A lot of people think that traveling is expensive, and only the rich and famous can afford it. I am financially independent and I don’t even make that much money, but I can afford it because I do my homework (and I also don’t buy everything I want.) Doing research and planning ahead and reading about where you are going can save you a lot of money!
1) Sign Up for Airfare and Travel Deals.
Airfare cost is a huge chunk of your travel expense, so do your homework! I find that kayak.com usually comes up with the best deals, but not always.
2) Book Hotels Ahead of Time.
Good hotels with good prices fly off the shelf fast! Book in advance, shop around, it’s a buyer’s market!
Coming from Asia, I recommend http://www.agoda.com, http://www.booking.com, http://www.hotels.com. Once your destination has been decided, pay for it in advance with the no cancellation option – that’s always the cheapest price. Many hotels now try to list the best prices on their own websites, so if you know where you want to stay, check the hotels’ promotions.
3) Be Aware of High and Low Seasons.
Be mindful of when the high and low seasons are for your travel destination. Booking ahead can save you a lot of money, and if you don’t mind traveling during low seasons, it will be that much more friendly to your wallet.
4) Weather Matters.
You cannot control the weather, obviously, but it will be nice to know the average weather of your destination during the time you are traveling. For example, if you save up for years for a gorgeous beach vacation but you’re going during the rainy season – it will probably be much cheaper, but you will not get that sea, sand, and sun you have been yearning for.
5) Eat Where the Locals Do.
Affordability goes out the window if you decide to eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant or that special “hip happening” dress-to-be-seen place. If you appreciate fine dining, set aside some extra reserves, but you might be better off going were the locals go to grab a bite to eat.
Not that you can’t, set out a budget for a special meal or two if you appreciate fine dining. However, a delicious local delicacy is always available at an affordable price.
6) Search for Scams
Before traveling to any country, be aware of the well-known scams. Tons of people share their unfortunate experiences online, so learn from other people’s lessons or you just might be doomed to repeat them.
So start planning your vacation today. Everyone deserves a beautiful holiday 🙂