I’m a huge fan of traveling. I’ve said numerous times that it’s my anti-drug. A lot of people don’t have a lot of money, but they shouldn’t let that deter them from traveling. Below are tips that can help you if you’re traveling on a budget.
Drive Your Own Car
Depending on where you’re going, driving your own car can save you a lot of money. Make sure that your vehicle is in good condition. Get an oil change if you haven’t done so recently. Also, check your tires. Once you do that, you just need to gas up and hit the road.
Take the Bus
The next budget tip that I have is that you can take the bus to your next destination. A lot of cities have both Greyhound and Megabus. You’re bound to find a good deal. Research your destination on both sites. The sooner that you purchase your bus ticket, the cheaper it will be.
If you fly late at night or early in the morning, you will likely find a good deal. Some people don’t like to fly during those hours. If you decide to do that, you could save some good money. There are many places that you can go to check for red-eye flights. Expedia is a good site to start at. You can also do a quick search on Google Flights.
Stay With Someone
Instead of spending money on a hotel or condo, stay with family or friends if it’s possible. I’ve done this on several occasions. Not only did I save money, but I had someone to kick it with for a few days. You may not be able to do this on every trip, but if you can do it every once in a while, you will be good.
Some people use discount airlines. Some discount airlines are Jet Blue, Frontier, and Spirit. I have flown all three of them before. I’d do it again as well. When choosing a discount airline, please do your research. Check to see if they charge for carry-on bags, seating assignments, or other things like that. That will save you money and embarrassment at the airport. I’ve seen people come to the airport and try to purchase their bags at the ticket counter. They were shocked to find out how expensive they were in person.
I’ve never done this and probably never will, but some people save money traveling by couch surfing. Couch surfing is where strangers let you sleep on their couch or air mattress for free. If you’re the adventurous type, this might be for you. I’m all about trying new things, but this isn’t one that I’d do.
Airbnb or VRBO
These two companies allow you to book someone’s property (Apt., Studio, Beach house, etc.) for a certain amount of days. I’ve used both services before. A few years ago, I booked a studio using VRBO in South Beach for $300 less than the cheapest available hotel room. That was a hell of a deal. In many cases, their prices are usually lower than hotels.
Check out VRBO here to get discounts for travel.
Ask For Discounts
If you plan on staying in a hotel ask if they have a discount. It’s not guaranteed that they will, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. It’s always worth a shot. They will either say yes or no.
Avoid Traveling Holiday Weekends
If you’re traveling on a tight budget, I would suggest that you avoid traveling during the holiday weekends. Prices for hotels, flights, and buses are usually higher. If you still decide to travel on a holiday weekend make sure that you have things booked at least 2-3 months in advance.
Save the 5 Star Meals
If you’re on a budget while traveling save the 5-star meals for your next trip. You can still find places to eat that are affordable. Make sure you research before you get to your destination.
Stay on the Outskirts of the City
Depending on where you’re going you may be able to save a lot of money by staying on the outskirts of the city. If you choose to do that, make sure that you have transportation because taxis could be an arm and a leg. Using Uber can save you some money if you don’t want to use a taxi.
Click this link to get $5 off your first ride with Uber.
I am a huge fan of Priceline. I love their site. They have the Name Your Own price feature that can be used for hotels and rental cars.
Travel with a Group
My final tip is to travel with a group of people. I put this tip last for a reason. Traveling with a group of people can save you a ton of money, but it’s not always the easiest. People have different attitudes and reasons for going on trips sometimes. For the most part, I’ve had great group trips. There was one time when going out of town with a large group of people didn’t work. After one night I ended up having to get another room at a different hotel. Some of the people stayed in the 1st room while others including myself left that environment. If you are going on a trip with a group of people, make sure that you really know who you’re traveling with.
To summarize, the tips for traveling on a tight budget are driving your own vehicle, taking the bus, taking a red-eye flight, staying with someone, using discount airlines, use couch surfing, trying out Airbnb or VRBO asking for discounts, avoiding travel during holiday weekends, save the 5-star meals, stay on the outskirts, use Priceline, and travel with a group.
What are some other tips to use if you are traveling on a tight budget?
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