Top ten ways to save money and travel
Travel is back and these top ten ways to save money and have fun will help you make it through the ups and downs of our economy and help your budget stay in line.
Planning and preparing is the best way to ensure you save money. Planning gives you time to research the best prices on everything you want to do. From airline fares, to hotel stays, to sightseeing, plan it and create a an itinerary. Last minute planning can costs you more.
Planning also gives you a chance to watch fares on apps like Hopper which will predict prices for flights, car rentals and hotels, with 95% accuracy up to 1 year in advance.
Visit Museums on free days
Free days vary from museum to museum and day to day. Check before you leave on your trip, for free days and plan to visit when you can cut the entry fees and save, save, save. This is a huge saving for families.
Join loyalty programs
Most programs are free and a way to add points and miles when purchasing things you use everyday. Loyalty programs are not just with airlines, hotels and car rentals, you’ll want those for sure, but also sign up for grocery programs, drug stores and any programs that will give you amenities like upgrades, discounts and free stuff….. we all love free stuff. Dollars saved on items you use throughout the year, add up to money you can spend when traveling.
Avoid touristy area for meals
Really everything in the tourist areas will likely be higher than shopping and eating in an area where locals live and frequent. Basically, those areas have higher rent costs and pass those fees on the tourists. Businesses in areas where locals frequent will want to ensure repeat business by offering costs that fit with the area and affordability.
Besides making your load light, heavy bags and suitcases will cost you especially when flying. Also you may need to leave a heavy bag in storage while sightseeing, that will cost you too. The biggest saving with packing light, is your time. You can move faster and get around better when traveling light.
Carry a reusable water bottle
The first thumbs up to this one is saving the environment. One-use containers pollute our environment and in the long run creates cost that we do not initially see, but will feel later with increase costs. But, the immediate saving is the price of bottle water. Refill you reusable container and keep it moving. Bottle water in tourist areas can cost up to $6 a bottle. There are many canisters on the market that are lightweight and will keep beverages very cold or hot throughout the day.
Shop in the local grocery store for snacks
Who doesn’t want a late night snack. Stock up at the local grocery store instead of purchasing chips, drinks and candy at the hotel market. Big difference and they’re just as tasty.
Make breakfast a big meal
When considering your budget for meals, make breakfast you big meal. Load up on protein, carbs and any yummy items you enjoy. This gives you fuel for the day for walking, touring and moving around. It will also cut down on the feeling to snack. And, don’t forget to fill you water canister before heading out the door.
Buy passes for local attractions
Many city attractions have agreements with companies to package their fees for lower prices and discounts. CityPASS is a favorite one which offers up to 40% off. Some cities where your can use CityPASS are Atlanta, New York, Tampa, Denver, San Francisco, Orlando and Houston. Visit their website – CityPass.com
Walk around the city
Plan your route and hit the streets with your walking shoes and digital or paper map. Most travelers feel they can save by taking ride shares. However, skip Uber and Lyft which can be more costly than taking a cab in some cities. Walking gives you a chance to slow down and take in the sites and you’re getting in those wonderful steps; an added plus for staying healthy and fit.
Book accommodations outside of the hotspots
It’s true, you pay for convenience and location. Accommodations in the trending areas close to all the fun, will cost more but you can walk to them which will save money on transportation. However, check the rates in hotel outside of the busy areas and the savings may still be greater than booking a hotel close to the action.
What savings tips do you have? List them below and share the savings.