Travel broadens the mind and therefore everyone should be required to travel at least once a year. Not only do you learn about different cities, countries, or even cultures, you also learn about yourself. Moreover, when you return home, you suddenly value things you never paid attention to before. The problem with traveling though is the price tag.
Without a doubt, traveling can be pricey. However, if you know a few tricks and are not afraid to wait, bargain, network, and socialize, you could save a lot of money. It’s never too late to plan the greatest vacation of your life, even if you’re forced to travel on a shoestring.
Getting to the desired travel destination and getting around tends to be the most expensive item in the budget, unless you’re happy to travel in your home state or country. If you do want to get far away, you might have to do some research for the cheapest place to go or be patient and catch a great offer for your dream destination.
1. Track Fares On Yapta
Yapta allows you to track flight prices and receive alerts when the price drops. If you buy too soon and find that the the price dropped below what you ended up paying, Yapta will even help you get a refund for the difference, if possible.
We have previously profiled Yapta in the MakeUseOf Directory.
2. Follow Companies On Twitter
Every airline and rental car company out there has a Twitter page. If you want to get a great deal, find your target companies and follow them to catch their best offers. In case you’re still not sure where to go, you should check out these Twitter travel tips – How To Find Travel Inspiration With Various Twitter Accounts.
For more tips on how to find cheap flights or good deals, check out these articles:
- The Best Travel Deals Sites To Save Cash On Your Next Vacation
- Flying on a Dime: The 3 Best Websites To Find Cheap Flights
- 6 Useful Last-Minute Booking Sites For Your Next Trip
The second biggest dent in your travel budget will be accommodation and all the amenities this includes. My advice is to not travel alone and share a room with up to four people. If you can imagine going camping, you can save even more money. Or if you are a social traveler, you could stay at someone’s house.
3. Compare Ho(s)tel Prices
Whether you’re going to stay at a hostel or a hotel, the price differences can be huge, so you must compare. Fortunately, there are several websites out there, that will do the math for you and you will merely be spoilt for choice.
Check out these posts for the best resources to find affordable and suitable accommodation:
4. Socialize Using Travel Networks
Socializing can enrich your travels in more ways than just saving money. Meeting people, sharing some time with them, and learning their story can change your life and in the best of cases make you a better person.
To be honest, I hesitate to recommend sites like Hospitality Club or CouchSurfing because I don’t want to create a misunderstanding. To be very clear – these sites are not about finding free accommodation! Rather they are social networks for travelers who wish to help each other. This means you are supposed to pay it forward or return the favors you receive. That said, they are a great way to meet people, find a place to sleep, get good advice, or a city tour from a local, and admittedly it’s all free.
Learn more from this article: Couchsurfing Lets You Find a Place to Stay Over When Travelling.
5. Share Rides
In some parts of the world, public transport is abundant and you will get mostly everywhere on a bus or train. There are places, however, you can only see if you have a car (I’m looking at you, North America). Whether you’re planning to rent a car or grab a cab, share your ride and the costs. An added bonus is that you will be able to use the carpool lane!
Depending on where and how you’re planning to travel, there will be various ways to find people to share the ride with. One way would be to post your plans in a travel network like the ones mentioned above. You could also try your luck in the CraigsList travel discussion forum or the kijiji ride share category for the respective area. Or you could look up local ride share networks on Google. If all planning attempts fail, stay at a hostel close to where you want to go, chat up people, and you will almost certainly find a ride – although it might not be where you wanted to go originally.
Take Home Message
To have a great vacation it helps to be flexible, open-minded, and inventive! It’s quite simple to travel on a budget, but you may have to step out of your comfort zone and make some compromises. The right mindset helps tremendously. Just be courageous!
We have published many more awesome articles for travelers on MakeUseOf:
- The 10 Best Free International Travel Guide Websites
- Make Social Travel Plans With Gtrot Via Facebook
- Plan Your Next Vacation Itinerary To One Of 20 World Famous Destinations With Plnnr
- Cool Online Resources to Plan Your Next Vacation
- 10 Travel Websites that should be Bookmarked
- 6 Sites To Make Flying A Whole Lot Easier
How do you save when you travel? Please share your best tips and tricks with us!