Travelling is one of the most exciting and enjoyable ways to spend your vacation time. Whether you dream of lounging on the beach or touring castles, there are great travel destinations for everyone. The only problem is the expense. You may want to explore, but your budget would prefer for you to stay home and save pennies. How can you reconcile traveling and budgeting?
Believe it or not, it is possible to travel on a tight budget and to save money on vacations. Let’s look at some of the biggest travel expenses (accommodation and food), and how to reduce them to fit your budget.
Accommodation. Being pampered in a nice hotel can be fabulous, but you can also spend a month’s rent on just a night or two. There are other options. Consider travelling to somewhere where you have friends or relatives that you can stay with. Not only will you be able to catch up, but you’ll have a free place to stay (and sometimes food too!).
If you don’t know anyone where you are going, there are still ways to save. Another option is to house swap. This means that you stay in someone’s house and they stay in yours: effectively you trade places for the duration of your holiday. Although this sounds scary, there are reputable companies like HomeLink to organize this for you. Other options require some searching but can have great results. Look for hotels that do special deals in their off-season. Many areas also have small bed and breakfasts that are lovely and very affordable.
If you are traveling without children, a hostel can be an economical choice. Finally, consider camping. This may not seem like your idea of a vacation, but most campsites offer shower and toilet blocks. Some even offer electrical hook-ups for a small price and have on-site pools, stores, and other amenities. With the low price of campsite rental, you can save a lot of money this way.
Food. Going on vacation normally means spending a lot of money eating out in restaurants, fast-foods, and snacks. It’s not hard, though, to cut back on spending. If you’re only going away for a day or two, especially if you’re on a road-trip, consider bringing food with you from home. If you pack sandwiches and other snacks for the car, it will be cheaper and healthier than stopping for fast food. Bring the ingredients for some of your favourite simple meals especially if you’ll have access to a kitchen.
If you’re staying in a hotel or bed and breakfast that offers a free morning meal, take advantage of it. Eat a big breakfast. Consider going to the grocery store where you are staying and buying yourself food. If the weather is nice, consider buying bread, cheese, fruit, etc. and finding a park for a picnic. Depending on where you travel to, there may be markets that sell fantastic cheap produce and other food stuff.
If you use your imagination, you can enjoy travelling without breaking the bank.