Are you able to afford to travel? It’s not a trick question, although it is often treated that way by the majority of people who view travel as something reserved for the rich and famous. There’s no big secret behind travel affordability, other than keeping affordability a priority. The real question is how will you travel within your budget? It’s possible—and I’m here to show you how you can start planning.
Choose an Affordable Destination
If you don’t have your heart fixed on a single destination yet, think of this blank canvas as the perfect space for you to start off on the right foot. By searching for flights based on your budget instead of the destination, you will be able to find several destinations that suit your parameters but are more economical than their better-known rivals.
If you are traveling on a budget, here are a few destinations that you should consider:
- Montreal, Canada
- Labadee, Haiti
- Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
- Mexico City, Mexico
- Xunantunich, Belize
Within the US:
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Denver, Colorado,
- Burlington, Vermont
- Bristol, Connecticut
Pro-tip: Find clever ways to stash away extra cash.
If you choose a more expensive destination, you might consider getting a side gig, leveraging a reverse mortgage, or selling old trinkets to beef up your budget.
Choose Your Airfare & Car Rentals Wisely
Getting where you want to go is the priciest component of travel. While there are the usual ways to score last-minute discounts—midweek browsing, being more strategic with your travel dates, and tracking flight rates consistently—they can take a great deal of time. Instead try these tips:
- To see the prices for numerous destinations and hotspots in a certain area, use the Google Flights map. This will help you narrow down where you can get to your final destination by flying in. Or, it might also sway you to visit a more budget-friendly location somewhere.
- Keep an eye on airline carriers sales. These deals also occur during holidays or off-seasons (such as during the holidays) and have profoundly discounted flights available for a fraction of the usual amount. To be updated, sign up for their email subscription.
- Shop around while you are hunting for a car rental. Some businesses, especially for first-time clients, offer coupons and discounts. You should also search to see if you have access to any rental car specials on your credit card.
Find Affordable Lodging
Accommodations are usually the second highest cost on any travel budget. So, how do you skip the insane lodging prices that eat up the whole budget?
Tips for saving money on your stay:
- Stay a few miles outside of the city
- Consider staying in a hostel or Airbnb instead of a hotel
- Find a friend or friend-of-a-friend to crash with
If discovering the local food scene is high on your list of priorities but you’re still looking to make your money go as far as possible, you will need to treat dining out like a bit of a budgeting puzzle.
Do your homework before you arrive at your destination and find out which local places are a must-visit and which ones are pretty close to what you have at home. Create a list of the restaurants you think you can’t miss out on and go from there.
Choose a fairly priced lunch eatery that will hold you full all day, where you can fuel up on a big meal. You can reward yourself to fine dining for dinner that way without going over your normal budget. Enjoy the benefits of any complimentary breakfast offered by your hotel or hostel. If that means consuming a bigger breakfast than you usually would, or taking a snack on the road with you, you can get by on two meals a day.
Traveling on a budget doesn’t have to be some far-fetched dream—it can be your reality if you plan accordingly. Using this guide, you can stay within your means while seeing everything the big wide world has to offer.