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5 Budget Friendly Travel Tips that Won't Drain Your Wallet

July 21, 2016
Planning for your annual summer vacation or a special holiday trip can get expensive in a hurry. According to AAA, an estimated 38 million Americans planned to kick-off the popular summer travel season by hitting the open roads or flying across country for Memorial Day weekend 2016. So how can you join them without draining your wallet in the process? If you consider these five tips, you might find yourself with some more spending money during and after your trip.
Plan in Advance
The best place to start saving money on your next vacation is during the planning phase. Develop a clear picture of what you want your vacation to look like. Where do you want to go? What kind of lodging and travel accommodations are you hoping for? Answering these questions help you establish a usable budget, thus making it easier to start saving in advance because you have a target number you are striving to meet in the savings process. As you start looking for flights and hotels, do not book the first one you see; always be on the lookout for cheap flights and hotels.
Go Off the Beaten Path
Hotspots around the world favored by tourists are often more expensive than even neighboring cities, not to mention different locations altogether. The demand for those hotspots results in higher prices for everything from airline tickets and lodging to meals. Resorts realize they have a captive audience, and will take advantage with higher-than-average prices. This does not always mean sacrificing on the quality of the location either. Traveling to a destination such as Tahiti or the Caribbean is still affordable if you do so during the offseason. You avoid the peak demand for travel and still get a relaxing, enjoyable vacation that will not break the bank.
This can extend to your accommodations as well. If hotel prices are sky-high, then consider looking into alternate lodging options such as vacation rental properties, friends or family in the area with a home, or even hostels if traveling abroad.
Buy Food and Beverages at Local Grocery Stores
It is fun to have a drink now and then while you are on vacation, or dine out and enjoy the local cuisine, but the costs can add up quickly. If you buy food from local grocery stores or supermarkets, you can save money by eating breakfast at home and designating certain meals or days to check out nearby restaurants. If nothing else, you not only save money, but you also enjoy a change of pace from trying out a new restaurant and taking a gamble on the quality of the food and diversity of the menu.
Buy Season Passes over Daily Packages
If you are planning on visiting Disney World in Orlando, or any other major theme park, it is best to consider the season passes instead of daily packages. If you go to the parks more than once during your visit, you will enjoy the savings almost immediately. Keep in mind that theme parks such as Disney World charge in excess of $100 per adult and $20 for parking for a single day at the park. A season pass can cut down on those expenses drastically, especially if you intend on visiting numerous times.
Use Rewards Programs
Most credit cards offered by American lending institutions offer reward programs at the very least, if not generous miles programs; time to start using those rewards in your favor. Whenever possible, start your vacation planning by looking into how you can leverage your credit card miles to book discounted hotels, airline tickets, and even rental cars.
At the end of the day, a little bit of planning and some attention to detail can help you build a budget friendly vacation that leaves you with some extra spending money when all is said and done.
For more help with budgeting contact Manhattan Ridge Advisors.