Got some serious wanderlust but no cash to back it up? Fortunately for you, travel doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, travel can be quite cheap if you do it right. Here are 13 top tips on how you can travel on the cheap.
1. Travel Out Of Season
If you want to travel on the cheap, go in the off-season. Keep in mind that “off-season” is not the same time of year around the world. Research your destination beforehand. You can easily figure out when it’s high or low tourist season by reading some online guides.
2. Book Far In Advance…
Booking travel ahead of time is one of the best ways to save money. Six weeks out is recommended, but you can save even more when you book between 4-6 months ahead.
3. …Or At The Last Minute
Of course, not everyone can make travel plans for several months in advance. For those with more flexibility, making plans at the last minute is one of the cheapest ways to travel. Plan your trip according to flight or accommodation promotions rather than dates or destinations and you can score some seriously good travel deals.
4. Take The Bus
Travel on the cheap throughout the US and Europe with budget bus lines like Megabus or Flixbus. Trains tend to be pricey in Europe. You can usually take a bus for less than half the cost of a train if you’re willing to travel more slowly.
5. Fly Into A Different Airport
When booking your flight, check nearby airports for cheaper options. Not all airlines will fly into the same airports in every city. Be wary of distance, though. If you save on the flight but have to pay for a taxi or expensive transport into the city because the airport is further away, it’s not worth it.
6. Search For Flights Incognito
If you’re repeatedly searching for the same flight or accommodations with the same dates on Google, your cookies will be saved. That means that the prices you see on the second or third search won’t be as accurate as they’ll reflect your search history. Keep your search results honest by opening an incognito window (which doesn’t save cookies) if you search for travel multiple times.
7. Pick Off-Beat Destinations
If all you want is to travel on the cheap and you don’t care where then pick cheaper destinations. Instead of choosing somewhere well-traveled, pick a place you wouldn’t normally think of.
8. Shop And Eat Local
Shop for, cook and eat your own food to save money while traveling. Pick up groceries from local markets and if you do dine out, go with local restaurants away from touristy areas.
9. Work While Traveling
Make up your travel expenses by finding a job. Plan ahead by looking for work before you go, as an au pair, house-sitter, English teacher, hostel or farm worker, tour guide or something similar. With sites like Workaway, WWOOF and HelpX you can find opportunities to volunteer in exchange for room and board.
10. Get A Cheap Car Rental For Road Trips
Itching to hit the open road but not sure your car’s in good enough condition? Rent a car cheaply from the same sites that offer cheap flights and hotels, like Kayak, Priceline and Travelocity.
11. Always Book A Hotel With Free Breakfast
Travel on the cheap by eating free food with your accommodation. Even if the hotel is a little further away from the main attractions, one free meal per day is worth it.
12. Travel On The Cheap By Slowing Down
Instead of quickly hopping from one city to the next on a grand tour of the country or region you’re visiting, spend more time in one place. You get a chance to soak up more of the local culture and save money on transportation.
13. Travel Light
Keep your personal belongings to a minimum to save money. If you only have a carry-on backpack you can avoid luggage fees. Plus you keep all possessions with you, which can be a safety issue.
Cheap travel is possible. With these hacks, you can start your travel adventure and save money in no time.