Tip # 1: How to Travel Cheaply
When you consider the concept of cheap travel, it often creates nightmares for unreliable travel packages and cowboy hotels. For the cautious, nightmares can indeed become a reality, but for the wiser traveler, it doesn't really have to be that way.
The truth is, with a little advance planning, you will find that there may indeed be less in the world of cheap travel and a couple of extra pockets in your pocket may mean an additional week or two of traveling.
The # 1 rule for cheap travel is to do homework and plan ahead. Transport and accommodation costs are likely to be the biggest expense for the traveler, and this is where the biggest savings can be made. Booking special fares with budget airlines can save you tremendously and be sure to check which days are the cheapest around your travel time – airlines can adjust prices due to demand and those who want to be flexible with their schedule will reap the rewards.
Prices for accommodations can also vary tremendously, and your first consideration should always be who you buy from. Hostelbookers have the best options after a cheap trip and do not charge any booking fees. Using the service also means that you can quickly compare hostel prices. Remember that hostels and hotels can change advertised prices at any time, so be a smart shopper and check in early, especially for seasonal accommodations. Conversely, prices may fall at the last minute, but keep in mind that such price reductions usually only occur during the off-season. The rule of thumb here is to grab a good price if you can see it.
Budgeting doesn't end the challenge at home, and if you're on a strange soil, you may soon be aware of local secrets when you ask – secrets that can have real monetary value. Don't be afraid to pick other travelers' brains and you'll soon find the best places to eat and drink – at a price your credit card will thank you for!
Cheap travel does not have to be an obstacle to your journey, rather your advantage. The opportunities that budgeting brings are fun and who knows, be lazy and you can just leave half the fun!
Tip 2: How to travel cheap (2)
How many times have you wanted to get away from it all and visit a new one but couldn't afford it? Why pay for your vacations now and pay later?
You shouldn't! Over the course of a year, many families spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on unnecessary small "needs" instead of spending that money wisely later.
Let's pretend you get a bottle of soda and candy sticks every 2 days at the department store – just a few of the many impulse buys we're all tempted to make. For the candy bar, 55 cents and for soda 99 cents comes at $ 1.54. Multiply that by about 182 days and you could have saved $ 280.28. Now $ 228 doesn't pay for the holidays, but it's a start.
Having a good vacation doesn't mean you have to be cheap. No, you don't have to camp in your backyard or go to the local supermarket. There are many cost effective ways to travel and tips to help you along the way.
Do not fly unless you are getting real cheap fares or traveling out of the country. Traveling by train or bus can be cheap, but it depends on where you travel.
However, driving to your destination may not be the cheapest way to get there. Think of the impulse purchases you make along the way … snacks, drinks, souvenirs, tourist attractions, etc. and getting gas there can cost you more than a train or bus ticket. Make plans a few months early to consider whether you want to spend a lot of time doing your destination or if you just want to have fun.
1) Do not travel during the holidays or mid-summer. Prices in most major cities are always more urgent for hotel rooms, restaurants and tourist attractions. Instead, travel in the fall when school starts again, or at the beginning of winter when prices are back to normal, if not cheaper than normal.
2) Take your meals and drinks with you. Pack a large cooler with sandwiches, fruits, drinks, vegetable sticks and the like. Also bring several types of food that will not go bad if you do not eat them within the first few days. It is always good to eat snacks with crackers, biscuits, dried fruits, track mixes and nuts.
3) Check out the local online newspaper of the place you are visiting for the special money saving coupons, discounts and any special offers you may find and take advantage of them.
4) Bring lots of extra clothes. You don't want to have to buy new clothes, simply because you have nothing else to wear.
5) When traveling with young children, bring a small bag packed with travel toys, activity pads, little stuffed animals, crayons and a coloring book. Even if you want kids to look around instead of playing in the back seat, it is much better to have them "just in case".
6) Record all expenses incurred during this trip and make sure to save these receipts. If you keep track of how much you spend on this vacation, it's easier to estimate how much you need for your next vacation and keep your family motivated to buy these little, unnecessary purchases throughout the year.
Tip # 3 for cheap family vacations
Bringing your entire family on vacation can really empty your wallet, and if you are worried about money, it will be part of your journey. One of the keys to saving travel money is to have everything planned before you leave the house. There are many things you can do to make sure you don't break the bank and wonder, "Where did all this go?"
Try to choose a destination you can drive to. Car travel is still one of the cheapest ways to carry all your luggage with you, access it at any time, and make your own schedule. As you drive, you can stop wherever you like and see things you would have forgotten if you were flying ten thousand feet away. You can get your snacks and drinks cooler in your car and you don't have to worry about the food being coarse. Mom and dad can take turns to rest and kids to play games without disturbing anyone but the family.
When selecting a destination, try to avoid tourist traps. Hiking tours and natural wonders are the best, as watching them usually does not cost anything. Things like Disney World are fun, but not when you're looking for a cheap trip. Amusement parks and the like spend money out of your wallet like a sieve. Look for state parks, especially when going to the beach. National Parks have the best deals and the lowest entrance prices. If you go to an amusement park, bring your lunch.
Food in an amusement park is usually twice as expensive in the real world. Most parks allow you to have a picnic, and there are also areas. Even if you have to drive down the park to the local fast food restaurant, you can save a lot of money and still return to the park afterwards.
You may consider camping as an alternative to getting a hotel room. Camping is always cheaper than a hotel and the campgrounds have many activities and attractions for their patrons, including swimming, fishing, hiking and even bicycle rental. Next to major attractions are usually campgrounds and reservations are recommended.
Family vacations don't have to break the bank, and if you give your kids a budget before they leave, they are well on their way to spending money and are likely to spend a lot less than if you just got off the hook. Carefully planning your trip will save you a lot of money in the long run.