Top 11 Travel Tips to Travel Cheap
Travelling… it can be relaxing, fun, life-changing and expensive. You may expect an international getaway to cost a pretty penny, but if not planned carefully in advance, even a short trip to a neighbouring province can be costly. Looking to go on holiday but strapped for cash? Check out this compiled list of tips to ensure your next trip doesn’t break the bank.
- Related Read: Travel Tips to Travel More
1. Compare rates for lodging
Whether you’re looking for a resort, hotel, hostel, bed and breakfast or vacation rental, go online to find deals because from insurance to accommodations, comparison sites are the best.
- Travel aggregators like Expedia or TripAdvisor can find you the cheapest deal for whatever accommodations you seek. These sites are also good for finding package deals if you’re looking for flights and hotels or even car rentals.
- If you’re not one to sweat the details, blind-bidding sites like Hotwire or Priceline will sometimes offer further discounts on typically pricey accommodations. The thought of not knowing what you’re booking until you book it may seem scary, but Hotwire has historically produced decent customer satisfaction and very rare horror stories. (Tip provided by @CoffeeWithJulie)
- Accommodation-sharing sites that allow anyone to post their property for vacation rental like Airbnb, VRBO or FlipKey by TripAdvisor have become a popular and also inexpensive option.
Another way to save on accommodations? Stay with friends or family at your destination!
2. Take advantage of loyalty programs and credit card rewards
Your credit card can help relieve you of some of the costs of jet-setting. Take full advantage of loyalty programs that offer cash back or travel points for everyday purchases. For those of you taking road trips, some cards also collect points that you can use towards gas. (Tip provided by @IBBtravel)
Consider travelling during the off-season. If you don’t have school-aged children, September is a terrific month to explore Canada or the United States as airlines and accommodations usually lower their rates after Labour Day. (Tip provided by @IBBtravel)
Whether you’re taking a bus, train or plane, if the option is available, opt to travel at night. Rates are sometimes cheaper for night journeys and you avoid paying for accommodations for that night. (Tip provided by @savvari)
5. Pack less, pay less
Stick to the necessities and travel light to save more. The more you pack, the more likely you’ll have to pay airline fees for overweight luggage or extra baggage. Another helpful tip: Travel-sized toiletries are light, but can be expensive if bought pre-filled. Buy empty travel-sized bottles from your local dollar store and fill them with lotions and soaps from home.
6. Pack travel insurance
Travel insurance isn’t just a recommendation, it’s a necessity. No matter how short your trip, or how close to home you'll be, if you get sick or injured while travelling, doctor fees and hospital bills can become outrageous. For a small price, travel insurance protects you from taking a huge financial hit.
7. Take a road trip
Road trips with friends or family are a great way to create memorable experiences and take up the sights. The total cost for fuel divided by the number of passengers will probably pale in comparison to the price for a plane ticket per person.
8. Explore by foot or bus
Taxi rides can be convenient, but can also be fairly expensive. Get a map, skip the bus tour and put on your best walking shoes and find your way around the area. Taking public transit and walking is a cheap and lovely way to squeeze in some exercise, explore, and experience the city like locals.
The quick stops for water and snacks can add up and be time-consuming. If you have access to a fridge at your accommodation, find a local grocery store and stock up on water, juice and snacks to take with you while you’re out and about. You can also save a lot of money and time on a road trip by bringing your own cooler with items like sandwich meat, cheeses, fruits and drinks. (Tip provided by @savvari)
10. Save on roaming
No matter where you go, you’re inevitably going to feel the urge at some point to send a text, make a call, or post a beach selfie on Instagram. Stay connected hassle-free by researching roaming options for your cell phone plan. The one-time cost for a roaming package or local SIM card can save you hundreds in ridiculous pay-per-use charges. (Tip provided by @Brandon_Sousa)
- Related Read: Summer Overspending Habits: A Trend for Canadians
11. Take a staycation
Lastly, if leaving your hometown is too far a stretch, discover the hidden gems that your own area has to offer. Try a new restaurant, discover a new conservation area, or take a short drive over to the next city over and see what fun new places you may find. (Tip provided by @IBBtravel)
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