Whether you are a regular traveler or just an occasional vacationer, there are ways to cut your costs, Follow these tips to save money so you can travel more:
Plan trips for the off-season. Many destinations have their heaviest demand for the summer months. National parks, Europe and Canada fall into this category. Aim for spring, fall or winter to book a vacation. Ski resorts and Caribbean cruises work well with this approach.
Look at a package. Smart travelers book airfare with a hotel or car rental added on. Airlines offer deep discounts on unbooked seats by rolling the fare into a package. Shop online for deals.
Vacation closer to home. Vacation sites you can drive to save big bucks compared with airfare. Have you heard friends talk about the wonderful things you can see and do in your own state? A tour guide book for your own city might surprise you, so latch onto your camera and get to know your own area better.
Be willing to dicker. Independent and regional chain hotels that lack the advertising power of the larger chains may tack on an extra day’s stay or be willing to give a discount to those who ask. Doesn’t hurt to make the request.
A few nights of camping out can give you more money to spend on sightseeing and other activities. Many camps offer setups for under $20 per night. Opting for less than the Ritz makes it possible to make more forays to the mountains or beaches.
Hostels are cheaper than hotels or motels. A dorm-style room may be available for $15 to $35 per night. Some offer amenities such as internet access, game and TV rooms, hot tubs and organized activities. Another option is a private home. Many families leave their homes empty as they spend vacations elsewhere and they offer their accommodations for much less than a regular hotel. Trading homes is a money-saving option. The advantage of being able to cook meals instead of eating out is another way to cut vacation expenses.
National, state and local parks, beaches and forests have miles of hiking and biking trails, beautiful landscapes and good fishing and usually are less crowded than the high-priced resorts.
Cruise ships often make good deals on cabins when people who have booked fail to show up. Check on last-minute bargains.
Take advantage of frequent flyer programs. There is no cost to join and you can start collecting miles on your first flight after joining. Over time, you’ll accumulate points for free flights, hotel stays, merchandise and other perks.