5 Hacks to Save Money on Travel
In 2017, travel and tourism accounted for 10.4% of the global GDP. It goes without saying – there’s a little bit of nomad in all of us.
Despite this yearning to embark on new journeys and explore new experiences, it can get pricey. One survey found the average person spends $1,200 on vacation every year. For a family of four, that’s $4,800 – or 8-9% of the average US household income.
But travel doesn’t have to be expensive. There are dozens of ways to save money on travel and we’re going to share five of them with you below.
1. Share Your Trip
By now, everyone is aware of Airbnb. After all, there are now more than 4 million hosts worldwide and you can book almost half of them instantly. Founded in 2008, Airbnb is now worth more than $38 billion.
But, the accommodation-sharing juggernaut has some competition. Sites like couchsurfing.com and servas.org also enable you to find accommodations on the cheap. In some cases, even free!
Along with places to stay, these travel-sharing sites can also help you find ridesharing, group tours and more.
2. Cook Your Own Meals
If you’re traveling overseas, it’s hard to avoid local fare – and you shouldn’t. If you’re planning your dream trip to the Amalfi Coast – food has to be included in your plans!
But food and alcohol can really eat into your budget. Combined, it accounts for 16% of international trip expenditures and 27% of domestic.
One solution is to cook your own breakfast, brunch or lunch and save the eating out for dinner meals. Even if you don’t have a full kitchen in your rental, you can easily make fresh fruit salads and toast. You’ll save money and eat healthier!
3. Use Discount Codes and Coupons
Whether you’re staying stateside or heading across the pond, discount codes and coupons can save you a ton of cash.
Another travel hack to save money is to bundle your accommodations with airfare and/or transportation needs. This is especially important if you’re booking a last-minute trip. Online travel agencies lock in lower fares and hotel costs early so if you need to jettison out of town at the eleventh hour, buying a package deal can help save money on travel.
4. Buy Airplane Tickets at the Right Time
Saving money on airfare is one-part science and a whole lot of flexibility!
Airlines release flight sales on Tuesday mornings, so booking your flight on Tuesday afternoon will typically garner you bigger savings. The cheapest day of the week to fly? Believe it or not, it’s Saturday. If a Saturday departure doesn’t fit your travel schedule, Tuesday and Wednesday should be your next option. If you can, avoid Fridays and Sundays – these are the most expensive days of the week to fly.
Keep in mind, the time of the flight can also make or break your budget. Flying early morning on late at night is historically less expensive than mid-afternoon or evening flights.
Being flexible with your destination will also save you a couple of bucks. If you plan on soaking up the local sights, cities like Atlanta, Charleston, SC, and Washington DC offer affordable activities for people of all ages and interests.
5. Go Local
Once you decide on your destination, research where the locals go, what they like to do and where they like to eat. Tourist traps will be more expensive — and more crowded. Going off the beaten path can really help save money on travel.
If you know someone on social media who hails from your vacation destination, ask them for some recommendations. If you don’t, wait until you get there! Ask your driver, hotel concierge or even a stranger on the street. You’ll find that you’ll not only find some hidden gems, but you’ll meet some unforgettable people along your journey.
If you’ve always dreamed of seeing the world – or even the other side of your state – you should never let a tight budget hold you back. These 5 hacks will give you the freedom of traveling without sacrificing the fun. If you’re always on the lookout for ways to save money, make sure you check our blog frequently for freshly updated content.