These Won’t Bust Your Budget!
This is a guest post by freelance writer and aspiring businessman Michael Baker.
Are you a new biz boss? An entrepreneur on a shoestring budget? Looking for the best travel options and locations within a strict budget can be overwhelming. But here are the latest smart travel tips to get the most out of your next vacation – without wrecking your budget!
Do you remember the line: “Ya gotta squeeze every penny” from the Simpsons? Even if you don’t, it still holds value in its straight forward message of being frugal where ever you can in order to save money.
Everyday there are numerous opportunities for us to save money in our busy lives, but what about when you travel?
Have you ever wondered, “What if I booked at this time, or through this website? How much could I have saved?” Are the savings worth it compared to the amount of time you spend searching for the best deals?
Timing is Everything
The timing of your trip can determine how much over or under budget you will be. Going somewhere during peak periods means you will pay the most for your accommodation, food, transport and any activities you want to enjoy while you are there. So if you can, travel in the off season. There will be a lot less crowding in tourist hot spots, too.
A great example of this is Myrtle Beach, one of the best coastal beach locations to visit on a tight budget. Myrtle Beach is particularly good in off season periods where there is still plenty to do in the area but without the summer crowds.
Also, if you can be flexible with travel dates and allow yourself plenty of time to book, you will be able to hunt down the best deal.
Getting There Is Part of the Fun!
All across America, and the world, there are always hidden gems between major cities and holiday locations. If you have the time and can plan accordingly, a cheaper way to travel is by car. Of course, taking your own car can turn out to be expensive, so why not someone else’s?
Auto Driveaway is a great money saving option when it comes to travelling. They are a car relocation company which allows people to transport cars all across the country. They’ll give you a car, your first tank of gas and a certain amount of time and miles to get from Point A to Point B, usually between two major cities. But, there are some requirements. To use Auto Driveway, you must be at least 23 years old, hold a current driver’s license and a current motor vehicle driver’s record.
Road tripping is a great way to see parts of the country you haven’t experienced before. One of the best road trip experiences you could have is the trip along the Pacific Coast Highway. This is a trip everyone should embark on at least once during their lifetime.
Riding the Rails
Travelling by train is another great way to save a few dollars. Some rail packages include sleeping accommodations and meals. Group packages are usually available which can help keep costs down on a family vacation or group trip. Check out the railway options for getting to your next vacation spot!
Smart Travel Tips for Flying
If you want to fly, look for flights that land at regional airports. You’ll be surprised how much money you can save on ticket prices and sales taxes if your destination is near a regional airport.
Which Budget is a search engine that can help you find budget airlines and flights to regional airports. If you are planning to fly internationally, The Flight Deal, has great prices when travelling from the USA. It’s worth checking them out before you book your next trip
Get the Best Deals on Lodging
Where you choose to stay on your business trip or vacation can take a big chunk out of your travel budget. But you can easily offset this cost to being almost nothing. Here are a few ways how you can save on where you stay.
Airbnb is a great way to save a lot of money on your accommodation. You have options for single rooms or shared spaces from about $30 – $40 per night. With this service, even a large group can stay together in one house. This is one of the best ways to save a bundle on group accommodation.
Couchsurfing is another great option for not just cheap, but free accommodations. Nope, I’m not suggesting crashing with your friends or family for a few nights. Couchsurfing is an online service similar to AirBnB that helps you connect with local folks willing to share their home at your destination. The added benefit is your new friends can offer great advice on finding those hidden gems mentioned earlier, like local night spots.
Tried and True
If you like sticking to what you know then last-minute deals on Priceline or Hotwire can get you rooms over 60% off the normal price. You are able to bid for rooms, but if you decide to do this, use the website Better Bidding to see how much others have paid for similar hotels and rooms.
Eating on The Cheap
Eating the local cuisine is a great way to experience the different cultures the world has to offer. But your food budget can easily blow out too much more than you would expect. Paying for three meals a day adds up fast! So, let’s take a look at how you can keep your food expenses down.
The easiest way to keep your food budget under control is to avoid eating out for every meal. The locals don’t so why should you? Don’t be afraid to visit the local supermarket and see what the area has to offer. Eating “in” for at least one or two meals each day will keep costs down.
When You Eat Out – Avoid the Madding Crowd
This may seem obvious enough when it comes to not spending too much, but it is something people often forget. Don’t stand in line at the top tourist eateries. Instead, try walking for a few blocks in any direction to try find where the locals eat. There is a good chance the food will be twice as good for a fraction of the price.
Follow your nose! In many places around the world, like Asian regions, you will come across side streets filled will food stalls. Usually, the cooking is done right in front of you and fills the surrounding area with some of the best aromas you will ever experience. You might need to be a little adventurous to try this, but low prices make it even more enticing.
More Smart Travel Tips
One of the best ways to save on business travel is to ask for corporate discounts. It doesn’t matter the size of your company, or your travel group. Most major airlines, hotels and car rental agencies have corporate discount programs. Some offer discounts as high as 25%.
A traditional travel agent can help you get corporate discounts, and may have their own incentive programs to save you even more. If you are a frequent traveller, there are many opportunities to save a few dollars here and there through a good travel agent on each trip.
Another cost-saving method is to join frequent flyer miles programs and rewards clubs. Credit card companies usually have offers where you get points for every dollar you spend with one of their rewards partners. You will find many hotel and car rental companies participate in rewards programs.
To ensure you are able to save yourself the most money on your next trip – be flexible, allow plenty of time when booking your travel dates, and don’t be afraid to do a little homework yourself.
Have you used any of these smart travel tips? Do you have your own money-saving travel tips? Please share in the comments below!