Thanks to social media, you may find yourself constantly bombarded with pictures of your friends and family on fabulous vacations. What if we told you that you could afford those same fantastic trips without breaking the bank? It is possible, it's just going to take a little patience and planning on your part. Check out some of our tips for traveling on a budget.
SAVE BEFORE TRAVELING
Traveling should never cause you to go into debt. If you have to use credit cards and loans to pay for a trip, you should probably sit this one out. Create an account that is specifically for traveling and put aside money each paycheck.
You can also make cutbacks elsewhere to save for trips. Instead of getting that $5 cup of coffee every day, put that money into your vacation savings account instead. Doing this 5 days a week for a year will save you $1,300.
There are also options like canceling your landline, going without cable, swapping out the fancy gym for a local gym/home workouts, etc. that can help you save hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars a year.
If you want to start traveling more, it has to become a budget priority above other “fun” things such as going out to eat, the movies, shopping etc. Just remember what you’re aiming towards when you have to miss that night out with your friends.
You should have a specific goal in mind when it comes to traveling. Whether it's where you want to go, what you want to do, or what you want to see. The more specific a goal, the more you can plan and budget.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF REWARDS POINTS
If you’re using a credit card for everyday purchases anyway, choose one that has reward points that you can put towards travel. If you have a cashback card, put that “extra” money into your travel fund.
USE TRAVEL WEBSITES
In addition to searching the airline’s page, try sites like Airfarewatchdog, Flight Deal, and SkyScanner. Check airline prices often, as in multiple times daily. The sooner you start looking for flights, the better.
Sites like Kayak and Trivago will instantly compare hotel and airplane prices for you so you can make sure you’re getting the best deal. For great hotel deals, check out websites like Booking,com, Expedia, Hotels.com, and Agoda.
Don’t forget about hotel alternatives when it comes to lodging, Instead of a hotel, try AirBnB or VRBO. These are also a great choice if you are traveling on a budget because you can use the kitchen instead of eating out every night.
If you’re feeling extra adventurous, there’s also the hostel route.
VISIT AFFORDABLE DESTINATIONS
Choose destinations that are within your price range if you’re on a budget. You may not be able to go to the “hotspot” of the moment, but you can get just as cool of an experience elsewhere. Sometimes the greatest experiences are a little off the beaten path.