8 Tips for Traveling on a Budget
I hope everyone is having a great Summer! As you already know, travel season is among us! So, as requested, here are my top tips for traveling on a budget! I’m ready to spill the tea on all things travel and share my favorite secrets to traveling without breaking the bank! Keep an eye out for my $30 off link for your next trip with Booking.com!
This may be one of the biggest things that hold people back from traveling. Airfare can be intimidating and more often than not – cost an arm and a leg BUT it doesn’t have to be that way! There are so many ways to fly on a budget, you just need to be flexible. Everyone repeat after me: BE FLEXIBLE! One of my favorite secrets to finding cheap airfare is Pomelo Travel. They are a free email subscription that delivers insanely cheap flight deals right to your inbox!
As soon as I get an email on a airfare deal I want to jump on, I’ll open an incognito tab on my web browser – you know that video of people talking about cat food and then they started seeing cat food ads all over their facebook feed? Okay same thing. Except if this cat food were airfare they would jump up the price. This $400 roundtrip flight to Greece is now classified information and you are on an undercover mission to find it. Okay I may have gotten carried away here… basically just search google flights, skyscanner, or momondo in your incognito browser, plug in the dates, and 9 times out of 10 you’ll find the deal!
2. Get Bumped
This is airfare tip number two! It is not uncommon for an airline to have an overbooked flight. How do you seat 200 + people on a airplane that has 189 seats? Well, that’s easy, you don’t. This often happens when another flight to the same location is delayed or cancelled and passengers from the cancelled flight are moved to yours. This is your golden opportunity, your time to shine! This is also where our new mantra of being flexible comes in… The airline will start to ask for volunteers to be bumped to the next flight. When this happens, remember the wise words of Shia LaBeouf – just do it! Depending on whether the flight is Domestic or International you’ll usually receive a travel voucher anywhere from $400-$1,600+ that is valid for a year after it’s issued! If your flight is bumped to the next day, airlines will often arrange a place for you to stay as well as transportation & food vouchers! On a trip John and I took with our family to the British Virgin Islands we volunteered to be bumped on our returning flight. We were put in an all-inclusive resort for the night, and all 4 of us were issued $800 travel vouchers! With those travel vouchers John and I were able to book two roundtrip flights to Italy for $2. YES, $2!
3. Where to Stay
Now that your airfare is covered, you need to know where to stay! Contrary to popular belief, renting out someones house in an area you are totally unfamiliar with is not (in my opinion) always the best option. If you are traveling abroad, I recommend booking your stay through Booking.com. While in Italy we visited Rome, Venice, Florence, and Positano. Out of the four locations we stayed, two we booked vacation rentals and the other two we booked through booking.com. Booking.com made it’s super easy to compare prices, locations, and amenities of different hotels in the area. The prices are just as comparable and were easy to work within our budget! (we spent less than $70 a night!) One of the things that helped us out the most while planning our trip to Italy was the ability to search a hotel and see a detailed description of the area showing what major landmarks it was near! Being able to stay in a hotel gave us both peace of mind and eliminated all of the chaotic experiences and miscommunications we went through with the vacation rentals! I have also partnered with Booking.com to share a special coupon with you all for $30 off the next trip! If you end up using the coupon, leave a comment down below and tell me where you’re going!
4. Pack Light
I’ll make this one short and sweet, because it’s pretty self explanatory. When traveling, make an extra effort to pack light! When John and I travel, we never pack more than a carry-on. This eliminates expensive baggage fees and (if you’re like me) the fear of someone losing your luggage! This also works out if you are traveling to multiple destinations and will make bringing your belongings along so much easier!
5. Eat Cheap
One of the best ways to save money on vacation is to set a limit to how often you are going to eat out! I know that sounds like the worst thing to have to do – especially if you are a fellow foodie, but it really isn’t that bad! Instead of eating out 3x a day, chose one meal to cook at home/hotel! It’s amazing how much you can save. One of my favorite things to do when traveling abroad is to visit the local markets! Aside from all the pretty produce to choose from, water is always something good to stock up on! In Italy 90% of the time the water was more expensive than the wine at a restaurant! Instead of paying the 4 Euro for a water at dinner, you can pick up a 42 oz water bottle for .27 Euro!
6. When to Travel
Timing is everything. There is a time to visit the Caribbean and a time not-to, right? For example hurricane season is not the time to book a Caribbean Cruise. Everywhere has a peak-season and a low-season for tourists. When you have a destination in mind, do some research and find the best times to visit! I always try to book during the shoulder-season that falls right before or right after the peak season! It’s a great way to save money since prices for flights/hotels will be significantly lower!
7. Getting Around
When traveling on a budget, taxis are not your friend. The best way to save your wallet and explore the city is to walk! We have found some of our favorite restaurants and shops just from wandering around the streets! There are some cases where walking just isn’t an option, and that’s where public transportation comes in. When in doubt, do as the locals do!
Last one! Who doesn’t want to get rewarded for traveling? There are tons of credit cards that offer all kinds of travel rewards! Don’t forget to take advantage, you can even rack up points to use on airfare! Just make sure you do your research, and find out what the best card is for you. Looking for credit cards that don’t have foreign transaction fees is another great way to save money abroad!
Well, now you know. My secrets are out! I hope you guys found this post helpful, if you end up using any of these hacks, leave a comment and let me know!