10 Best Tips for Taking a Frugal Vacation

Taking a vacation does not always have to break the bank! Many people won’t even imagine exciting getaways because they think traveling is too unaffordable. These seasoned travelers have the best tips and tricks for fueling your economic escapism.

1. Camping (Or Glamping!)

If you’re one of those people who can truly sleep anywhere, camping is the perfect way to invest a little upfront and save fortunes on travel in the long run. All you need is a tent and a sleeping bag, which may appear to cost a lot if you’re shopping at Bass Pro Shop, but quality camping gear can be found at most thrift stores!

Privately owned campsites run relatively cheap on sites like HipCamp and Tentrr, but staying on any property managed by the Bureau of Land Management (which includes National Parks and Forests) is entirely free!

For those not so interested in roughing the great outdoors, both State Parks and platforms like Airbnb and Koa allow you to rent cozy, inexpensive cabins with all the luxuries of home (Running water for me, please!).

2. Use Credit to Your Advantage

Credit can offer travelers unbeatable flexibility in booking and paying for their trips when used and managed correctly. As a result, several loyal users recommend applying for a credit card with your most frequented hotel or airline.

Many of these cards allow you to turn your points into travel miles that can cover the cost of flights. Another frequent flyer suggests paying for pricey flights in installments. Dividing a hefty ticket into a couple of smaller payments can make the purchase less burdensome.

3. Third-Party Travel Sites

Many third-party travel companies will help you find the best deals when booking flights, hotels, and rental cars. According to many, websites like Priceline, Expedia, or Travelocity should be your first stop when planning your next vacation.

But make sure you search these sites on your incognito browser, or the prices are guaranteed to be higher when you return later to book. Others argue calling the airline directly is a better bet.

4. Visit Friends and Family

Taking a trip to visit friends or family eliminates one of the most costly travel expenses: Lodging. Whether it’s your friends in the big city or your family in the rural countryside, a change of scenery and a place to rest your head are the two defining characteristics of a vacation! Bonuses include quality time with loved ones, home-cooked meals, and your favorite local tour guide!

5. Travel in Groups

The more, the merrier! Several users recommend traveling in larger groups to offset the costs of significant expenditures like lodging and food. One woman shared that she and her family travel with several other families, usually opting to rent a larger house over staying in pricey hotels.

But, she urged, “We eat 100% at home and take turns making dinner, so each family only has to cook one time.”

6. The Staycation

What better way to end a full day than falling asleep in your own bed? Another way users claim to evade overwhelming travel costs is just sleeping at home. Many families boast that the “Staycation” method has saved them hundreds on hotels and has challenged them to uncover the hidden gems of their region.

If you live in the suburbs, a day trip to the nearest city will completely change your surroundings and provide lots of options for free experiences! Personally, I live outside of Washington, DC, so you can almost always find me in a museum!

If you’re looking to escape city living, venturing into a nearby rural community offers its own set of culturally enriching activities, such as seasonal festivals or fairs.

7. Try Independent House Sitting

Ever wished you could use Rover for your house? Then, check out TrustedHouseSitters, an AirBNB-like platform that allows people worldwide to hire you to watch their homes. Building up reviews may take time, but once you’ve been selected a few times, your options become endless.

One avid traveler suggests initially searching in less frequented areas so as not to run the risk of competing with other vacationers. She said, “We have stayed in multi-million dollar homes from the Pacific Northwest to the Southern countryside!

8. Learn the Local Transportation Systems

Our rental car nearly ruined my most recent vacation and came with more hidden costs than our wallets could keep up with. If you know you’re traveling to an urban area, learning to leverage local transportation can save you time, money, and a lot of awkward Uber rideshares.

Sure, you may have an Elvis impersonator breathing down your neck on a Las Vegas double-decker bus, but it only costs $3!

9. Make a Commitment to Not Spending

Necessity is the mother of invention, as the saying goes! Once you have arrived at your select destination, travelers suggest making a group pledge to avoid spending. Removing the temptation to splurge on expensive experiences will push you to find other exciting and unexpected activities!

One mother reflected on the ease of planning family vacations, “My kids and husband could spend days throwing rocks into various bodies of water, so that’s always an important, simple activity we make time for.”

10. Budget Airlines and Carry-ons Only

If patience is one of your virtues and you can always roll with the punches, consider flying with budget airlines like Spirit or Frontier. If your travel dates are flexible, it is not uncommon to find round-trip flights for $50 or less!

A ticket on one of these airlines comes with a free carry-on bag and personal item, meaning that packing light can save you hundreds on paying for luggage. But beware of delayed, rescheduled, or canceled flights. A lower price may come with a price!

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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.

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