Travel does not have to be expensive. You can go on vacation and feel at ease and not worry about how your bills will be paid when you return. Below, i am going to give some proven tips on how to travel on a budget 🙂
- Create a Travel Savings Account : Set up a separate account specifically for travel and have a small amount of money from your pay roll transferred there every time you get paid. That way, you have your travel funds separate from your regular funds.
You can set up a digit account (an app) easily on your phone if you don’t want to set up a bank account.
- Set Up Fare Alerts : Use sites like google.com/flights to track flights to your dream locations. This is especially helpful if you’re flexible with your dates and times.When you set up a fare alert, it helps you get the best deals at the lowest price. I got an alert for a plane ticket from Houston to Atlanta for only $94 return! I am going to visit my friends in Atlanta In January.
- Stay with Friends/Family : When i travel to places where i know people, i prefer to stay with them. I save on hotel expense and eating out this way. However, i repay their kindness by taking my host a gift and also by helping around the house when i’m there.
- Take the train/Bus: Taking the bus or train to certain destinations are very much cheaper than flying. Megabus and greyhound buses are travel buses in the Houston area and i have ridden both before. Trains in certain parts of the country are cheaper as well.
- Use Your School Id Discount : If you are a student, take advantage of the student discounts that are available for travel but make sure you have your school ID with you.If you’re traveling to Europe (and many other countries), bring your student ID (expired or not). Students get major discounts on tours, museums and other tourist attractions in many countries.Also, sign up with the experts in student travel at http://statravel.com to get discounts on air tickets, hotels, train/bus rides etc (keep in mind that you have to be a student, they verify).
- Be Flexible : There are certain days that are cheaper to fly on. If you can, plan your travel on these days in order to get the best travel deals. Flexibility is the key to scoring great deals. The chart below helps to ilustrate this.
- Sign Up with Local Deal Sites : Sign up with local deal sites such as groupon.com and livingsocial.com. These sites have great travel, hotel, local deals for up to 75% off. Last Summer, i got a Las Vegas strip hotel deal from groupon at a very cheap rate.
- Cruise : Cruising is a great way to save because when you book a cruise, your food and accommodation are already included so you don’t have to think about that separately. Sign up with Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney cruises in order to get email deals from them. Also, book cruises during off season and on the company website which will save you even more money.
- Credit Card Promotions: Many credit cards offer thousands of travel miles when you sign-up! For example, i recently signed up for the chase sapphire preferred credit card. I signed up because they offered me 50,000 bonus points (over $600 in travel credit) if i spend $4000 in the first 3 months. I couldn’t let this deal pass me up. I used this card to pay all my bills and paid it off immediately. In 2 months, i had gotten my bonus points and in January, i will be taking a trip to Atlanta with my girls free of charge and will still have some credit left. (Keep in mind that you have to be disciplined with this card like any other credit card. Pay your balance off monthly in order to avoid paying interest).
- Follow Travel Companies on Social Media :Some airlines offer flash deals on twitter and Facebook. Search, like and follow them to benefit from their cost saving posts. An airline that does this often is JetBlue and their twitter handle is @JetBlueCheeps. Follow them to take advantage of their sales, promotions and quick flash sales.
- Rent Someone’s Home Rather than Stay in a Hotel: Rent a condo, an apartment or a home for less than the cost of a hotel. It is also beneficial when traveling with a lot of people. It allows everyone to stay in the same place and be together. Rent a places that has a kitchen so you can cook and save even more. airbnb.com and homeaway.com are sites that you can rent from. Some airbnb hosts may offer free breakfast and airport pickup and drop off.
- Pack Light : Avoid paying baggage fees. All airlines except Southwest airlines charge for checked baggage so if you can, carry only a carry-on and a personal item (handbag or backpack) which are free. Roll your clothes instead of folding them and use packing cubes to save space.
- Become a Member: Sign up for all travel reward program that are available to you.When booking a flight, hotel or rental car, make sure you use your rewards member number so that you can rack up points to use on future travel. For example, my husband has Marriott rewards points that allowed us a free night stay in one of there 4 star properties.
- Check Individual Sites: Check individual travel sites for low airfares. Low cost carriers like Southwest and Norwegian do not post their fares on group travel sites like Priceline. A friend booked a flight to London for April 2016 through Norwegian for $600 which was way less than what she found on group sites.
Do you have any other travel saving tips? Let’s hear them in the comment box.
Live Inexpensively Always,