Tired of sitting at your desk at the office and doing the same thing over and over again? Want to take a break from the seemingly never-ending rat race? Maybe you should consider taking a vacation. Or maybe you already are. But what if you’re on a budget? How can you manage to spend on a vacation when you have limited funds?
How to Travel Cheap
No matter which time of the year it is, there is always a place that’s perfect to go on a vacation. The following tips may help you take that holiday you so badly need even if you’re on limited funds.
Start planning in advance:
The importance of planning simply cannot be undermined. Of course, sometimes it’s great to go on an unplanned trip. You’ve probably seen people suddenly packing their bags and heading out on a vacation or you’ve probably read about how much fun these unplanned trips are.
But, if you’re looking to not spend much, it is always better to plan ahead. Here are a few benefits of planning early:
- You may be able to book accommodation at cheaper rates.
- You can book flights early and get discounted rates.
- Traveling during the off-season will give you much cheaper prices.
- You can even arrange for transport arrangements to and from the airport, station, etc.
- You’ll have more time to make sure you cover every aspect of your trip.
Since you have more time to cover every area of your trip, you can make sure you take everything you need on the trip as well. This can help you save money. Many people tend to forget something or the other and then end up buying it when they reach their holiday destination.
Do your research well:
Research is of paramount importance when you’re on a budget. This includes searching for the cheapest hotel rooms and flights. There are a number of websites and mobile applications that offer you great deals on flight tickets. Booking both the to and from tickets at the same time may help you get additional discounts as well. Doing research may take a bit of time. It’ll demand that you sit and look through various websites to find out deals that give you the most value for your money. These days, flights can be just as cheap as traveling by the AC coaches of trains. Still, doing a comparative analysis of the two options can help find the ideal solution for your budget.
Fly in the middle of the week:
Plan your holiday in such a way so that you start in the middle of the week. Flights are usually cheaper during the week. Weekend flights are more expensive. Most people travel on weekends. And since the demand is more, the prices also tend to be higher.
Look for flights between Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Also, see if flights late in the night or early morning are cheaper than those during the rest of the day. These should help you save money.
Look for combo offers:
Some companies may offer you the best deals if you book your flights and hotel accommodations at the same time. They may even give your car rental options.
These combo offers may help you save money when compared to booking your flights and hotel rooms separately.
Look for complimentary hotel amenities:
This is something else people tend to overlook and then end up regretting the fact that they have to pay for certain hotel amenities on top of their accommodation charges. When you’re booking hotel rooms, look for the free amenities they are offering.
If you’re someone who loves to spend time at the spa, look for a hotel that offers complimentary spa services. If you’re planning on hitting the gym while on holiday, look for a hotel with a free gym pass. This way, you won’t have to pay for indulging in such luxuries.
Call the hotel directly:
It’s great that you get the option of comparing various websites to see which one offers you the cheapest rates. But once you’ve done that, try calling the hotel for information on the prices they offer as well. Sometimes, the hotel might offer you a cheaper rate as part of a promotion, or an off-season rate. At times, you may even be upgraded to a much better accommodation type. There have been instances where many vacationers have been automatically upgraded to better rooms when they called directly – a nice surprise when you’re on a much-deserved vacation.
Read your terms and conditions thoroughly:
As with every the offer document, make sure you go through the fine print very carefully. For flights, look at cancellation charges, flight change charges, baggage, and carry-on terms, etc. Make sure you stick to the luggage weight limit specified by the airline. Exceeding this may cost you a lot of money. For hotels, look at exactly what you’re getting when you book your accommodation. See how many meals a day you get for free. Look at the in-house services being offered, whether they’re charged or free. If you’re making use of a rental car, look at the total distance you can travel per day, whether the fuel is a part of the cost or whether you have to pay for it yourself, etc. Reading the fine print thoroughly can help you save a lot of money.
Travel by train if possible:
Some flights cost more or less the same as AC class I or class II. But the normal train tickets are a whole lot cheaper than flights. If the weather is pleasant and if you don’t mind a few extra hours of travel, book a normal sleeper ticket on a train. You’ll get to take in all the beauty of nature along the way; something you don’t really get to see in an urban setting. What’s more, given that you’ll be traveling with other people, you just might end up making new friends.
Look for cheap dining options:
See if your hotel provides complimentary breakfast, lunch, or dinner. If they do, load up on the free food you’re getting. Plenty of people do this, and there’s absolutely no shame in treating yourself heartily to free meals. This will help keep the hunger pangs away when you’re out exploring the place later. Look through travel guides. These books may contain valuable information on the cheapest places to eat. Also, talk to the locals there. They will be able to guide you to restaurants that offer cheap and delicious meals.
Use the local transport options:
Sometimes, the local transport options can be a lot cheaper than hiring a cab or a self-drive car. Also, look for cheap scooter and motorcycle options as well. These can help you save a lot of money.
Go for the cheaper activities:
Exploring the place, you’re visiting can blow a hole in your pocket if you’re not careful. The entry fees for various amusement parks, heritage site, and other tourist attractions can be very high. Explore your options. Talk to the locals and find out places that you can visit at a low cost.
A vacation is a great way to break away from your monotonous daily routine. But your budget also matters. Hopefully, the points given above should help plan a wonderful holiday on a low budget. Happy holidaying.