Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive: Here’s how
Traveling is an amazing experience, but many families stick close to home because they’re worried about the expenses. Luckily, travel, even to major cities, doesn’t have to be expensive. With the right budgeting tricks and careful planning, you can go nearly anywhere without breaking the bank. These 5 pro tips will help you get started, whether you’re hoping to travel to New York City, Bangkok, or anywhere in between.
Typically, the most expensive way to travel is at the last minute. You may have experienced this if you’ve ever had to fly to see family because of an emergency – costs are substantially higher. That’s why the best time to start planning is 10 months before you hope to travel, which is when airlines post their flight schedules. Prices will typically drop for a while, even after they’re posted, but it also depends when you plan to travel. Peak times, like the holidays and spring break, will always be expensive.
Spending some money while traveling is avoidable and, when done wisely, even desirable, but what you spend it on will vary depending on your individual priorities. So, what matters to you? List the different things you might want to do – whether that’s museums, restaurants, or amusement parks – then decide which activities you want to prioritize.
Once you’ve decided which activities are most important to you, it’s time to trim costs even further. Look for travel coupons to make attractions and accommodations more affordable. By combining deals and comparison shopping, you can drive costs down even further.
Look For Fun Freebies
Whether you’re in a small town or a big city, there are always free activities around if you’re willing to do your homework, and some may even fill gaps on your travel agenda. In New York City, for example, you can see the Statue of Liberty by riding the free Staten Island Ferry, while on weekends you can also take a free ferry to Governor’s Island. Track down the art district in any major city and you’ll be sure to find an array of public galleries to walk through. Freebies are often compromises, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be a lot of fun.
Account For The “Little” Costs
It’s the little expenses that can really add up when traveling – water bottles, parking, breakfast – but you can thwart many of these costs by being prepared. Bring your own water bottle, take public transportation when possible, and don’t skip the complimentary breakfast at the hotel, even if you have to get a better cup of coffee somewhere else. And when it comes to riding public transit, you’ll also get a more realistic experience of the city than if you were to rent a car or take rideshares.
Try Something Different
Most people plan budget vacations around weekends or maybe a weeklong holiday, but if you’ve got a little more time on your hands, consider other possibilities. If you’re willing to work during your trip, you could spend weeks working on an organic farm through WWOOF in exchange for food and lodgings. On your off time, you can explore the surrounding area and really get to know the place you’re living and working.
While traveling on a budget may not be the kind of luxury experience wealthy travelers have, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t travel. Instead, you just have to adapt to your circumstances. Once you’ve arrived and started out on your great adventure, you’ll forget you’re even on a budget.