As much as we’d like to explore the world, that dream can get pretty expensive. Once you factor in the cost for hotels, food, leisure, transportation, and other expenses, you’re probably too worried about your dwindling bank account to actually enjoy the trip. However, everyone needs a little adventure, so IKO Community Management has some tips and tricks for you on traveling on a budget:
Make a call or two. Most hotels and airlines have toll-free phone numbers for handling basic questions about customer service, so before booking reservations or tickets online, call the company to see if you can strike a deal with the supervisor or manager. This is especially helpful if you’re celebrating a big occasion like a birthday, anniversary, or honeymoon. If you’re going away just for fun, tell the person that you’ve seen a less expensive deal online and ask them to match it.
Plan ahead. It can get tricky to plan a vacation in the middle of your kids’ sports season or while work is busy, but if you get the chance to set aside some time, your wallet will thank you for it. You can take advantage of early bird specials on airlines, cruises and other hot packages. Another good way to get the most for your money is to travel during off-peak times. This means avoiding the rush of holiday and summer travel, which means it’ll be less expensive and less crowded.
Dine, shop, and tour like a local. By avoiding the big-chain restaurants, hotels, malls and attractions, you’ll save yourself a little cash. Plus, acting like a local is way more fun than stumbling around as a tourist. Check out sites like AirBnB, Couchsurfing, and Hostel World for less expensive sleeping accommodations.
Pro tip: Make lunch your main meal of the day. Lunches are often 30 percent cheaper than dinner entrees no matter where you travel. Once you have a heavy lunch, keep the cost down by making a quick dinner at your hotel.
Don’t take what you don’t need. Airlines charge for extra baggage. Lugging your suitcase to the third floor of a hotel is exhausting, and you don’t wear half of those clothes on vacation anyway. Save yourself some time, money, and stress by packing the bare essentials, and take advantage of inexpensive laundry service, free toiletries, and continental breakfast.
Take shorter trips. A 10-day getaway on a tropical island or a week backpacking through Europe sounds incredible, but most of us don’t have the time or expenses to do so. Instead, take a long weekend (3 to 5 days) to travel somewhere on your list of dream destinations. You’ll save some money on all of the expenses, but you’ll still have a great experience.
Use your discounts. There an abundance of discounts on traveling, if you know where to look. If you’re a college student, a senior, or in the military, you can find discounts almost anywhere. If you belong to a membership like AAA or AARP, check the company’s partners for travel discounts, and families (or parties of 5 or larger) can get discounts on transportation and tourist activities.
Traveling is on almost everyone's bucket list, but hardly anyone finds the time or funds to do so. Make sure you get to your dream destination one day using these handy money-saving tips.
From all of us at IKO Community Management, safe travels!