According to a study published by Forbes, the average budget traveler spends $100 per day after getting to their destination. This price can go higher depending on the meals, accommodation, and tour options you select.
Obviously, this range can tremendously go high for non-budget travelers.
This brings us down to the question of frugal travel tips. How can you see the world without breaking the bank?
You can master the art of budget-friendly vacations and spend less on transport, accommodation, sightseeing, and even meals. Looking to make you see the world without splurging your savings? Read on for some proven ways to lower your cost of vacations.
1. Take Advantage of Travel Tuesday
Travel Tuesday is the day that comes right after Cyber Monday. Think of it as Black Friday but for travel deals. It is the perfect day to seize discounted travel deals.
On Travel Tuesdays, watch out for deals from various airlines, hotels, travel agencies, and websites.
Be sure to subscribe to newsletters or follow social media pages that can provide early access to such exclusive offers.
Remember, Travel Tuesday works perfectly for less rigid travelers. Be open to different travel dates and destinations, and you will save so much money while at it.
Remember to act swiftly, as these deals are often time-sensitive.
2. Have Flexible Dates
Flexibility is essential for budget-conscious travelers. Airlines and hotels adjust their prices based on availability and demand, so a slight adjustment in your travel plans can help you save some money.
Shorter waits and fewer crowds are perks of traveling during off-peak seasons. Luckily, there are online resources, including booking apps, where you can research. Just be open to flying out whenever you find the best deals. If you have specific dates, chances are high you are looking at dates that are also in demand for many other travelers. Such dates make everything from transport, accommodation, and meals more expensive.
Have your bags ready to fly out whenever that great offer comes your way; you will save so much with this.
3. Use Budget Airlines
According to The Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the average cost of a round domestic trip in 2022 was $378. They projected that this price would shoot higher because of inflation and the increasing travel demand.
Your flying cost can vastly be reduced if you opt for more budget airlines. While they may not be as comfortable as other luxury airlines, they may help you save so much on your travel. This is especially a great way to go for domestic flights as they may not be as long as international flights.
Always go for the cheapest flights available. You can search and compare prices online, such as Skyscanner or Google Flights. Be sure to get a loyalty membership for these budget airlines so that you can enjoy their offers when they come up.
4. Consider Cheaper Accommodation Alternatives
Data from hotels.com revealed that the average night of a mid-range hotel in the US costs $141. This amount can get outrageously high, especially if you plan to spend a few nights on vacation.
You, however, can spend way less if you opt for cheaper accommodation alternatives.
Consider skipping traditional hotel rooms and going for vacation rentals, camping grounds, and hostels. These are a perfect option for solo travelers. They will help you save money and set you up to meet other budget travelers.
5. Cook Your Own Meals
Did you know that in 2022, the average traveler spent $104.30 daily on their meals while vacationing? This is for the three meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If planned well, this money can take you 4-7 days if you decide to cook your meals.
We get it; you want to relax on your vacation and forget about chores such as cooking and doing dishes. But if you want to save money and travel for as little as possible, this is the way.
Frugal travelers are aware that dining out can be expensive. That’s why they book accommodation facilities with functional kitchens to rustle up meals whenever they feel like it. Assemble your food rather than an overpriced meal in a local restaurant.
Consider visiting a regional market for fresh produce and trying quick yet simple recipes.
6. Take Advantage of Free Activities
Fun does not have to have a hefty price tag.
You can engage in fun yet cost-free activities when on vacation. Explore public beaches, parks, and gardens that offer free entry. Also, research for attraction sites that have free admission on select days. Wandering through local markets will cost you nothing, giving you a glimpse into the culture.
Better yet, stop and enjoy a performance in a public space, say a street.
7. Use City Passes
City passes give you access to attractions and activities at a discounted rate. Using them lets you explore many tourist sites without straining your budget. Luckily, you can customize some city passes to your liking.
Some city passes even offer discounted prices for public transport. Before buying any city pass, check the ‘normal’ rate and compare prices to ensure you do not get the expensive version. The passes also help travelers save time, mainly if they are used to bypass long queues.
8. Travel Insurance Comparison
Always ask for quotes from different insurance providers and compare prices. You can contact the insurance companies directly or use online comparison tools such as Policygenius and The Zebra.
Reviews and ratings online reveal more information about the company, so check them out, too.
Finding a reliable and affordable travel insurance company can go a long way in covering you in case of anything.
9. Pack Light
Traveling light means avoiding expenses that are associated with extra baggage. You don’t have to pack all your clothes and travel with them; they may cost more in extra baggage. Extra baggage is not cheap; ensure you avoid that cost.
Additionally, they make it inconvenient to move around. For instance, it becomes so difficult to use public transport if you have two huge suitcases and a backpack.
You do not need a massive suitcase for a two-week vacation. Pack light and enjoy the cost-saving advantage this comes with.
10. Join Loyalty Programs
Joining a travel loyalty program is a wise idea. First off, they are typically free and help reduce travel expenses. Imagine redeeming accrued points and getting free stays, lounge access, or a discounted ride. Every budget-conscious traveler would love that. Fortunately, so many car rental companies, hotels, and airlines have loyalty programs, and signing up is easy.
A good loyalty program has flexible redemption options. Keep this in mind when shopping for programs to join.
11. Carry Your Water and Snacks
A bottle of water at a tourist site can cost an arm and a leg. The sellers understand the desperation and demand for water in crowded tourist traps. Many tourists would buy the water at inflated prices because they lack another option.
This is why you should carry your water. It will help you keep yourself hydrated without having to spend any more money. Buy an inexpensive water bottle and fill it with water at home or from your accommodation. You can then refill your water at any free spot as long as the water is fit for consumption.
Furthermore, carrying snacks helps you cut food costs and avoid impulse buying.
12. Use a Local Sim Card
Traveling internationally? There is no better way to save on communication than getting a local SIM card. It is a practical and economical way to keep in touch with other people back home or those in your destination country.
By using a local SIM card, you avoid hefty international roaming charges and have access to local promotions.
13. Stay Outside City Centers
Staying in the city center or near tourist spots will cost much more than finding something 20 to 30 minutes outside the city proper. This is especially important to consider if the city you are visiting has an excellent public transport network.
Besides saving money for accommodation, staying outside the city guarantees you more serenity and relaxation. You could also enjoy a variety of accommodations, including hostels and holiday homes, far away from the city center. Staying outside the city centers also gives you access to affordable dining options.
14. Travel Rewards Credit Cards
Travel rewards credit cards are popular nowadays. You can use them to enhance travel experiences and save money.
A 2023 study by Nerdwallet revealed that 2 in 5 Americans have a travel credit card. On top of catering to your travel-related expenses, most reward credit cards have insurance benefits. Consider enrolling for the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, as it’s easy to use, and miles are easy to earn.
15. Off-Peak Travel
Timing is essential, especially for cost-conscious travelers. Those who choose to travel during the low season enjoy many benefits. First off, there is a massive availability of accommodations. The low demand for accommodation facilities brings their price down.
Off-peak seasons also mean that service providers such as tour guides and hotel staff will give you their undivided attention at lower costs. You could also find cheap flight or transportation tickets during the off-season.
Finally, traveling during the off-season season helps you avoid large crowds, whether it’s in the airport or an attraction site.
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