Traveling is something we all want to do more of. However, money often keeps us from traveling as much as we’d like. But in reality, it doesn’t have to be as much of a hurdle as most people make it out to be. With a few savvy tips and tactics, you can travel the world without sinking your finances.
Try These 6 Savvy Travel Hacks
Can traveling be expensive? Absolutely. (If you want to fly first class, dine in Michelin-rated restaurants, and stay in penthouse suites, you could spend thousands of dollars a day.) But does it have to be expensive? Certainly not.
Traveling is what you make it. And if you want/need to keep costs low, there are numerous travel hacks you can leverage to see the world for less. Here are a few carefully curated suggestions:
- Know When to Book
So much of the cost of international travel is tied up on airfare and accommodations. If you want to save significant money, you’ll have to be strategic with how and when you book your trip.
“Flights go on sale 11 months before departure, but don’t expect to catch deals more than 150 days prior to takeoff,” consumer travel expert Liana Corwin says. “Booking more than six months ahead can cost you, since airlines set their initial prices conservatively.”
It’s all about monitoring prices and getting a feel for the ebbs and flows of the market. While you have to commit to an airline ticket when you purchase, most hotels offer free cancellations. So if you find a good deal on a hotel, gobble it up. You can always make tweaks later if your plans change or you find a better price elsewhere.
- Use Coupons and Promo Codes
Travel coupons and promo codes offer excellent opportunities to save some money off the top. A 10 percent discount on a hotel stay might not seem like a lot, but when you add those savings on top of a 20 percent car rental promo code and a 15 percent discount on a local attraction, you can knock a few hundred dollars off your total trip cost. Not bad!
- Look for Free Activities
There are plenty of ways to see a city without paying for expensive outings and excursions. Get creative with your itinerary and you’ll discover plenty of free options. This may include:
- Free local walking tours
- Free museums
- Window shopping
- Local parks and gardens
There’s nothing wrong with paying for admission to an attraction you’re interested in, but including a few free activities will help to fill up your schedule without bleeding your savings.
- Use Reward Credit Cards
In the months leading up to your travels, do some research on rewards credit cards. Find a card that offers a hefty cash bonus and that offers extra points on expenses like airline miles, hotel stays, and car rentals. You might not save anything on this trip, but the points can typically be accumulated and redeemed for future travel.
- Make Your Own Meals
Food is one of the primary expenses when traveling. But you can save a significant amount of money by making the majority of your meals.
Depending on your budget, you may want to prepare one, two, or three daily meals by visiting a local supermarket and buying your ingredients.
Most people find that breakfast is a very easy meal to “eat in.” Lunch is also a practical option. You can then save your money and eat dinner out to get a feel for the local culture.
- Rent Out Your Place While You’re Gone
Consider putting your house or apartment up for rent on Airbnb while you’re out of town. You might even be able to charge enough to balance out your hotel accommodations. If nothing else, it’ll offset a significant portion of the costs.
Live Your LIfe to the Fullest
If the high cost of traveling is preventing you from seeing the world, perhaps it’s time to shift your mindset. By getting creative, planning ahead, and adopting a posture that’s willing to embrace new experiences as they come, you can visit new states, countries, and continents without sending your budget into a downward spiral. Will you give it a go?