If you’re like me, you may find yourself dreaming about far-away destinations whether it’s the beaches of Hawaii or the mountains of Nepal. And if you’re not careful, those dreams could turn into costly ones. I know this from personal experience.
In 2010, my wife and I decided that we wanted to take our two children (ages 11 and 7) on an extended road trip in Europe. We planned on driving more than 2,000 miles per week through eight countries over three months, staying in hostels along the way. The only problem was that we didn’t have enough money. In fact, we had less than $1,000 between us at the time.
Luckily, we were able to save up enough cash to make one month’s worth of payments on our car. Afterward, we used the remaining funds to buy gas and food each week as we traveled across France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Greece and Turkey. By the end of the trip, we actually ended up with some extra money left over from which to pay taxes on our earnings!
The point is, there are ways to save money when you travel without having to sacrifice your vacation dream. Here are just a few of them.
Planning Ahead Can Save You Money
You might think that planning ahead would cost more money, but it doesn’t have to. A little bit of advanced research can go a long way toward keeping costs down. First, choose where you want to go based on what you want out of your trip activities, scenery, history, culture, etc. Then, look online to see how much everything will cost in the area you chose. Finally, plan your itinerary around these prices.
If something is significantly cheaper elsewhere, then consider exploring options outside of your destination. Also, try to stay away from touristy areas and stick to off-the-beaten paths. This is especially important in places such as Thailand, India, and Cambodia, where many people visit during peak season. When possible, avoid visiting during high seasons.
Know That Airfare Isn’t Always Cheapest
When booking flights, always check multiple airlines even companies such as JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, and AirTran. These airlines often offer discounted fares on their websites. Also, keep in mind that seats on any airline tend to sell quickly, so book sooner rather than later. Most importantly, compare flight prices before you book so you won’t get stuck paying full …