One of the primary reasons many people don’t travel is simply because they can’t afford it. Traveling requires that you not only take off of work, but you need to pay for everything along the way. The expenses are typically more than you’d spend if you just stayed at home, and so that’s where many of us end up staying.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are some key ways you can save money while you travel and make it much more manageable. Here are just a few suggestions to get you started.
Saving Money While You Travel
Explore Your Transportation Options
First up, you should explore all the options available to you when it comes to transportation. For instance, let’s say you’re looking to fly about 2 hours away, and this flight is going to cost you about $300 round trip. To get to that same destination, you could take a train that only costs $150, even though it takes longer to get there. Or, if you have a car, you could spend even less to get there.
Think about how much time you want to spend getting to your destination and weigh that against the costs. Transportation is often one of the most expensive parts of traveling, so if you can cut costs here, you’re off to a good start.
Find Cheaper Places to Stay
The next major expense is finding someplace to stay. If your plan is to stay at 5-star hotels every night, then you’re likely going to have a hard time affording your trip. But, if you’re willing to cut back on some of the luxuries, you may find that it’s actually quite easy to find an affordable place to stay.
To start, you should explore other hotel options in the area. Look for 2 or 3 star hotels, as these are often nice enough but come at an affordable price. You may not get a hotel with a great view or luxurious spa, but you’ll get a clean room, a hot shower, and a comfortable bed.
Another option you have is to look through sites like AirBnB. People all over the world will list their empty homes, apartments or spare bedrooms, and you can often rent them out at a lower price than the local hotels. You’ll have to do a little cleaning up after yourself, and there’s no front desk to ask for help, but if you’re interested in saving money this is often a great choice.
And there are even more options than that. You can likely find a hostel in your destination, which is affordable communal housing. Sometimes for just a few dollars a night you can have a safe place to sleep and even get to meet some fellow travelers. Or if that doesn’t work, you can look for house-sitting or pet-sitting opportunities, and get free lodgings in exchange for a little bit of work.
Finally, you could always sleep in your car. Find a nearby rest stop, unpack your pillow and blankets, and make yourself comfortable in the back seat. Or if you want something a little nicer, look into something like Roofnest Roof Top Tents. Then you can sleep in comfort wherever you are, and really cut back on the cost of somewhere to sleep.
Bring Food with You
Another great way to save money while you travel is by bringing food with you. When you’re away from home, the default is to eat out for every meal. If you do this though, your total expenses will quickly add up. Instead, make a run to the supermarket before you go and buy some food you can bring with you. A loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter and some jelly will only cost you a few dollars, but it can keep you fed for days. It’s also a good idea to pack away snacks and drinks, so that you don’t have to buy these on the road, where they’re often more expensive.
If you’re unable to travel by car, then you’re limited in the amount of stuff you can bring. Bringing several suitcases onto a flight is not only difficult to manage, but very expensive, as airlines charge a lot for baggage fees. By packing light, you can not only make traveling easier, but you can make it more affordable.
Before you go, think about what it is you really need. Only bring the most basic necessities whenever you can. Another great thing you can do is invest in some vacuum sealable bags, so that you can fit more into your suitcase. You’ll have to be careful about the weight, but the more you can fit into one bag, usually the better.
Always Look for Ways to Save
Traveling doesn’t have to be some expensive venture. If you’re willing to cut back on some of your luxuries, traveling can actually become quite affordable. So the next time you’re looking to go somewhere, think about driving instead of flying, rent a room from someone instead of getting a hotel, and pack the right stuff. If you can do this, you should have a much easier time affording whatever trip you want to take.