Traveling on a Budget
When you add up airfare, meals, lodging, transportation, and entertainment, travel can be a big drain on your bank account. However, there are ways to travel for less and still have your dream vacation. Here are our top tips for how to travel for cheap that will help you satisfy your travel bug without compromising your financial goals.
Start Budgeting Now
The best time to start budgeting for your vacation is yesterday. The second-best time is now! Set up a separate bank account as a vacation fund and have a dedicated amount automatically deposited from each paycheck. If you use a credit card that offers cash back, putting those rewards toward your vacation budget will help you save quicker 2.
Plan For the Off Season
If you can be flexible, plan your trip during off-peak times. The summer months and the holidays are the most popular times to take a vacation so it will be more difficult to travel on a budget than if you’re traveling in April or September3. The day of the week will also impact your airfare. Avoid flying on Fridays or Sundays if you can help it3.
Find Cheap Flights
Flight fares can change from minute to minute, which can make finding a good price seem difficult, but there is a method to the madness. Rather than searching an airline’s website, use third-party sites like Google Flights and Priceline1. These tools allow you to compare prices based on parameters like airline, date, time, and other factors including connecting flights. You can even set up alerts that will send you a notification when the prices drop.
Look Into Alternate Transportation
If you don’t have as many time constraints, consider ditching air travel altogether. Land transportation like trains and buses are some of the cheapest ways to travel and let you to see more of the country as you go.
Leave Enough Time
Planning a last-minute vacation on a budget may seem fun and spontaneous, but it will probably result in you overpaying for things like flights and lodging. Book your flight at least a month in advance for domestic travel and 2-3 months for international travel.
Look For Inexpensive Lodging
Where you stay can have a big impact on your overall travel expenses. Airbnb is a great way to cut down costs, especially if you have multiple people to split the cost. Airbnbs allow you to have your own fully furnished living space with amenities like a kitchen, which means you can cook for yourself and save money on restaurants. If you’re set on a hotel, there are still ways for you to keep costs low. Look for hotels with perks like included parking and breakfast that will help you save elsewhere in your travel budget4.
Do Some Research
A little research can go a long way. Take note of activities like free walking tours, pay-what-you-wish museum days and cheap events that will help you save on activities. Some attractions offer group, age, or student discounts that you may qualify for.
Let LendNation Help You Out
Sometimes though, even with the best planning, you can find yourself in a tough situation that threatens to derail your plans. LendNation can help you get back on track. With our online and in-store loan options and easy application process, LendNation offers practical solutions to get cash fast to pay for emergency expenses and keep the rest of your plans on track. Apply online and you could be approved within minutes!