It wasn’t too long ago that traveling as a pastime was reserved for the rich and famous or the truly adventurous, largely inaccessible to the average working person with average means. This has changed in leaps and bounds in the past two decades. In the US alone, travel spending in 2018 was at a whopping $1.1 trillion — a figure that’s only predicted to keep rising as more and more people make it a point to incorporate travel into the minutiae of their lives.
As lofty as the numbers might seem, they are hardly surprising. The known benefits of travel are profoundly enriching, which makes it a real godsend in this fast-paced world. Travel costs have also become a lot more accessible, even inexpensive. That said, travel still has the potential to make a fairly huge dent in your finances if you’re not careful, which is why it’s a good idea to consider the following money-saving tips before you plan your adventure.
Travel in a Group
Despite the premium placed on solo travel as a travel trend by influencers, it’s still not as cost-effective as traveling with family or your closest friends. For instance, accommodation is inevitably one of the biggest travel expenses to consider, and popular tourist destinations can put a real strain on your travel budget as hotels close to its iconic beaches and famous sights can be quite pricey.
Luckily, this expense could be drastically reduced when you choose to share a vacation rental with your companions, giving you the flexibility to get as close to the action as you like. Of course, there’s also the fun factor to consider when traveling with your nearest and dearest. Having people on hand to take your photos at all times is a real bonus, too. Just make sure to take extra measures to avoid drama!
Travel in Low Season
Now, if you’ve ever wondered how frequent travelers are able to gallivant so extensively, it’s likely because they’re not afraid to travel during the off-season. In fact, this is probably the best budget-friendly travel hack there is as its benefits extend to far more than just your savings.
Starting with the obvious, airlines are generally scrambling to fill up seats during the off-season, making flights considerably cheaper — ditto with accommodations. Moreover, with fewer people traveling off-peak, there are, by extension, shorter lines to attractions, fewer tourists to bump into in the streets, and more availability in public transportation — essentially creating experiences that are not only easy on the bank account but also more unique to boot.
Travel Like a Local
Here’s a fact: Tourism is an industry that can sustain whole cities and towns — even countries — economically, providing jobs and income to its residents. This is all well and good for locals. But for tourists looking to experience life without breaking the bank? Not so much.
It goes without saying that there’s a premium on tourist-centric sights, activities, and services in just about any place in the world. It’s a good idea, therefore, to eschew the touristic mindset and start traveling like a local. This means walking or taking public transportation instead of tour buses or eating in local eateries instead of tourist-trap restaurants. Choosing a homestay or renting a room in a local home instead of staying in hotels is also another way to do it. If you do decide to stay in a local home and they don’t have Wi-Fi, be sure to bring along a user-friendly hotspot so you can access the internet without being hit with expensive overage charges.
Again, measures such as these — and more — really do make for more authentic experiences, and you get the most bang out of your travel buck while you’re at it.
Indeed, there are few things in life that are as enriching as travel — and fewer things that are as costly. Thankfully, with just a few well-placed tweaks to your travel plans and mindset, you can travel to both your heart’s and wallet’s content, and live to tell a marvelous tale.
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