Just because you have decided to travel frugally does not mean you have to compromise fun. There are many great ways to save on travel, maybe you have a card that offers miles and cash back, like Aeroplan cards. Maybe you have been saving up for a while or maybe this is a spontaneous idea. In any case, it is absolutely possible to travel frugally and fun.
The Traveler’s Guide to “Cheap Thrills”:
Cheap Tip # 1 – Plan ahead!
When traveling, it is essential to plan ahead for the best deals. While you are planning ahead, you have time to seek different possibilities and options that will suit your needs. Many plane tickets are cheaper in advance.
Cheap Tip # 2 – Wait for a bargain.
Patience is a virtue. If you have time to plan ahead, be patient as you watch prices, such as, flights, hotels, and rental cars. Those who buy spontaneously always end up paying more than those who wait it out.
Cheap Tip # 3 – Check discount sites.
Become familiar with sites that offer cheap flights, hotels, and car rentals. Many of these sites also offer packages. Sometimes these packages can save you plenty of money. Shop around and consider all options.
Cheap Tip # 4 – Be flexible.
Be sure to be flexible with dates and times. Peak days, like weekend days, often cost more. Peak times, such as early afternoon flights, often cost more, too. If you can be flexible with the days and times you travel, this flexibility will help you save.
Cheap Tip # 5 – Over-estimate travel expenses.
In any instance, it is always best to over-estimate your expenses. By over-estimating, this helps give you some room to be prepared for unexpected costs.
Cheap Tip # 6 – Drive!
If it is possible, drive. When traveling, driving is usually the cheapest option. Whether by train or car, you can usually save by traveling this way. Of course, there are exceptions. Traveling cross-country in a Hummer would be more expensive than a plane ticket. Use your best judgment.
Cheap Tip # 7 – Shop ahead.
If there is any shopping you can do ahead, like grocery shopping, do so! Buying food for snacks and light meals can make a big difference. Some travelers like to plan only eating out once every day or every two days. Food can be a BIG expense and it doesn’t have to be.
Cheap Tip # 8 – Avoid unnecessary spending.
Be aware of all of your expenses. When at a restaurant, order water. By saving a little bit each time you dine out, you save quite a bit over the span of the trip. Acting frugally, such as only drinking water, saves more money to buy souvenirs and have fun.
Cheap Tip # 9 – Bring friends.
Hiking, boating, fishing and other travel packages often offer a discount price for groups. If possible, when planning something fun, like zip-lining through the jungle, inquire about group discounts. Not only will you save your travel money but you will also have more fun creating memories with others.
Cheap Tip # 10 – ENJOY IT!
Do not forfeit something fun because you’re being too cheap. Just because you’re traveling cheaply does not mean you have to be a penny-pincher. Watch where your money goes, keep control over your expenses, and have fun!
Janine Davis is a freelance writer and mother of two who loves traveling, cooking and romantic getaways with her husband