These days, travel is considered to be a luxury for many people. However, you need not spend your entire life's savings on expensive airfares and hotel accommodations to broaden your geographic horizons.
There are many budget-friendly options that will help to make your vacation money travel further. So, if you think you can't afford to travel, think again. Here are seven savvy solutions to get more for your dollar while traveling:
1. Travel in low season
Avoid the crowds and save cash. You can save up to 70 percent off travel when you choose to do it during low season or at the end of the season. Often, flights are super cheap at this time, as airlines need to fill seats.
Plus, you’ll avoid the crowds, which will allow you to make the most of your time at any given destination. Hotel, souvenir and restaurant prices may be lower, as well.
2. Take advantage of discounts
Don’t be afraid to look like a cheapskate — discounts are there for your advantage. You can find discounts when you purchase airfare or a hotel room, as many companies offer a promotion after already selling you an item.
Buy discount books and scavenge the Internet for deals. You’ll be surprised what you can find if you take the time to search. Tours, restaurants and hotels are just some of the necessary travel accouterments that offer regular discounts.
3. Make sure you're getting the best deal
To ensure you are getting the best deal, take the time to shop around. You work hard for your money so you want to ensure that you’re getting as much out of it as you can.
Research and compare prices on the Internet. Check out prices on several different days, as some companies have clearance sales mid-week or at the end of the week. Check online travel companies that offer last-minute deals and try calling hotels directly to see if they have any promotions.
4. Ask for additional perks
You know what they say: “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” When you book your hotel room, ask if you can get a free breakfast or parking included. Or, when you book your tour, ask if you can get a free city tour included. Don't expect anybody to offer you anything; it’s your job to ask.
5. Book trips last minute
You may not get the exact dates you want, but if your schedule is flexible, booking last-minute deals can save you a mini fortune.
The last minute is when prices fall dramatically, as companies prefer to give away something for cost — even if it’s just a tiny one — to get any kind of revenue.
So, if you are feeling spontaneous, give it a go and book your travel last minute. Who knows where you may end up. Often, unplanned experiences are the best experiences.
6. Consider volunteer vacations
Volunteer trips are a fantastic way to experience a local culture, make a difference and save money. The volunteer vacation options are endless: You could go work at an elephant sanctuary in Thailand, an orangutan orphanage in Borneo, teach English in Peru or work on a coconut farm in Vanuatu.
There is no peak season, so you can go when flights are cheap and for a small weekly surcharge, you get food, lodging and someone to pick you up from the airport.
Many volunteer organizations also offer free day tours of the local sites for their volunteers. It is a great way to experience a country and its culture, all at an affordable price.
7. Explore alternate means of transportation
Since airfares have become more affordable, buses and trains are often thought to be outdated. However, they can be a really great way to travel.
They allow you to admire the scenery and nowadays, many of them have leather seats, WiFi and an attendant who serves drinks. With flights subject to delays, opting for the bus or train may very well save you time as well as money.
Everyone deserves a vacation every now and then and it doesn’t have to put a huge hole in your wallet. The trick is to know how to make the most of your vacation dollars.
Photo Credit: We Heart It