They say change is as good as a holiday, but nothing beats a well-deserved vacation. The problem for most of us, is that it can be pricey and very short. So in this post, we are going to provide a few tips to help you make the most of a vacation. The bonus? It will be cheaper and longer.
Sign up for cheap vacation newsletters
Unless you want to go to a specific destination, it would be a great idea to sign up for cheap flights and accommodation newsletters, social media pages, deal apps, social coupons and booking aggregators. Book your flights for midweek, especially on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Use Incognito mode
Typically, your browser collects cookies. This data is used to identify you to the travel websites you visit, and the sites may raise prices when they see that you are targeting a particular date, hotel or itinerary. Using incognito mode or a VPN can help hide your research activities.
Travel during low season
It pays to be flexible, and to remember that you can either choose your time or place, but not both if you way to save money. If your time is flexible, consider traveling during low season, when rates are cheaper, especially to outdoor vacation destinations. Check the opening and closing time of establishments you wish to visit during your stay.
When you fly or take the night bus or train, you actually stretch your accommodation budget further, because overnight travel is a two-for-one deal. You pay for transport, but you also get to sleep while you travel. That means you don’t have to book accommodation as well. When you opt for cheaper travel arrangements, you must expect delays. Things sometimes go wrong, so just go with the flow and be patient.
Save money on food
If you’re traveling with the family, rent a self-catering apartment or chalet with a kitchen. Eating out is expensive, unless you buy food from food trucks. This is also a great way to sample the local fare. Carry nutrition bars and other healthy travel snacks with you so that you can snack when you need to. Keeping healthy snacks on hand will help you resist the temptation of buying unhealthy foods at the airport or other expensive vendors. If you need to dine out, choose lunch instead of dinner. Likewise, some supermarkets have prepared food sections where you can score a full meal of your chosen foods at affordable prices, and you don’t have to go cook when you return to your lodgings.
Negotiate directly with the establishment
Travel aggregators and online booking sites take as much as 15% in commissions from accommodation establishments, car rental companies and airlines. For that reason, it’s often best to book directly.
Use rewards programs where possible
Use every possible rewards program to book your travel. From car rentals rewards programs and loyalty programs to frequent flyer miles and credit card cash backs, you can save quite a bit of cash.
Don’t have luggage? If you don’t travel frequently, you may not want to spring for brand new luggage. Instead, borrow luggage from a friend. Buying travel insurance is cheaper than luggage, so if something goes wrong, you can reimburse your friend. Another important thing to do in case your luggage goes missing, is to pack a change of clothing and underwear in your carry on. Your carry on should ideally be light and soft so it can easily fit in the overhead compartment.
Take advantage of free breakfasts
Even smaller, cheaper hotels and motel chains offer free continental breakfasts. Many of them are buffet style, which means you can fill the reserves until well after lunch, thus saving you money.
Stay in an outlying district
It makes sense to stay close to the amenities, but everything costs more in midtown, especially accommodation. If there’s access to cheap transportation, ridesharing or public transit, or if you have your car handy, you will save money. If you’re traveling for more than a week or ten days, it may well be worth your while to consider auto shipping your personal vehicle to your destination, if it’s too far to drive. You could fly to your destination, where you would meet your car. It also gives you freedom to move around at your own pace.
Staying healthy during your travels will ensure you enjoy it even more. Some of us are unable to wind down and just enjoy a few days of leisure. Taking care of yourself while traveling is the best way to keep your health optimal. So, during your travels:
- Do a few stretches or go for a short jog daily.
- Hydrate! Keep a water bottle with a filter handy at all times.
- Breathe deeply!
- Avoid too much sugar and alcohol.
- Have breakfast.
- Take your time. You don’t necessarily have to see the whole city in one day.