There’s no need to break the bank or max out your credit cards when you travel. Cut your costs of travel with these 9 tips to save money while you fly off for some much-needed fun and relaxation. Life is expensive. It doesn’t matter whether you are a student living on mac and cheese, a young family that just bought your first home, or you just lost your job, you owe it to yourself to take a vacation without stressing over the money. With a plan and a few fancy-dancy effective money-saving strategies, you can keep your home base afloat while you are officially taking a leave of absence from life, for an affordable recharge.
Be Savvy with Flight Times.
If you’ve ever booked a flight before you’ll know the prices go up and down just like your exes moods. Lol. And veteran flyers will tell you there are certain times of the year that are cheaper, depending on your vacation destination. And that’s even somewhat predictable depending on the month, day of the week, and hour of the day that you book and fly out. It really is enough to make your head spin.And to top that off, Airlines will frequently have a seat sale. Where a specific number of seats can be booked at half the regular cost. Unfortunately, there is a catch. You never know exactly when or if this is going to happen. So you’ve got to keep checking your airline or booking site to see if you get lucky.
In general, avoiding weekend travel is a smart move. And mid-week either way early in the morning or late night will get you a little cheaper rate. Direct flights are almost always more expensive than flights with stops.Also, make sure you are checking all your options. Looking at different airlines and using multiple sources for searching is always a wise-owl move. Here’s a little secret between you and me. Buying directly through airlines is almost always more expensive than if you use the online search engines to tap into a discount booking website. There’s Cheap Flights, Expedia, Budget Travel, Google Flights, Booking Buddy, Smart Fares, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It all depends on your tolerances, preferences, and flexibility. Be smart and give yourself plenty of time to do your online homework and you just might get lucky and snatch up a $199 flight round-trip steal to your paradise destination.
Book a Kitchenette
Food costs a heck of a lot when venturing abroad. One way to knock this down is to book accommodations that give you the tools you need to cook. Even if you are staying at a hotel, try and get a fridge and microwave in your room. This will save you oodles of money when it comes to at least some of your meals. Just be sure before you book your stay, there’s a grocery store nearby that’s not going to cost you an arm and a leg. Tip, there are a few Caribbean destinations where it’s actually cheaper to eat at your resort. Although in general, getting groceries for snacks and some meals is going to keep your costs down and your belly full.
Eat Big Early
You may not be an early bird that loves to get the worm. But if you can manage to eat more at breakfast you can save yourself a nice chunk of change. Most places offer cheaper prices at breakfast. In large part because typical breakfast foods are much quicker to prepare and cost less than lunch; in particular dinner items. Eggs, toast, and coffee, for instance, are a heck of a lot cheaper than prime rib, grilled veggies, and scalloped potatoes. So if you can fill up at breakfast, eat well at lunch, and chill on the full course dinners, you’re going to save yourself a buck or two.
Take the Local Bus
It’s often more cost-effective to take the local bus to a cab or car rental. Now often the bus isn’t going to be as convenient as hailing a cab. But if you are renting a car you’ve got to worry about parking and gassing it up. And of course, cabs can run you up if you are doing a lot of traveling. If you are doing a little bit of sightseeing around the town save yourself a pretty penny by doing as the locals and bus it.