Travel season is upon us! If you have a ton of destinations on your must-see list, but your budget isn’t as big, saving money on your trip may be easier than you think.
It may sound too good to be true, but there are plenty of easy ways to save a few dollars here and there…and sometimes a few hundred or thousands of them! Go on vacation relaxed and with peace of mind that you’re saving as much as possible by implementing a few tips from these five ways to travel on a budget.
1. Travel where your money goes further
An easy way to take your holiday dough to the next level? Head to a place where your local currency is worth more. It may come as a surprise, but going abroad can actually be a more economical trip when you choose the right location. In some cases, you can live like a king for a fraction of what you would spend back home.
If places like Portugal, Spain, Peru, Egypt or Vietnam are on your bucket list, you’re in luck. FinanceBuzz has released its list of the 10 countries where the US dollar is going the furthest in 2022 and these hot destinations are among them. Tunisia, Bangladesh, South Africa, Mexico, Hungary complete their list of countries that currently have a very favorable exchange rate. That means you’ll be able to stay in better accommodations, spend more at local restaurants, and even splurge on fancy additions to your trip, like hiring a private driver.
2. Make the most of your credit cards
Credit cards don’t have to be the enemy! In fact, when it comes to travel, they can really come in handy and help you save big in so many ways.
First, it’s time to redeem those points! Yes, the money you have accumulated just by spending money on other things can go a lot further if you redeem them for things like hotels and flights before your trip. Some hotel credit cards even offer free hotel night certificates, while others allow you to book your room with points instead of cash, which can save you a lot of time and means that you don’t have to touch the money from your vacation savings.
Credit cards can also be useful when traveling abroad if you choose the right one. For example, a credit card with no foreign transaction fees can help you save. Otherwise, you’ll likely pay a percentage on top of all your purchases throughout your trip.
It’s also important to find credit cards that allow you to withdraw from an ATM abroad, so you don’t rack up fees. It’s a great way to source foreign currency, as the ATM often offers the best rate when you choose to withdraw local currency, according to Kate McCulley, a travel expert who gave her opinion to Business Insider.
3. Eat local… like at the local supermarket
Eating at restaurants is much more expensive than eating at home. We all know this in our own territory, but it also applies when we are abroad.
The next time you go on vacation, consider going to the local supermarket. Not only is it an adventure in itself – imagine all the unique local grocery stores – but it will also save you big on meals. For example, what could be more Parisian than a loaf of bread, cheese and a bottle of wine? Once you’ve stocked up on those basics, head to the Eiffel Tower, and voila: you’re treated to dinner and a show for cheap!
4. Use a Flight Saver Service
One of the most expensive elements of travel is airfare. Luckily, there are ways these days to circumvent exorbitant flight costs with services. Take Dollar Flight Club, for example. This service saves you money on all your travel plans while saving you valuable research time.
They’re looking for the best deals in Business, Premium Economy and Economy class, with deals abroad like a $330 round-trip to Madrid or $439 round-trip to Panama, while saving you money on domestic trips. with amazing flights like a $129 round trip ticket to Hawaii. All you need to do is add your home airport and watch your inbox for deals.
A Premium Plus subscription to this type of service guarantees you constant savings on this expensive part of the trip. Forbes praised their services, noting, “An excellent paid service is Dollar Flight Club, which boasts an impressive average of $500 saved per ticket.” And right now, you can score this lifetime subscription for just $99.
5. Rent your accommodation while you are away
With the advent of easy home-sharing sites like Airbnb and VRBO, there’s a whole new way to save big on your trip: renting your own space. No matter how long you’re away, renting can help fund your trip or, in some cases, save you money while on vacation.
It sounds like a dream, but it was a true story for Kelly Lack, Content and Community Manager at Spot. The traveler told the Travel Channel about her experience, sharing, “Several years ago we did the backpacking tour of Southeast Asia for a few months and rented our apartment in New York while we were away. Our travel costs were so low – Southeast Asia is budget travel – that we ended up making money. We found a tenant through Craigslist, but you can also list your pad on a site like Airbnb or VRBO, or search for a home exchange on Home Exchange.
Prices subject to change.