6 Ways to Save Money While Traveling

Posted March 19, 2013 by in Lifestyle/ Traveling

Traveling is expensive. Between the flight, car rental, gas, hotel, food and sight seeing, you’ll run your savings account dry. Below are 6 tips that will help save you a ton of money on your next vacation.

1. Take advantage of your connections

Does your older sister have a best friend living in London? Is your old high school friend teaching English in South Korea? Does your friend have a cousin in Miami? Is your neighbor studying abroad for a year?

Sit down and think of all your friends and relatives who live in different parts of the country, or in a different country altogether. If you can find a place to stay once you reach your travel destination for free, you’ll save a ton of money. Just take your hosts out to dinner once or twice. Also, don’t expect them to be your tour guide. Just because it’s a vacation for you, doesn’t mean it’s a vacation for them.

2. Plan ahead

Don’t buy your plane ticket a week before you’re set to leave, the tickets will be outrageous in price. Instead, purchase them at least three months in advance. Especially if your traveling during a popular travel time such as spring break and the first week of August.

We really like using Hipmunk when searching for flights. Hipmunk allows you to to see the price of multiple airline companies. You can also have flexible travel dates if you’re interested in saving even more money. Leaving just one day after you planned could save you hundreds.

3. Travel during the off-season

Want to go to the Caribbean? Plan to go during the summer instead of the winter. Airline companies know people want to travel to a warmer climate when it’s below freezing where they’re located. So, they hike up the price. Most people have no interest in going to a tropical climate when it’s summer where they are but….it’ll be a lot cheaper for you. Hotels work like this as well. You also won’t have to buy new clothes, which is another travel expense that’s usually hard to avoid.

The same goes for colder climates. If you’ve always wanted to go to Sweden or England, go during their winter.

4. Use Airbnb

We’re huge fans of Airbnb! Say you’re going to Dublin and don’t want to pay a ridiculous amount on a hotel and you have no connections there. Search Airbnb for people renting out their whole apartment or room by the night. Last spring, when we went to The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam, we used Airbnb and stayed in an adorable studio for only 60 Euros a night!

5. Don’t buy things for people

Whenever you travel, your friends always ask you to bring them back something, right? Well…don’t. It’s so easy to go overboard on those little trinkets with a photo of a landmark on them. Instead, just show your buddies the photos, they’ll understand.

6. Travel with a group

A lot of places will offer a discount the more people you travel with. Our favorite happens to be Away We Go Tours in Costa Rica. According to their website:

In an effort to reduce costs for our customers, all tours are based on a sliding scale.  Therefore,  the larger the group, the less the cost per person.

Have you recently gone on a budget friendly vacation? If so, share your secrets with us in the comments below!