Travel on a budget Travel on a budget

Become an expert: traveling on a budget has never been so easy

We are in the middle of the summer and traveling is something we all enjoy. Struggling with your finances? Don’t worry! in this article we will cover everything there is to know about traveling while on a budget.

Everyone loves to travel from time to time. It doesn't matter how far, with whom or for how long: you'll always need money to do it. So, start saving some for this purpose! Here are some tips:

Cut back on your food budget

Collect your monthly grocery bills and all your food-related expenses, like your takeaway morning coffee. Add all the tickets and think about reducing this cost by 10%, or another percentage that you think you’ll be able to achieve. You can buy your groceries in bulk, cut back on the times you eat out, and make the most of coupons. Put the saved money apart and start your vacation fund!

Put some stuff on sale

Surely, there are a lot of things that you've got at home and lay there for a long time without being used. It's time to declutter your wardrobe, check your bookshelves, make a garage cleaning, and pick some stuff to sell. There are many online marketplaces where you can post pictures of your articles and easily get extra money for your future holidays! 

Work as a freelancer

Working extra hours is an effort, but it's worth it when thinking about the results. You can work freelance for a couple of hours a day. There are many options in the market, so you can upload your CV on many platforms to offer your services, like Upwork.com, Freelancer.com, and Fiverr. Each penny you'll win with these jobs should go directly to your piggy bank!

Weekends jobs

Everyone wants to rest on weekends, and surely you too. But if you want to build a vacation fund, you may have to sacrifice some free hours in order to make some money. You can go for babysitting or elderly caring for a couple of hours. Another option is to take a side job in a restaurant, mall, or entertainment facility that always needs extra people on weekends. 

Make extra money driving

There are many online platforms where you can offer your services just by driving your car, and even your moped or bicycle. You can deliver food from restaurants, groceries from supermarkets, or do personal errands to people who can't do them for many reasons, like picking something from the dry-cleaner. You can set your hourly fee, and sometimes you may even get a good tip! 

Start making a vacation plan

Your holiday's budget can vary a lot if you travel alone or with a group, and if you do it by car or you buy some plane or train tickets. Check on your credit cards benefits like travel miles and offers, and use them to book your transportation at the best time. When looking for a place to stay, consider Airbnb or Bed & Breakfast, which are cheaper options than hotels. If it's possible, try to plan your holiday during the shoulder season to get even better quotes.

Save on weekend trips

The great thing about making weekend plans during summer is that you can change the scenery every week and organize different kinds of activities with your family or friends.

Despite the fact that hotels or flights' rates usually are a bit more expensive during weekends, you can find alternative plans to enjoy your weekend and save money simultaneously.

Here are some ideas for a budget-friendly weekend trip:

•    Last-minute reservations: Unlike what you may think, waiting until the last minute usually means scoring more competitive prices on flights, hotels or travel packages. Take advantage of social media, follow airlines and hotels, subscribe to newsletters, make your research to find the best offers on weekend trips.

•    Secret deals: Some websites offer secret deals on hotels for the weekend. The destination will remain unknown until you make your purchase, but you will probably get great discounts on your reservations.

•    Change booking dates: Instead of booking from Friday through Sunday, book Saturday through Monday. The rates will be lower, so consider if you can skip work on Monday and go for a less expensive weekend trip.

•    Flexibility: Some weekends are particularly expensive due to festivals or local celebrations, so you should be a bit flexible, book for another weekend and consider a more affordable option.

•    Book on a Saturday: Experts suggest that if you want to find trip deals you should definitely look for them on a Saturday. Plan your weekend trip ahead and take advantage of the lower rates.

•    Plan road trips: You can save money on weekend trips if you plan road trips! You can go to a city or state nearby, avoiding expensive flights. Road trips can be more spontaneous, you just grab the car and you are on your way to a new adventure!

Road tripping on a budget

If you are planning to take your family on a road trip this summer, there are some things that could help you make it a memorable vacation. With proper travel prep and financial planning, you’ll have only fun memories for years to come, instead of guilt for having spent more than you could.

How do you save money on a road trip? It isn’t as hard as you might think. Check out these four tips to keep your vacation within your budget.

1. Plan your trip in advance

In order to have a road trip on a budget, it’s good to have a realistic expectation of what the trip will cost and the best way to save money is to plan in advance.

One way to do this is to look at how other people have managed frugal road trips by checking out travel review websites and seeing other travelers’ tips for a destination that you’re going to. By comparing the prices of various activities ahead of time, you can figure out how to stretch your vacation dollars further—and know how much you need to save for those non-negotiable activities.

2. Check your vehicle 

Before you depart, make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape so you can travel without the worry of an unexpected breakdown. As you prepare for your road trip, take the vehicle you will be traveling into a reputable auto repair shop or dealer’s service department for preventive maintenance.

3. Save money on food

Another way to take a road trip on a budget is to pack your own food and beverages in a cooler rather than always eating out. 

If food is your thing, experiencing the local cuisine will be an important part of your travel, but there are still ways to save. Staying at hotels that offer complimentary breakfasts is a good idea, for example.

4. Download travel apps

There’s an app for everything, including those that can be used as a way to save money on road trips. Fueling up at the gas station could be a big part of your budget, so consider leveraging apps that can help locate the cheapest gas stations.

For a frugal road trip, you’ll also want to consider route-planning apps to help identify what you’re up against on the road, from construction-related slowdowns to common speeding checkpoints to accidents blocking traffic.

Several apps also provide information about amenities available at nearby exits, from restaurants to rest stops. Otherwise, you may end up wasting gas—and money—by aimlessly meandering, or you could find yourself settling for something over-budget when there is a more cost-effective option nearby.

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