Do More for Less: How to Travel Cheap

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Do More for Less: How to Travel Cheap

Ohr Gutman, Staff Writer

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If you had just a week left to live, what would you do?

See the world.

This seems to be the most popular answer to that question. But why does the notion of possible death trigger the desire to travel? Your able-bodied youth is obviously the more ideal standing in which to jet-set across the world. Travel is a common muse, but it much too often ends up fading into just another afterthought over time. It’s delayed by any number of things: inconvenient timing, fear of unfamiliarity, or money, the last of these being the most frequent obstacle. 

Money shouldn’t stand in the way of experience, but unfortunately it manages to do so more often than not. Travel doesn’t always have to be expensive, though, and there are hundreds of ways to reduce the toll it can take on your bank account so you can finally start living out your fantasies. 

Below is a list of the strategies I’ve found most effective in cutting down costs on any sort of trip. Keep these tips and tricks under your belt and use them to your advantage this holiday season. 

Plan Transportation and Book Hotels Ahead of Time.

This is possibly the most annoying part of traveling, as well as the most significant drain on money. Check airfare and hotel booking websites such as Kayak and Expedia and compare prices to get the best deal on flights.

Be Flexible While Flying!

Sometimes the most inconvenient option is the best option. Time, number of stops, and seat selection are all variables that can either raise or lower the cost of transportation. Fly in the middle of the night or opt for a layover. Don’t underestimate the complications of the day of the week; check out this travel guide for more. 

Take Advantage of Reward Systems!

If you’re planning on traveling regularly, choose credit card plans that reward credit purchases for mileage points. Some hotels (chain hotels in particular) offer a similar point system to consistent customers.

Reach Out!

This is one of my mom’s personal favorites. There are blogs and groups all over social media that offer aspiring travellers opportunities and recommendations on certain areas based on firsthand experiences. Travel agents are also a viable option, but of course come with a heightened cost. 

Travel Like a Local.

People tend to depend on famous tourist attractions like the Eiffel Tower to make up a trip’s itinerary, but usually the most hyped places are also the most expensive and unrepresentative of the destination’s actual culture. You’re going to want to have a good ratio of touristy activities to local activities foodwise, shelter-wise, and activity-wise to give you the most authentic experience while not overspending. 

Create an Agreeable, Doable Budget!

Everything in moderation. Really consider what is worth splurging on before getting caught up in the heat of the moment and buying impulsively. Set a guideline for your spending habits ahead of time that caters to your personal priorities. 

Adjust Everyday Expenses!

Ask yourself what you could live without; make sacrifices that are fair to you and your objective, like dining in, scaling back the social spending, and switching name brands for generic ones. It does not have to be extreme, but making a habit of saving money will solve problems beyond just the issue of travel. 

RESEARCH!

This is the absolute most important step you should take into consideration. It is the backbone of any good trip; every other strategy will require some measure of research. Implementing an intensive research process before traveling is always necessary for a more comfortable trip. 

Travel does not have to be a mere pipe dream in an impossible bucket list. It is totally realistic as long as steps are actively taken in pursuit of it. Remember these tips and tricks and happy holidays!