10 Easy Tips on How to Save Money on a Trip
Traveling can be so exciting and so new, but it can also get really expensive really fast.
If you are wondering how to save money on your trip, here are my best tips to help you spend less money without sacrificing the quality of your trip. Let’s dive in!
1. Plan in advance
Book your travel accommodations early for the lowest fares and to ensure availability. Airline and train tickets tend to be the cheapest when you book between four months and three weeks before your departure date.
Create a detailed itinerary for your trip, including any tours or activities you might want to do, and find the transportation you will use. This way, you will be able to plan both your time and your expenses. Still, make sure that you keep some wiggle room in your budget and in your schedule for any unexpected changes.
Make sure you have all the necessary travel documents that you need, such as passports and visas, and that they are up to date. Usual passport processing can take 8-11 weeks and costs around $100, and if you need to expedite it, be prepared to pay an extra $60.
2. Be flexible with your travel dates
Flexibility with your travel dates can offer so many benefits, such as finding cheaper flights. During off-peak months, November to March in the US, both the tickets and hotel accommodations will be significantly cheaper. You can use the extra money you saved to get better seats or upgrade to a suite.
Another benefit is avoiding crowds at the popular tourist destinations. By visiting when most people are staying at home, you can have a more peaceful vacation.
For example, if you are going to Disney World and have the opportunity, go during the school year or at least in August when many schools are back in session.
3. Travel during the off-season
Keep in mind the off-season can vary depending on your destination. For example, October to March, which is our off-season, is the peak season in Egypt because the weather is more comfortable.
However, if you do choose off-season travel, remember that some popular attractions may have limited hours or even be closed, so look for alternatives. In addition, the weather might be a factor, so pack accordingly.
4. Use credit card travel rewards
If you use a credit card, check if it offers rewards for travel purchases, such as points or miles for every dollar spent on travel. Those can add up pretty quickly, so make sure you are fully aware of the benefits that you are eligible for.
5. Use discount airlines
Most airline fares are high because they include Wi-Fi, luggage, snacks, movies, etc., so if you are not using those you might be overpaying.
A discount airline will allow you to “a la carte” your experience, so that you are only paying for what you need. In that case, you will be able to save money by only bringing a backpack and getting your own snacks and entertainment.
Consider booking directly through the airline's website, since third-party booking sites may sometimes add additional fees.
Lastly, check for any promotions or deals that the airline is offering to maximize your savings.
6. Pack light
This might be the best way to save money on a trip. Packing light is going to help you avoid those extra carry-on and baggage fees. Before you start packing, make a list of all the essentials you need to bring. This will help you avoid overpacking, as well as ensure that you do not forget anything important in the process.
Pack thoughtfully and choose versatile clothing. Pack clothing items that can be mixed and matched to create different outfits. In addition, wear your bulkiest items, like jackets or boots, while you travel, in order to save space in your bag.
7. Consider budget accommodations
The main options are hostels and Airbnbs.
Hostels allow you to meet and get to know other travelers. If you are an adventurous person that likes socializing and you do not mind sharing bathrooms, a hostel is a tremendously economical option.
Airbnbs allow you to stay in the home of someone who lives in the area and give you a slightly more authentic experience. Plus, you can often save a lot of money by cooking your own.
Both hostels and Airbnbs are usually significantly cheaper than hotels, which allows you to stretch your travel budget further and potentially travel for even longer periods of time.
8. Use public transportation
In cities where it is readily available, public transportation can be really cost-effective and leads to a more authentic cultural experience, allowing you to interact with locals and get a feel for the city's vibe.
9. Look for free activities and attractions
Many cities and towns offer free events throughout the years, such as festivals and cultural celebrations. These events can be a great way to experience the local culture and meet new people.
Visit museums and galleries on free days. A lot of museums and galleries offer free admission on certain days of the week or the month.
Take a walking tour of the city. You will learn about the history and culture of the place, and might even discover another attraction to add to your itinerary on the way. Find free walking tours online ahead of time or call the local tourist office.
Explore nature. A lot of parks and nature reserves offer free admission and are a great way to get some fresh air and exercise during your visit. Look for hiking trails, scenic drives, and other outdoor activities in the area.
Ask residents for recommendations, whether it is your hotel receptionist, a waiter at a restaurant, or a friendly passerby. Locals may suggest some hidden gems that you would not have found otherwise.
Explore some of the neighborhoods instead of sticking to the main tourist areas. Sometimes the best experiences are the ones that are off the beaten path. Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone just a little and try something new.
10. Do your research on the destination thoroughly
Going back to what I have already mentioned, find out when the off season is, check the airline’s baggage policy, and read the reviews for your accommodations. This is what makes for the most enjoyable, safe and budget-friendly travel experience.
How to save money for a trip
I hope these tips will help you save money on your next trip and give you a pleasant and peaceful experience. How do you save money while traveling? Let me know in the comments.