to drop in high-demand areas, such as New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Plus, you can narrow down your search to specific neighborhoods or zip codes without spending hours searching every single city.
5. Opt for Cheap Car Rental Service
Another alternative to airfare is renting a car. We love Thrifty Rent A Car. It has low mileage discounts, and its cars are clean and reliable. If you drive everywhere while traveling, it could pay for itself over time.
6. Be Creative With Things You Can Do While Traveling
A lot of travelers take cheap trips simply to go to the beach — and not necessarily because they want to relax. If that describes you, try planning something else fun in each location you visit to get more out of your trip.