Everyone dreams of travel. Whether it is to the Grand Canyon or the Eiffel Tower, most people have a dream destination. Unfortunately, travel can seem like the luxury of the rich. When you look at airfare, hotel costs, and the simple price of taking off work for a week, your trip budget becomes more than you can afford. But following some budget travel tips, you just might be able to make that travel dream come true. Below are seven tips that are sure to help you save.
- Travel in the off season
If you want to go to Europe, or any other popular destination, remember that summertime is busy time. This is the peak travel season, and consequently hotels, museums, and other tourist destinations will be packed. This also means they will charge the most for airfare and hotel rooms during peak months. So consider traveling off peak, meaning in the winter or early spring. Granted, the weather will be cold, but you can go places where there are some good indoor activities, such as Florence for the museums, or Paris for the shopping
Another good time to go is during the shoulder season, April, May, September, and October. The rates won’t be as low as in the off peak times, but they will be lower than in the busy season.
These budget accommodations are not just for students anymore. Hostels are community lodging centers often located in scenic or historic locations. For example, some castles in Germany have been transformed into hostels. The hostel experience is fun if you are up for a shared time. You will sleep in a room full of dormitory style beds, sometimes with anywhere from twelve to twenty people per room. So if you have an aversion to bunk beds or shared living quarters, stick to a hotel.
Many hostels offer a full kitchen for use by guests. You can cook meals, make tea, or boil water at your convenience. You can also use the common room for reading, relaxing, or conversation. There is not a lot of quiet time at hostels. With all the adventurous travelers coming and going, you will need to be prepared for some late nights. On the plus side, hostels can cost as little as $10 or $15 per night per person. The spending of the time is excellent when there is the availability of the best services. The cost of the rental services are less in comparison to the other one. The travelers will have the best experience with Leiebilnord services to travel to different countries. The selection is made with the right decision.
With all the tools online to book airfare, hotel, and car rental reservations, you can find most of your traveling needs at your fingertips. But this online booking trend is more than convenient. It can save you money too. With sites like Expedia.com, Orbitz.com, Travelocity.com, and others, you can compare the prices of travel destinations all over the world. In fact, many of these sites offer convenient newsletters that will alert you of travel deals. Some can even be tailored to deliver news of low prices to specific destinations.
When you visit these sites, there are some things to keep in mind. First of all, if you search for airfare to a particular destination, you may or may not get the lowest price. What one website says is the lowest may include their fee. So visit a few different sites before you make up your mind to buy. Also be sure to visit these sites well ahead of the day you want to leave. At least two months is a good window.
If you are the adventurous type, you can sometimes get a better deal by waiting until the last minute. Smartertravel.com offers a listing of last minute deals that leave either this weekend or next. You can pick your destination and fly for as much as fifty percent less than normal fares.
But keep one tip in mind: always visit the airline, hotel, or rental car website to be sure you can’t get what you want cheaper by going directly to the source.
When you rent a car either in the US or overseas, you probably won’t pay the low advertised price. This is because most advertised prices don’t include things like insurance, taxes, and other hidden fees. But some of these fees are easily removable, if you know what they are.
Your own car insurance policy most likely covers you in basic liability when driving the rental, so make sure it does so you can forego the added insurance from the rental agency. Also always fill up your car with gas before you drop it off. The company will charge you more for the gas if they have to do it themselves. If possible, return the car to the same location where you picked it up so you can avoid additional fees. Finally, taxes can be very expensive, especially at airport locations. Rent at off-airport rental places and ask about sales tax for that region.
When you are overseas, a value added tax of as much as 25% can be added on and is not optional. So figure this into your budget. If in doubt, call the rental agency before you make your reservations
- Save money at home while you are away
Once you have the budget details worked out for your dream vacation, don’t ruin all of your planning by running up high bills at home when no one is there. Always turn down your thermostat in the winter and up in the summer so that the house will not heat or cool empty rooms. You may also want to turn off your water heater and your refrigerator if you’ll be away for several weeks or months. Be sure that you have good insulation and ask a neighbor to keep an eye on the place to check for any leaks or busted pipes immediately.
If you know you are going to travel later in the year or perhaps next spring, apply for a credit card that offers travel rewards points. These points can be redeemed, depending on the type of card, for airline miles, hotel discounts, and even theme park vacation packages. Use the card for your everyday purchases, such as groceries, pharmacy goods, and retail shopping. You may even be able to double your points by shopping with certain stores online, so visit the credit card issuer’s website.
- Use your credit card when you travel abroad
You will need to exchange your American dollars for the foreign currency, and most locations will offer the best exchange rate when you use your credit card. Believe it or not, the rate can be as much as 5% to 7% better than if you exchanged your cash for its foreign money equivalent. Be sure you use your credit card when paying for large purchases, such as airfare, hotel bills, and rental cars. Also use it for jewelry and other big ticket shopping items.