Ways to Travel on a Budget
Since it can be one of the biggest expenses on your trip, plan well for your transportation. If you have plenty of time to plan your trip, sign up for travel newsletters. Some are informational, with pointers on all aspects of travel, including budget. Others announce specials for a variety of airlines, hotels, and other types of lodging. Don’t forget to register to get e-mails directly from individual airlines, car rental companies, train and bus lines, and hotel chains.
If possible, plan not to travel on a holiday or holiday weekend, when prices often rise. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday are generally the cheapest days on which to fly. Search for promotional codes if you will be taking a bus or train, and find out if it’s cheaper to book by phone or online. It’s often very easy to find specials on car rentals as well.
There are many ways to save money on lodging as well. Major hotel chains often have the most convenient locations, and although some chains are pricey in big cities, you may find it easier to take advantage of specials. Another plus is that many offer reward programs, allowing you to earn free nights with a pre-determined number of stays.
Consider a less conventional option for your stay. Inns and bread-and-breakfasts offer cozy environments, and may be likelier to lower their prices during off-peak travel times. Hostels are valid alternatives for younger travelers, or those who aren’t as picky about privacy or amenities as they are the price. Renting an apartment for your trip allows you to live like a local, as well as helping you save money on food by giving you a place to cook and keep snacks, bottled water and other beverages. Not all apartments have kitchens.
Eat street food to save money and experience local fast foods. Food carts usually offer very reasonably priced, popular local foods. Pizza slices are an inexpensive option, and they allow you to check out the way pizza is done in your destination city. Reserve expensive dinners for special treats, or try pricier restaurants at lunch time, when portions are a little smaller, but so are the prices.