9 Budget Travel Tips to Help You Create Memories & Save Money
I am sharing with you some of my favorite ways to save money on travel with budget travel tips. We want to make lasting memories with our children and make our dollars last. You can do both without sacrificing fun or your budget.
1. Share the trip
Tip number one is pretty obvious, and it's essentially to share the trip with someone else. Is there a girlfriend, a cousin, or a single mom you know? This is a great way to split the trip in half.
You could split gasoline if you were doing a road trip, lodging, and even food; maybe if you have a place, you all are staying where you can cook and bring food back.
2. Visit relatives
Tip number two is another obvious one; this is how I traveled a lot growing up. Most of my travel growing up was visiting people we already knew, like other relatives in different states.
You may not save on airfare or the travel cost itself, but if they let you stay with them, you can get free lodging for yourself and your children for the duration of your trip.
3. Savings stacking
This tip is to do what I love to call savings stacking, which I do all the time with all sorts of things, but especially for travel because travel is what I would consider a big purchase.
It is a system of taking one cashback or rebate, stacking it on another saving, and then stacking it again on another. So you have these series or layers of places and points where you have saved money.
Say, for instance, you have found a trip on Groupon in this scenario. So you start at Rakuten. It will give you a link that will balance you to Groupon. You will navigate to the trip that you want to purchase.
Sometimes Groupon will even offer additional discounts on their trips on top of what they're already discounting.
When you go to purchase, I want you to use a cashback credit card if you can. By doing that, you will not only have cashback on Rakuten, but you will also get a discount through Groupon because they already have a standard discount. Then on top of it, you'll get cashback for the trip from your credit card.
4. Book in advance
My next suggestion is in the same vein as what I just talked about: to purchase airfare, lodging, or event tickets in advance. You might find that you can get some incredible deals by booking early.
5. Monthly payments
Sometimes you'll even find that certain travel agencies will allow you to do things like put a deposit down and then make payments over a specific time period so that your entire trip is paid for by the time you even arrive there.
Just be sure you know what cancellation policies look like if you book trips far in advance.
6. Non-peak seasons
Another way to save, especially regarding lodging, is to book during non-peak seasons. This also can work for airfare.
If you know anything about hurricane season here in the Americas, you will know that we have a hurricane season between May and November. That also lands right in the middle of our summer. So summer travel months aren't usually that expensive.
Suppose you're willing to do the fall here in the United States, the Caribbean, Mexico, and even parts of Florida because of the threat of a hurricane. In that case, you could get a discount because they understand that this is a risky time and you might have to postpone your trip. It is a bit of a gamble.
7. Alternative travel
There are many ways to save on travel, especially long-distance travel, by doing alternative things.
My next suggestion is to think outside of the box of travel, meaning airfare. That could be a bus, or I've seen people use and get excellent discounts by taking the train. The train can take forever, but it can also be a cheap alternative if you want to take that route.
I mentioned earlier splitting the trip, especially for road trips. You could do a carpool sort of situation where you all might be able to rent a van if you have a group of families, and perhaps one of you drives, and all of that money is pooled and split.
Usually, it comes out cheaper than airfare, especially for those long-distance trips.
8. Alternative lodging and dining
So we've talked about some alternatives for the travel, but what about when you arrive? One of the ways that I like to save on lodging outside of just staying with somebody for free, which is my preferred option, is to look at things like VRBO or Airbnb.
You will find that they often give you some terrific deals, especially if you're booking in advance and during non-peak times. Generally, in these homes, you will have access to a kitchen, which saves money if you leverage that kitchen.
Just be careful to read reviews and be thorough about whose home you choose to rent.
One last thing I want to leave you with is nothing wrong with a staycation.
If you have time off, I think a staycation is anything within an hour's drive of my home. There is a lot to do in the state that I live in. If you can't afford to get away, stay local and explore your state or your city, go hiking, or go camping.
Budget travel tips
That's it for my budget travel tips. With planning and research, you can have a great vacation on a budget. What are your vacation plans? Comment below and share your ideas for traveling on a budget!