The travel market has always indulged its customers with images of white, sandy shores that are lined with impossibly blue seas, but what stops people from going on such amazing trips is the hefty price tag that lies underneath it. Despite the glamorous dreams people have of going on their dream vacation, low funds and financial restrictions can stop them from doing this. However, that doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. In fact, traveling in today’s world has become easier than ever before, which means there are some great ways of being able to jet across the world for much cheaper than you might have anticipated. To help you on your way to your much-needed vacation, make sure you follow some golden tips.
Put away savings
The key to having your holiday on the horizon is to have some savings to help get you there. Although saving for an extravagant trip may seem daunting when you haven’t started yet, if you persevere, then you will see your savings adding up in no time. Having a savings pot that you can’t open unless you smash is a great way to stop you from touching your money and spending it on other items. However, you may find that after a long time, you haven’t saved all the money you need. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to indulge in a short break if you have worked so hard and needed a break. Many people who go traveling start off with little money and poor credit ratings, but they are still able to make it happen. Poor credit credit cards are sometimes a great option if you are itching to go away, but you aren’t in the best financial position to do so. With these cards, you can pay them off in due course when you get home.
Set a budget
It is easy to assume that once you have booked your holiday, you won’t have any extra expenses to pay for. Yet, even with all-inclusive deals, you can find yourself wandering down cobbled streets and local markets, willing to try local delicacies and take some souvenirs home. Before you begin to search for flights, set yourself a budget that you can realistically aim for. This means that even if you are relying on a loan or credit to take you away, you will have less to pay back when you return. It is always wise to set your budget a little higher than you initially expect, as you don’t want to prohibit yourself from experiencing once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Making these allowances in your budget will stop any nasty surprises from eating into your savings.
Don’t rush to book flights
When people book a trip, their first port of call is usually to book the first flights they see, as they think they will be the cheapest you can find them. Although this can be true in some cases, there are much better times to book both short-haul and long-haul flights. In fact, there is a sweet spot that you can hit which means you will get much cheaper flights if you wait a little longer. There is even a specific time of day that you can search for flights on which will enable you to save money, but most experts suggest booking four to six weeks before you fly. The best day to buy tickets is a Sunday. If you book too early, you will usually miss out on lower airfares.
Research online for deals
Lots of people don’t want to spend lots of time looking for the cheapest getaways, as this can add extra stress to their already full day. This is why many choose to go with travel agents and pay the extra pennies for convenience. However, it is worth noting that you can save a lot of money if you decide to research in the run-up to your trip. This means joining any flight discount mailing lists, setting up flight alerts, and even following holiday deals pages on Facebook, where you can see the best packages on your timeline. If you spend an extra ten minutes each day comparing prices, this will pay off in the long run.
Book your hotel in advance
Although you should always wait until you have booked your flights to book a hotel, you should start your search for where you want to stay beforehand. This is so you can keep an eye on the prices for the dates you want to stay there on, and book whenever the price is at its lowest. Fortunately, many hotel booking sites enable you to reserve your place at some hotels and lock in the lower price, but you still won’t need to pay the full price- or any of the price- upfront. This is great if you are unsure about which hotel to pick, as you can cancel for free on many sites if you change your mind about where you would like to stay.
Don’t stick to hotels
In recent years, innovations such as Airbnb and revamped hostels have been giving hotels a competitor on the market. Booking a hotel is ideal if you want to have the luxury of fresh sheets each morning, as well as the option of going all-inclusive for your food and drink. Yet, if this isn’t you, you can save lots of money by looking at properties on such sites near where you want to stay. This will enable you to enjoy the local cuisine during your stay and have more choice about when you eat in the day. Some villas even offer the use of pools, where hostels are a great way to cut down on costs but meet some amazing people on your trip.
Travel out of peak season
Peak season is undoubtedly the most expensive time of year to travel at, with soaring flight prices and limited availability for rooms. During these times, you can also find less room in restaurants and busier beaches. People also often complain of unbearable heat in peak season, so the option to travel out of peak season is positive in every aspect. Doing this will mean you still get the buzz of a location, but that it isn’t overrun with people. Most importantly, it almost always results in lower airfares and an increased likelihood of hotel deals.
Go as a group
It is widely accepted that solo travel is the most expensive if you are avoiding hostels, as you will sometimes need to pay the full price for a hotel room when it is just you. Traveling as a couple can help cut costs, but not if you are going to a location where they specialize in romantic trips. Having a group trip is a sure-fire way for you to reduce the costs for everyone involved. Group rooms and villas are great value for money if you fill the capacity, as it will mean the cost is split between more people. This can be a fun way to save money, as you can spend these times making memories with friends or family while money worries lie at the back of your mind.
Go off the beaten track
There are many hidden wonders in the world which offer the same peaceful holiday experience as those you often see advertised around you. Though it can be easy to follow the crowd and pay more to lie on the same beach, you can put some extra time into research to find that you will be able to find similar locations for a much better price. For example, the Maldives has always been a popular dream vacation, but the Philippines offers similar beaches with island hopping opportunities. When you are at your chosen location, make use of the friendly locals by asking them the best places to eat and drink, as well as for tips on how to get the most out of your trip for cheaper.
Don’t fall into tourist traps
It is easy to follow what everyone else is doing on their trip by visiting each tourist attraction. Doing this can take up a lot of your budget, but people also note that they are usually more underwhelming than they originally anticipated. Most people’s favorite vacation memories are those they make outside of the tourist traps. While seeing some can be a dream come true, you should make the most of things like free walking tours, friendly locals, as well as following your own adventurous spirit. Sometimes, you may find that you are lucky enough to enjoy such great scenes for free.
Go on a staycation
If all else fails, you should never rule out going on vacation in your home country, which can slash flight prices to next to none. In fact, staycations can boast a number of benefits. For example, in the United States, people in New England often enjoy the summertime resort or Martha’s Vineyard, and Padre Island in Texas is a shining white island that Southern people frequent in place of going abroad. If you can find plenty of activities, stunning views, and great weather, you will find that your dream holiday will follow wherever you go.