Budget Travel Basics

The world of budget travel is one of the most exciting and interesting, and in today’s world traveling on a budget is becoming more and more of a necessity for all those aspiring tourists. Keeping costs low while traveling is important, whether you are a solo traveler seeing the world for the first time or a family with a carload full of kids heading for the beach or the theme park.

When it comes to coming up with a travel budget, the first step should be to decide what is important to you and where you can cut back a bit. For instance, some travelers are comfortable spending a bit more for a better class of hotel, while others prefer to save money by using budget accommodations and spend the money they saved on sightseeing or a special meal for the family. Again, it all depends on your tastes.

As with other aspects of finance, it is a good idea to create a travel budget before you start your trip. Determine a budget for the various aspects of your vacation, such as hotel, airfare, rental cars, sightseeing, gasoline, etc. Once you have a good idea of what each element of the vacation should cost, it is time to start shopping around for the best deals.

Once you have determined what is most important to you, it is time to start determining how to get the best deals. Often, admission deals on area attractions are the easiest to come by, since many theme parks, museums and other destinations run specials to attract out of town guests.

To score big discounts on area attractions, the best place to start is the web site of the attraction itself. Be sure to check the web site for any specials, such as two for one deals, free admission for children, special reduced admission days, etc.

If you are a member of the military, a senior citizen or a member of an organization such as AAA, there are often additional discounts available. Most AAA offices sell discount admission tickets to theme parks, museums and other popular attractions within driving distance, and most AAA offices sell discounted admissions to popular attractions like Walt Disney World as well. The key to making your travel budget stretch farther is to ask about, and take advantage of, all discounts that may be available.

If you are driving to your destination, one great way to make your travel budget go further is to make sure your car is in tip top shape before embarking on your trip. Small details, such as under-inflated tires or worn spark plugs can really eat into your gas mileage and end up costing you a bundle, especially on a long road trip.

A good map can also be a money saver, since it will keep you from driving around in circles and wasting gas. Finding your way easily to and from the hotel and the surrounding area will make your vacation more pleasant and less costly.

No matter how you save money on your next vacation, having a budget and sticking to it will help you enjoy your vacation more, and worry less about paying for it.

6 Travel Tips Everyone Should Know

Several countries, thousands of flights and endless road trips. That’s the life of a travel writer, and it teaches you a lot of fair things. I would like to share some of my travel tips with you as I found them very helpful on every trip I went on.

Be Annoying

It’s time to talk to different people. The waiter, the concierge, the bar staff or that customer sitting at the next table who looks good. Ask them questions about what to see, and you will find that people will love to share their tips and knowledge with you. Trust me many people get nervous, but starting a conversation randomly and you are just a step near to the next hidden gem.

Get Out Of The Bed

This is the most difficult thing to deal with, especially for those who love to stay in bed a little longer than usual. It’s best you get up early because there is a lot that happens before the brunch time. So get out and head out to a diner for breakfast in Washington or hit the best beach in Italy before hordes of tourists reach there. Trust me you won’t regret this one; you can sleep as much as you want once you reach home.

Keep Your Phone Charged

There is nothing worse than being out of technology due to a dead battery. Keep a power bank with you so that you are never out of battery.

Join The Cloud

That iPhone is not worth any value, and that is for one main reason: pictures. Memories are the best thing you make on trips, and without them, the charm of going on a journey will be lost. Gone are the days when you use to keep the manual backup. Apple now keeps you covered with iCloud, set your cloud up and get access to every photo and video from anywhere.

Remember Your Favourites

Remember that fantastic restaurant you went to the last time you visited New York four years ago? No? That’s bad! Next time just ask your phone to remember it, in Google Maps only write the name of the place and then hit “save”. This method will help mark it with a star so you can always go back and check it out.

Carry Cash

From Amsterdam to Cambodia, being short for money is not a great deal. You won’t find an ATM everywhere, and you can’t always use your debit/credit cards to pay for hotels, bars and restaurants. Carry an emergency cash with you around $150 in USD or the local currency of the destination you are visiting.

5 Travel Tips to Save on Your Next Vacation

Traveling to a new destination for a vacation can be fun and exciting, but also a little stressful. There are plenty of things to consider in the process of planning the travel itinerary and finding the best possible deals. Let’s take a look at a few of the options to help control costs on your next travel adventure:

Travel off-season

A simple solution to get the best prices on travel and the hotel is to travel off-season (also referred to as low season). Beyond the best prices for flights and a luxury hotel or resort, there will be a lot less crowds to interrupt the sightseeing tours. For instance, a trip to Europe can be delayed until September for the low-cost travel experience and the weather is still quite favorable in most parts.

Be flexible with flights

An indirect flight can take longer to arrive at the intended destination, but a flight with a stopover often leads to the most cost-effective travel option. Also, the day you fly can have a noticeable impact on the price. In most cases, a midweek flight will save a lot of money for a family vacation compared to flying at the weekend. Simply making a few minor changes like this can save literally hundreds of dollars.

Avoid high baggage fees

Make sure to weigh the luggage before leaving home to avoid the often over-inflated charges associated with exceeding the baggage limit.

If any extra items are left over with no space in the main luggage, there are plenty of ways to get creative by using a decent hand-luggage bag or even a luggage jacket. A stylish and practical luggage jacket is much like a normal jacket, but gives the extra room to conveniently pack in a few extra items to help control baggage charges.

Avoid the most popular places

A simple strategy to cut costs is to avoid the most popular places. For instance, a European city like Paris can be so expensive, but there are other great alternatives that can be just as charming, such as Athens and Budapest. Alternatively, a trip to Costa Rica is typically quite pricey, but a neighboring country like Nicaragua may be a more attractive option.

Book last-minute

Booking last-minute can help to score a great deal in certain areas of the travel market. While it isn’t likely to be helpful with airfare costs, there are plenty of tours and cruises that give great discounts if able to leave things very late. An empty ship or tour is never a good thing, so these companies will do whatever is necessary to bring in extra customers. Typically, the booking needs to be left until one or two weeks before the departure date to get the price discounts.

Budget Travel: Top Tips on Traveling Cheap

Whether you are traveling for business or for pleasure, some of your trips may involve very long distances. So, it would only be natural for you to want to travel cheap whenever possible. Well, aside from poring over travel comparison websites day in and day out and waiting for great deals, there are other easy ways to minimize your travel costs altogether, whether you plan on traveling by train or by plane. Read on.

If you plan on traveling by train, then the main tip you need to follow is to make your reservations early. Remember: some of the best train deals out there can easily be obtained just by booking way ahead of your actual departure date. In fact, you might even be able to afford a First Class ticket this way instead of just getting a Standard Class ticket a few days before your trip.

Another tip you need to follow is to avoid taking the train at peak hours. Peak hours usually cover the period when people go to work and leave work, and will usually be more expensive compared to off-peak hours.

Lastly, try to find out whether you can save money by booking your train tickets in segments instead of paying for a one-destination ticket. A lot of the time, booking a train that goes from one place to another instead of stopping off at other stations will be more expensive, so make sure you check this out.

Now, if you plan on traveling by plane, then it only makes sense to go through various travel comparison websites to find the best airline travel deals out there. There are also a lot of cheap airlines in operation now, in general. However, it would still be well worth your time to check out what your flight would actually include. After all, if you take certain things into consideration, you might get to save more money.

The first thing you should consider is your baggage allowance. First of all: are you paying for it? If you aren’t, then how much would you have to pay to take both cabin and checked luggage? Also, are there any penalties if you exceed the allowance?

Next, find out about the on-board facilities. Will you get refreshments? If you won’t, how much would food and drinks cost? Also, will you get free headphones for the entertainment system?

Unfortunately, travel costs are necessities that simply cannot be avoided if you have an important meeting to attend abroad or want to take a vacation. However, if you follow all of the tips mentioned above, you should be able to avail of the best deals available on trains and planes, in general. Happy traveling!