Love traveling? I do. It’s nice to be able to travel and get away from your busy life and see other parts of the world. Of course, traveling isn’t cheap, but there are ways to save money on travel.
Here are some of my best tips for traveling without going broke.
Traveling Without Going Broke
1. Avoid traveling during high season
No matter what the destination, there is always a high and low season with prices that reflect it. Depending on the country, it can be based on the weather. However, other factors include holidays in your home country for example and the summertime (when children have two months off of school).
If you have vacation time, you can try traveling during low season and potentially save a good amount of money. If you’re taking the risk in traveling to a country during hurricane season, you may want to purchase insurance that will allow you to cancel your trip if the weather will be dangerous and poses a risk.
2. Research to get the best bang for your buck
Researching before planning a trip is very important. You can check reviews for everything from airlines, resorts, cruises, hotels, restaurants, excursions, sightseeing and everything in between. By researching every aspect of your trip, you can stretch your budget and make the most of your money.
Travelers all over the world will share their thoughts and experiences and help you make good choices. One of my favourite sites for this is Trip Advisor.
3. Travel with family and friends
Your travel rates can significantly decrease when traveling with others, since you will be able to split costs. Hotel costs and gas money are great examples of costs that can be split and would therefore lower your overall travel costs.
4. Purchase a group buy trip
Group buying sites are great for just about everything, and this includes traveling. You can use websites such as One Spout to monitor what the latest travel deals are.
Taking advantage of a group buy can save you hundreds of dollars, but don’t forget to check the terms & conditions carefully as well as reviews on the trip, before buying into it.
5. Stay in a hostel or motel
For many people, the thought of staying in a hostel may not sound very attractive, but most hostels and motels can be very affordable alternatives to hotels. Remember that if you have any concern about places to stay, check out reviews from other travelers and view detailed photos and comments.
6. Visit an all inclusive resort or cruise
All inclusive resort trips are a great idea for the family, or even for a couple. Many of these packages include airfare, resort hotel stay, all you can eat food & drink, as well as many activities that the resort will offer during your stay.
You also have a choice of excursions that you may participate in for an additional fee. Cruise packages are the same, but the alcoholic beverages are usually an additional cost. Taking an all inclusive vacation will help you monitor your spending a lot easier.
7. Take advantage of the exchange rate
When it comes to traveling, taking advantage of the exchange rate is ideal. For example, a Canadian traveling to a Caribbean country will be able to do so at a much more affordable cost than traveling to a country in Europe.
When the exchange rate is good, your money can get you a lot more in terms of higher quality hotels, food and general shopping.
8. Visit family and friends
If you are lucky enough to have friends and family that live around the world – visiting them is a great chance to travel.
Not only are you able travel with locals, but you may be lucky enough to skip the need for staying at a hotel.
9. Avoid foreign transaction fees
When you’re traveling, it’s important to consider the method of payment that you will choose to use locally. If you plan to use your credit card, be sure to contact your bank; you should be fully aware of the fees involved with using your card out of the country.
Typically, when you plan to travel, you need to call your credit card company to advise them of travel so that your account is not frozen, so ask about fees during the call. You do not want to spend anything on your credit card prior to knowing the fees involved, because once you receive your statement and are surprised with fees – it’s too late.
Many currency exchange booths in airports exchange with no commission, so bring cash with you to exchange when you arrive in your destination country. If you plan to bring a debit card, be careful when using ATMs. Do your research beforehand so you’re not surprised with hidden fees.
10. Purchase travel insurance
Before taking off on your trip, don’t forget to purchase travel insurance. It’s really a small fee to pay, just in case anything happens to you on your trip – especially if you plan to go on an adventurous one.
Also, if you are traveling to a destination where it’s recommended to get certain vaccination shots prior to travelling, contact a doctor to get them done.
11. Pack smart
Packing for trips is very important – try not to over or under pack. If you’re under-packed, you may find that you will have to purchase essential items which will end up costing you a lot more than you had just brought them from home.
It’s also important to pack light because you don’t want to pay overage fees at the airport for bringing too much in your luggage. Be sure to check the guidelines from your airline before visiting the airport, and look into the weather at your destination, to bring appropriate outfits.
12. Don’t roam with your cellphone
Roaming charges from your cellphone provider are not worth it. If you have an unlocked cellphone, purchase a SIM card and cellphone plan in your destination country to fit your needs while travelling. If you need to contact loved ones at home, get a data plan on your phone and use social media to keep in touch.
You will save yourself from all those pesky international calling costs. If you don’t have an unlocked phone, you may be able to find somewhere to have it unlocked or you can simply purchase a cheap non-smartphone with international calling plan to use while travelling.
13. Avoid buying souvenirs
Souvenirs are great gifts, but have you ever purchased something while traveling and found that it was a pretty useless purchase? For example, a key chain that you don’t ever use, or a magnet that ends up cluttering your fridge.
Try to have fun on your vacation and take tons of photos to keep as your souvenirs. If you feel the need to pick up souvenirs, try to purchase something functional, rather than decorative.
14. Travel safely
It may be challenging to spot scams, but they’re happening all the time. Stay alert and try to travel safely and smart. Think twice about offers before accepting them. There are scam artists out there that are preying on tourists in popular tourist areas.
If deals seem too good to be true, it’s probably the case. Be sure to keep your passport, money, credit cards, debits cards and all personal belongings safe.
These were just a couple of tips to help you travel without going broke, but there are many more tips out there. Don’t forget to take advantage of the internet and look into everything about your trip prior to booking it.