15 Tips for More Affordable Vacation Travel

by Gina Blitstein · 0 comments

You may be thinking a vacation isn’t in your budget at this point in time. Don’t put your suitcases in the attic yet! I asked Tiffany Aliche, owner of The Budgetnista, for tips on making travel more affordable. Tiffany offered the following suggestions:

  1. Turn a layover into another vacation – Normally layovers are annoying and often necessary evils, but its all in your perspective. Roll with it and plan to stay a while for some fun in your layover destination since you’ll be there anyway!
  2. Set up fare-watchers – A FREE fare-watcher will help you get the best deals at the lowest price, especially if you’re flexible with your travel dates and times.
  3. Be a guest – When I travel, I prefer to go where I can stay with family and friends. First, I avoid the cost of a hotel. Second, the host provides a “behind the scenes” tour of the destination (including all the FREE, fun stuff I’d never know about). I repay my host by grocery shopping and preparing most meals while there, which leads to a third benefit because I save on eating out at restaurants as well!
  4. Be a tourist in your hometown/state/region – Many of us turn our nose up at the amazing things to do located right in our own backyard! Visit your local tourism website to discover your own area’s tourist attractions and you’ll save big bucks on transportation and lodging.
  5. Menu please! – In Europe, eat out for lunch rather than dinner. Many countries offer special low-cost lunch menus that usually include several courses at half the cost of dinner.
  6. Stay in school – If you’re traveling to Europe (and many other countries), bring your student ID. Students enjoy major discounts on tours, museums and other tourist attractions in many countries.
  7. Gift-giving – Local coffee, sweets or treats purchased on your vacation make great low-cost gifts and souvenirs for those back home. Your family and friends get a thoughtful “taste” of your vacation, and you get to save money.
  8. Eat for less – If your hotel isn’t all-inclusive, make sure that it at least offers a free continental breakfast and is close to a market. This way, you won’t have to worry about scaring up breakfast every morning and you can buy foods at the market for the rest of the day to avoid costly dining at restaurants.
  9. Bigger IS better – Bigger airports mean more competition. Choose the biggest airport near you to save on ticket prices.
  10. It can pay to be late – Don’t buy your plane tickets too early. Airlines don’t start releasing cheaper seats until 3-4 months before domestic departures dates and 4-5 months before international departure dates.
  11. Be flexible – Score cheap tickets by being flexible with the days and times of your desired travel.
  12. Check individual sites – Remember to check low-cost airlines’ individual sites because they are often not quoted on those group sites.
  13. Know the best time to buy – For airline tickets, the best time to shop for domestic travel is Tuesday at 3:00 PM Eastern Time.
  14. Know the cheapest time to fly – The first flight in the morning is the cheapest. The next best times are during or directly after the lunch and dinner hour.
  15. Know the cheapest travel days – Wednesday, then Tuesday and Saturday are the cheapest days to travel. Friday and Sunday are the most expensive.

These tips will help you save on the major costs associated with vacations, like airfare, lodging and food. People who are hip to tips like these can save big bucks on travel. Maybe you can get away  after all…

How do you save on the costs associated with travel?

Bonus Tip:

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