Save money on going away for the weekend with these six great tips.
Consider Traveling During the Shoulder Season
For most parts of the world, summer is the peak travel season. The warm weather, along with the school holidays, make summer the most convenient time to take a vacation. However, if you are on a budget, this is also the least favorable time to travel as it is when prices are at their highest.
Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for winter to get a good deal that fits your budget. Traveling during the shoulder season (the period between peak season and off-season i.e. spring and fall in most of North America and Europe) allows you to enjoy lower prices, relatively pleasant weather, and fewer crowds.
Avoid Holiday Weekends
Even though a long holiday weekend may seem like an opportune time to travel, you have to consider that many other people are thinking the same. Long weekends such as Memorial Day and Labor Day see huge crowds at popular attractions. What’s more, the increased demand for flights and hotels causes the prices to spike. It is also not uncommon for gas prices to skyrocket during busy travel weekends. By choosing a slow travel weekend, you can find great deals on travel and accommodation.
If you don’t have a specific destination you’ve set your eyes on, you can look up flight deals and choose a destination among the getaways with the best deals. For instance, sites like Skyscanner allow you to find the cheapest ticket prices to anywhere you might be looking to go and also set travel dates. Last minute breaks in hotels can save you plenty of money. If you have a spirit for adventure, this offers the best strategy to explore on a budget.
If you have already decided on a destination but have a flexible schedule, Google Flights allows you to find the cheapest months to travel and also set flight alerts to be notified when ticket prices go down. Frugal Travel Guy outlines how to set flight alerts using various airfare websites.
It goes without saying that flights and lodging are among the biggest expenses of a weekend trip. However, how you choose to spend your money at the destination will also influence how costly your trip is. Fortunately, there are ways you can make the most of your trip while sticking to your budget.
Find Deals on Days Out
Whether you are looking to visit landmarks, museums, or other tourist attractions, Groupon allows you to find deals and discounts on popular attractions. However, it is crucial that you read the fine print – deals from Groupon can have restrictions that full-price admission tickets don’t have.
If you are aspiring to live like a local while on your holiday, avoid the busy tourist sites and seek out free events. These can include free concerts, street fairs, gallery walks and many more. If you know where to look, you will definitely find what you need. Consider asking a friendly local about some of the most popular activities, and checking out online calendars and local independent newspapers.
Use Local Transit
There is nothing more frustrating than driving in an unfamiliar location. You are constantly faced with the challenge of figuring out your way from Point A to Point B and also finding and paying for parking. In a busy destination, finding parking can take twice as long as the driving.
You can save yourself all this stress and hassle by using public transit instead. While it may take some time to understand the transit system, in the end, you’ll end up spending less money, time, and effort than you would driving. If you’re a distance from a bus stop or public transport then a fold up bike could be the answer. Just ride safely and wear a helmet and high vis.
Dine Outside Busy Tourist Areas
There are lots of conveniences that come with dining in the main tourist area. You have wait staff glad and ready to serve you, and plenty of seating area. However, all this comes at a significant cost. Restaurants catering to tourists often have higher prices than what the quality of their services is actually worth. You can find flavorful, and authentic dining at much cheaper prices by choosing to dine in an area further away from the busy tourist areas.