When you travel, you have the opportunity to create amazing memories that will last a lifetime. Research shows that investing money in experiences (instead of things) like travel is one of the secrets to happiness. On top of that, travel allows you to meet new people, try new foods, and experience other cultures. All these benefits aside, travel isn’t free—and you may find yourself missing out due to money worries. Luckily, there are ways that you can see the world without breaking the bank. It simply takes a bit of advanced planning and added effort to score more affordable deals. Find out how it’s done below.
Schedule Your Travel Days Strategically
If you’re planning on airplane travel, schedule your trip carefully. If possible, shop on Tuesday, which is considered the best time to book a U.S. flight. Try to buy three months to 30 days before your intended departure date. If you wait until the last minute, airfare rates will usually go higher. Finally, never settle on the first airline ticket you find. Shop around at different providers and using various search engines. You can also sign up for email alerts to sites like Airfare Watchdog. You will get the latest specials delivered right to your inbox, ensuring you don’t miss an opportunity.
Opt for Non-Traditional Housing
You don’t have to stay in a hotel when you travel. There are many other options available today. Airbnb is one popular option and often will give you cheaper overnight stays than a traditional hotel accommodation. If you live in an area that attracts tourists and travelers, you can also look into housing swap programs. Through websites like LoveHomeSwap, you can enter arrangements with other homeowners in which they stay in your home while you stay in their home—saving everyone money!
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Sign Up for Points Rewards Systems
You probably have a credit card you use regularly for buying everything from gasoline to groceries. Make it work for you. You can sign up for cards that award you travel points with every transaction. Some of these also give you other advantages, such as deals at hotels and restaurants. If you tend to drive a lot and enjoy road trips, look for cards that give you cash back on gas purchases.
Use Technology to Save on Travel
Using your smartphone can help you save on your adventures. Download apps like GasBuddy, which lets you know where to find the cheapest gas, or Hotel Tonight, which provides you with last-minute hotel deals. Since you’ll be using your phone frequently, make sure your data plan is up to the task. If you’re going abroad, update your plan to include a travel package so you don’t face unexpected international service fees. A reliable unlimited plan also lets you stay in touch with friends and family without added charges.
Find Ways to Save on Activities
Getting to your destination and finding a place to stay is only half the battle. Once you’ve arrived, you’ll want to explore. Look for opportunities to experience new sights and sounds online. Platforms like Groupon give you deals on an array of activities. You can search by category depending on the type of vacation you’re planning, for instance, a relaxing couple’s holiday versus an adventure-packed family getaway.
Don’t let a shoestring budget stand in the way when it comes to your desire to see the world. With the above guidelines, you can still undertake life-altering journeys at affordable rates. The fact that you won’t be stressing out about finances while you’re on the road will make the experience all the more enjoyable. Without money matters weighing you down, you’ll be able to enjoy your trip that much more.