Budget Travel – 6 Tips For Exploring the World With Budget Travel

Let’s face it. Most of us do not know the words “budget travel.” The usual scenario we face is that we either go splurging most of our money while traveling or we skip traveling altogether because of our seemingly ill-fitting budget. This does not have to be the case. You can go out, see the world with your own eyes, experience another culture, but actually spend far less money than you normally do. All it really takes are a bit of forethought and a very tight hold on the purse strings. If you want to know more about money-saving devices for your own budget travel scheme, here are some tips for you.

1. Go off season. This is a fact: most merchants offering hotel accommodations, entertainment and food usually jack up their prices during the tourist season. What you do not know is that a lot of these merchants are actually offering great discounts and added free services to people who come in during the off tourist seasons. They usually do this to entice more business to come in, and some offer really attractive but inexpensive packages. In many cases, you can actually get the pricey suites in a number of hotels, bed-and-breakfast inns and resorts for half their usual rates during this time.

Another great benefit to going off season is that you do not have to contend with the hordes of other tourists flocking to the same locations. This way, you can take as much leisurely time possible walking or renting bikes to explore historical sites and other interesting attractions. This is less expensive than signing up on a sponsored tour, or even taking the taxi everywhere. However, it is important to know for certain when the off season for each particular location is. National holidays, special events and even sports related events can cause merchants to raise their prices up in anticipation for the number of tourists and visitors flocking to the scene.

2. Plan your itinerary down to the last pit stop. Winging it would be great, if you have limitless financial resources at your disposal. However, for budget travel, you need to know exactly how much money you should spend in each and every location you go to. This would save you the heartache of finding out that you are running out of money… fast. Careful planning means you get to the areas you really want to see but actually keeping to your desired budget plan. You can ask your travel agent to help you scope out places that the shoestring budget traveler can subscribe to. Also ask for advice when it comes to booking in inexpensive lodging establishments.

3. Book your flight in advance. Airplane tickets would amount to the highest expenses on your ticket; but does not have to be the case always. Again, you can ask your travel agent to get you the lowest airline rates. You can also do this by constantly monitoring plane ticket sales online, and paying for your seat(s) via your credit card. This is different with simply reserving a seat on a plane. When you reserve a seat, you still have to pay the rates during the time you pay for the tickets. This means that you may have reserved a cheaper seat, but because you paid for it 2 weeks later, the higher and most current rate now applies. If you are planning your travel itinerary, try to plot out the rest of your travels between your airplane schedules.

Additionally, you can also choose other traveling options when applicable. Take the boat or the bus as alternatives to airplane rides. If you are moving from one state to another, renting out the car may lessen your traveling expenses considerably. A trailer is another great option especially since you do not have to pay for lodgings anymore.

4. Travel light always. Traveling light allows you to move around your destination spots using the public transportation systems. This will save you a lot of money, as opposed to constantly flagging down a cab. If you want to walk from one location to another, you can easily do so with a light traveling carrier. At the same time, you may actually find lodging establishments offering hitchhiker-friendly rates to tourists traveling with as little luggage as possible. Another advantage to traveling light is that you are not tempted to spend a lot of money on souvenirs because simply put, you have nowhere to store them without increasing the weight of your load.

5. Skip the tourist traps and go somewhere less prominent. Two things you have to remember about tourist traps. One: there is really nothing to see there, despite its popularity among the locals and other tourists. Two: everything there is overpriced – from the entrance tickets, to the food and even the connecting rides. By simply scouting your prospective destination online, you would know which spots are simply tourist traps, and you can avoid these altogether. Some areas in your itinerary may not be wildly popular among the touring crowd, but that does not mean you will not enjoy them. Depending on your personal taste, you can go to nature parks or museums instead. The best thing about these lesser known destinations is that most of them are free.

6. Try to be street-smart and brave when it comes to food. Familiar fast foods may be a cheaper option, but not all your possible destination areas have eating establishments that you might be conversant with. Another cheaper option would be to buy from vending machines, which is not particularly healthy. If you really want to skimp on money, try to avoid ordering food and beverage from the hotel or the lodging establishment you are staying in. There will always be convenience stores nearby where you can buy other healthier and cheaper food. Whenever possible, try to rent a room with a built-in kitchen so that you can fix your own meals. Or, if you have the stomach for it (literally,) why not try the local cuisine? Local food will always be a lot cheaper than the familiar fast foods.

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Budget Travel Tips – Eight Simple Ways to Stretch Your Vacation Budget

Budget travel has become a necessity for most people with the cost of gasoline and other consumer products on the rise. But when we start considering when, where, how and what type of vacation to undertake, we sometimes get caught up in the anticipation and excitement of the upcoming trip and let the more important financial side of things slip a little. After all, for most of us, taking a vacation may only happen once a year and for some, even more infrequently, so we tend to indulge and forget about our pocket book a little.

There are many ways to save money, avoid unnecessary cost, ensure you take care of details end up a smart and perceptive traveler. Travel planning is easier that you might think and here are eight great budget travel tips for making your travel dollar go further!

1. Cushion your budget – When considering a trip or planning budget travel, it is important to plan for the unexpected and consider the financial side of things early on. This ensures affordability, liquidity and having the resources to enjoy it to the fullest! Plan for the worst-case financial scenario and prepare for things to cost a little more than you expected. Allow up to 20% increase in cost to be on the safe side of things.

2. Emergency money: Carrying some spare cash somewhere can also be a lifesaver. The rule of thumb seems to be around $50-$100 in small bills. This can be used for incidentals, ground-transportation like cab fare and/or your return home, tips and more.

3. Set your priorities: Set some budget travel spending priorities and criteria in advance, like eating at a special restaurant or attending a concert, even if this means sacrificing a bit on lodgings or visa versa, depending on what is more important to you.

4. Keep an eye on your credit cards: It is extremely easy these days to have access to your financial resources through ATM’s and credit cards. Just remember that it is just as easy to overspend because of it being so readily available. A little discipline will go a long way to protect your financial interest and help you stick to your travel budget.

5. Maximize gas mileage and efficiency: If you’re planning a road trip, make sure that your car has been serviced at least a week before your trip. A well-maintained vehicle will go a long way to ensure carefree driving. If your budget allows, you may consider renting a vehicle to save wear and tear on your own. Small economy cars are better on gas and are much more comfortable than they used to be. Minivans and sport utility vehicles are practical only if you have to transport a large family with a lot of equipment or luggage.

6. Gas fill-ups: For filling up your car en route, avoid pushing to the limit until the gas runs out. Gas will obviously be more expensive when filling up in remote locations. If you miscalculated and the light on the dashboard indicates that you are really in need, opt for filling just half a tank until you reach the next more densely or major populated destination, where gas might be a little cheaper.

7. Pack-a-snack: Bring your own refreshments and snacks. Gas station prices on drinks and snack food are high. Avoid these during a pit stop, if you are counting your budget travel dollars. A cooler packed with lots of cool drinks, water and ice and/or a thermos of coffee or hot water for tea, some fruit, granola bars, or a sandwich, goes a long way to still the hunger and save you money by avoiding all high priced stops en route.

8. Travel necessities: It is advisable to travel with basic necessities, like a cell phone and a first aid kit, since both can prove to be essential in emergencies. Most people have cell phones at their disposal, but in the event that you are not one of them, a prepaid cell phone may be the answer for your trip. The peace of mind it offers is worth the small investment. Cell phones can also save on hefty surcharges and higher long distance rates that hotels and resorts often charge.

Budget travel requires close attention to all things financial before and during your trip. Planning a trip or vacation can be a little time consuming but following these travel tips will hopefully save you a lot of headaches as well as some unnecessary interest charges on your credit card balances later! You will thank yourself for your fiscal restraint and spending discipline, upfront planning, foresight and forward thinking!

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