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Ways to Save Money on Travel Expenses

I'm not sure about anyone else, but I like to travel. I like to go on vacation with friends and family to visit relatives, go to specific tourist attractions and just relax. However, my budget hasn't been very, um, accommodating when it comes to 'extras' like holiday trips. As much as I'd love to go see people who live far away or just take in a mountain sunset with my husband, I can't afford it. Given the current economical conditions, I know I'm not alone in this. But how can you still take those trips and stay within a reasonable budget? Never fear, I've found some ways to plan a vacation without taxing your wallet or mental health!

The first thing is obvious-create a budget for your trip. This is where advance planning comes into play. Figure out where you're going, how you're going to get there and what you will do once you reach your destination. That's really the only way you will know how much to save for. Make sure you account for expenses such as baggage checking costs or other fees. If you are going to another country, also consider currency exchange rates. That way there will be fewer unpleasant surprises when you get there.

Staying with friends and family works fine for a short visit but, if you are planning on staying a for long time or going places where you don't know anyone, you're going to have to find someplace to stay. Travel sites such as Expedia or Priceline are very helpful in that you can find lower rates on hotel rooms than you might otherwise. However, your social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) can be even more helpful because a lot of hotels, travel agents, etc are starting to advertise 'deals' only on those networks. Some even offer 'package deals'-a discount if you also book your air travel or car rental with them. Traveling during the 'off-season' can save you a lot of money on airline tickets and hotels.

One of the biggest expenses of vacations is the meals. Sites such as Groupon or Living Social can help you get discounts on restaurants and other things to do while you're on your trip. Also, the concierge at the hotel can tell you of local deals and suggest inexpensive activities. It also helps to book a suite with a kitchenette so you can prepare your own meals, thus saving money on restaurants.

Speaking of travel, drive if possible. Depending on how many people are going with you, airfare costs can mount up quickly. However, if driving isn't possible, you can often find decent prices and information about airfare from travel sites, social networking sites or sometimes from the airline's website itself. If you end up driving, take the rising costs of gas into account.

Hopefully now you will be able to plan your next vacation without having to break the bank. It's good to get away, but even better to save money while doing it!


Krinsky J said...

Once I have the money to get another car, my son and I are going to do some traveling around Zambia. There are so very many things to do in my country, it's just a matter of getting to them cheap, and one of the few *safe* ways to do that is having your own car.

Brand messineo said...

Yep, one of the most expensive parts of any trip is the food! But isn't that the most fun?

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