Today I bring to you a guest post from Jesse Clark with Soulful-travel.com. Jesse writes about ways to save money while traveling. As a budget conscious traveler myself, I can attest to the importance of finding deals when booking travel. In fact, I have previously published articles about using points to travel (here and here) and we too prefer to travel in the shoulder season (both for budget reasons and to avoid crowds of tourists). Jesse not only touches on ways to save while booking travel, but also on ways to streamline your day-to-day expenses to save more funds for travel. Hope this article helps inspire you to book some holiday travel!
You can reach Jesse at Jesse@soulful-travel.com.
Have you been wanting to go on a trip but it hasn’t seemed to fit in your budget? You’re not alone. Money keeps a lot of people from traveling, especially when it comes to the costs of airfare and lodging. These days, however, it’s easier than ever to find deals and save money when booking travel. From using services like Priceline to swapping your cable subscription for a streaming service, you can book an incredible, cost-effective trip. All it takes is a little planning:
Priceline is one of the internet’s greatest treasures. Not only can you save a lot of money on flights and hotels by using this service, but it pretty much does all the work for you. All you have to do is enter a little bit of information, such as:
- Your preferred airlines
- Your preferred price range
- A range of preferred travel dates
- Whether you want nonstop flights or are good with layovers
Then, Priceline will compare prices for you and show you the cheapest options. And you can save even more money by using Priceline coupons and promo codes.
Use points or miles.
Another way to save when booking is to use points or miles. For instance, if you stick with the same airline for multiple trips, you can earn flight miles that go toward a future trip. The same goes for hotel companies and hotel stays. If you have a credit card with certain rewards, you can use points earned to purchase airfare or lodging.
Book for the offseason or shoulder season.
This one may seem like a compromise at first, but traveling offseason can actually be a great experience. When tourism is slow, prices on everything drop. This would mean going to a beach or island town during winter, or visiting a ski resort in spring or fall. Many places still have plenty of activities and beautiful scenery to enjoy in the offseason.
Another option is to play the middle ground and book a trip for the shoulder season, which is typically early spring and late fall. During the shoulder season, prices will be higher than the offseason but significantly lower than peak season.
Look for regional airports.
Flights are usually much cheaper if you go through regional airports on your way to your destination. You may find that a regional airport doesn’t put you much farther away from your vacation spot than the international airport does. And in some cases, the regional airport may even turn out to be more convenient.
Save ahead of time.
Finally, preparing your budget beforehand can make a big difference in your travel experience. Review your budget to see any areas you can cut costs and put money toward travel. For instance, consider all the times you spend money here and there simply out of convenience, such as your morning coffee shop visit or ordering take-out lunch. Instead, consider making your own coffee and taking a disposable cup to work, and/or meal prepping your lunches.
Also, with all the streaming services these days (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc.), you can save significantly by cutting your cable subscription and streaming your content. You can also save on overage charges from your wireless provider by signing up for an unlimited plan. These plans can be particularly cost-effective when you’re traveling and need to use your phone when there isn’t Wi-Fi available. Moreover, start buying bulk of heavily used household items like food, paper towels, toiletries and cleaning supplies.
Don’t let money stand between you and a great travel experience. Take advantage of Priceline, points and miles when booking your travel, and book during the offseason or shoulder season. Also, consider flying into regional airports, and work out your budget to cut unnecessary costs so that you have more money for travel. Doing some planning and saving can help you to go on the trip of your dreams.
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