While the occasional stay-cation can be a great way to get little projects around the house done or a great way to unwind, most people want to go somewhere with that precious little vacation time they get. Unfortunately, we don’t always have the funds sitting around, especially if a last-minute vacation option becomes available. So for those who want to travel but not break the bank, here are five great ways to travel on a budget.
Use Credit Card Points – Use your credit card to buy everything you can, then pay it off at the end of the month. This will allow you to amass a lot of points, quickly. Then, if you have a good travel rewards credit card, you can use those points to fly for free anywhere in the world. For many vacations, the most expensive part is the airfare, and if you can eliminate that cost simply by using a different card to buy your groceries and pay your bills, you can travel more often with less guilt.
Hostels and Airbnb are Your Friends – If you are traveling to Europe, look into hostels. If you are staying in the United States, try Airbnb. They are both great ways to put a roof over your head while you travel at a fraction of the cost of a hotel. If you like to sightsee and spend time OUTSIDE of the hotel on vacation like most people, you really don’t need a five-star hotel with gourmet room service – you simply need a modestly comfortable bed and a little privacy. So why pay for everything else?
Eat in – If you are staying in an accommodation where you can cook, then try to eat in for breakfast and make a lunch you can take with you. If you’re going to be near where you are staying, then pop in and make dinner, or pack that to go, as well. Making your own food is significantly cheaper (and healthier) than eating out every meal. And if you do it right, it will actually help you to have more time to do fun things on your trip, rather than spending 3-5 hours a day in restaurants.
Find Free Activities – Whether you are going to a big city or a small country town, there is always something to do for free. Look out for free tours, art shows, concerts, and fairs. These can be unique experiences that will last a lifetime and can help save your budget.
Be Flexible – Try to travel someplace where it is not their peak time. When planning your arrangements, be flexible on what you do. While there, be willing to change your plans if needed. The more flexible you are, the less you will get hit by larger bills to do the activities on your agenda. Opportunities will come up while you’re traveling, you just need to be willing to take them.
Travelling does not always need to be a major expense, but it will always be a memorable activity. So follow these tips and go out on a trip you’ll remember for a lifetime, but that won’t take you a lifetime to pay off.