You’re scrolling through Instagram and spot a gorgeous destination you would love to visit. Then, you remember your bank account balance. Sound familiar? If so, don’t get discouraged. There are plenty of ways you can travel the world without breaking the bank. As someone who travels often for work and for fun, I’ve learned the tricks of the trade. So, here, I’m sharing seven ways you can travel like a pro on a budget.
Travel off season
One of the best ways to travel on a budget is to explore new destinations in their off season. While this technically means that a particular place is not ideal due to the season or weather, many times, you will find that plane tickets, hotels, and activities cost less, which makes for a great vacation and—the best part—less tourists. For example, Quebec City has an amazing deal at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac where they are offering Christmas in November for guests to get significant discounts this season. What I love about this is that you can save money and stay at a luxurious hotel.
Avoid weekend dates
With most people trying to get home in time for work, airlines usually hike up the prices for weekend flights. Instead of traveling back on Sunday, which tends to be a peak day, try flying home Monday or Tuesday to avoid the extra costs.
Travel with friends
One of my favorite travel hacks of all time is to save big while traveling with your friends. Not only is this super fun, but everything becomes so much more affordable when you can split the bill. When I travel with my girls, we share a room, split meals, and get great group discounts, which allows our money to go much further.
Photo: c/o Ariana Pierce
Many times, we spend more than necessary from procrastinating and waiting until the last minute to buy things we know are a must for our travels. Airlines and hotels are known to raise their prices the closer it is to the date you are choosing. Also, planning gives you the chance to save money for your trip. One of my favorite apps to use is Digit, which automatically saves money for you based on your spending habits. It’s the perfect app to use specifically for traveling and exploring the world.
Stay in hostels
Staying at a hostel is a great alternative to expensive hotels. If you don’t mind sharing a room with strangers and having a community bathroom, then you can easily book a stay for $10 to 20. If you are set on having your own room and bathroom, those options are also available and more than likely will be less than your average hotel room. Plus, it’s a great place to meet new people and make friends.
Travel to under-the-radar places
As we know, popular travel destinations require a bigger budget. One of the ways to save big while still hitting the tourist hot spots is by staying in neighboring cities that aren’t as popular, then making your way over to the main city for a day or even daily if the travel time isn’t too long. This is a great way to avoid high costs while still enjoying your dream destination.
Become a newsletter junkie
Most companies love to reward their subscribers with deals and specials as a thank you for signing up and being a loyal customer. Take some time to join your favorite airline and hotel’s newsletter, and watch for daily deals that come through for various destinations. You may even consider creating an email address specifically for these types of emails.
According to Skyscanner, you should look for deals on Tuesday afternoon, as most airlines know by this time if their weekend flights are booked or not. If they still have empty seats, then this is when they will slash the price and tell their subscribers.
Ariana Pierce is an entrepreneur and travel expert. She has created her entrepreneurial story of inspirational lifestyle products, blogs, and events with six successful businesses.