As soon as the borders opened again after the pandemic, people started to plan their long-awaited trips, choosing not only exotic destinations but exploring different cities and states. After all, it would be fun to explore the streets of another US city or travel through Europe on a budget.
Cheap places to visit don’t mean they’ll be less fun. There are plenty of great destinations you can go to and still save some money. You just need to plan your trip, search for discounts, and choose affordable accommodation.
So, if you’re looking for help with traveling on a budget, follow our useful tips.
Choose accommodation carefully
When choosing the right destination, the first thing we consider is where we’re going to stay. Often, finding great and affordable accommodation can be a bit tricky. It all depends on how long you are planning to stay in that place. For example, if you’re visiting a city you want to check out before settling in, you’ll need to choose your accommodation carefully.
Whether you’ll be looking for cheap apartments in Austin or houses for the whole family in Miami, keep in mind that some places are going to be more expensive or cheaper than where you call home.
You may want to look for a place where the currency gets you good value and somewhere that has a lower cost of living. Trade expensive hotels with hostels, or check out a few Airbnbs where you can book a spare room in a local person’s apartment or house.
We know summer is the perfect season for exploring new places, but traveling off-season can get you the best budget-friendly deals. While experiences like visiting New York for Christmas or New Year’s, or standing at the base of the Trevi Fountain in Italy are worth the splurge, you can visit such places during the off-season and still experience all their magic.
When searching for flights and activities, make sure you compare the prices to the ones of the low/off-season and think about altering your dates if you can. Additionally, avoid trips during the school holidays, as it is usually a great opportunity for families to travel and you can often see an increase in prices.
Research your desired destination, and travel just before or after the on-season. The sun may not shine just as brightly but you’ll still have a great trip.
Book flights in advance
Booking flights in advance is very important, especially return flights. Running out of money while abroad is never ideal. Airlines usually release their flight seats up to a year in advance, and you can expect the prices to rise once the season starts.
Note that it’s always good to plan your trip thoroughly and a few months back if you want to avoid unnecessary expenses.
You can also opt to travel on a Tuesday, as midweek travel prices tend to be lower as a premium is added to weekend flights. Plus, you’ll breeze through shorter queues at airport check-ins and security.
Bear in mind that the money you save on cheap seats you can spend on food, accommodation, and attractions once you arrive at your destination. Low-cost airlines usually have cheap deals for short flights.
So, if you’re planning a weekend trip make sure you pack light and save yourself a bit of money.
Eat locally and take advantage of free attractions
If you want to have an authentic experience, try eating and shopping locally. If you see a place packed with locals, you can be sure that the food is affordable, fresh, and delicious.
You can ask locals or your guesthouse owner for recommendations, and make sure you visit those places. Shop at local markets for handcrafted designs and handmade clothes. It would be nice to have something authentic to remind you of your trip.
Another way to spend less on your trip is to take advantage of all the free attractions. There are plenty of places that offer discounts, and free visits to museums.
Look for free walking tours, and check the websites of the local tourist board to see what things are free in each city. Don’t forget to take advantage of picnics if the weather is nice. It would be a great way to enjoy the air and feel like a local for a day.
For example, check out this lovely evening walking tour of New York city that you can do:
Although there are many destinations you can’t imagine traveling to on a budget, there still might be some free things you can do there. Plan your trip and figure out how to manage your money. For example, how many expensive activities you’re planning to do or how often you want to eat out at a restaurant. Once you’ve planned your budget, stick to it.