The world is in an economic crisis and tourism has slowed down all over the world, which can mean big savings for savvy travelers. Cheap travel is possible if you’re willing to plan ahead and do a little research. Make the most out of your dollar with these tips on traveling cheap:
Be flexible with your travel dates. Traveling is always more expensive during the times when people travel the most: holidays, spring break, weekends. Flights in the middle of the week are less expensive than on the weekends. Cheap flights aren’t hard to find if you’re willing to do some research. Look into trains or car rentals to see what options are the least expensive. Overnight trains can be a very economical option because you’re combining traveling and lodging costs into one, all the while catching up on your sleep!
Many large cities, especially in Europe, are best seen by walking or bicycling. Amsterdam and Paris, for example, have excellent bike-rental systems which are a great alternative to expensive taxis. Ask about different passes for the metro or bus – sometimes day or weekly passes are cheaper than buying one ticket at a time.
Hostels are a great inexpensive alternative to hotels. While some hostels can still be downright scary, it’s not always the case. Some hostels offer private rooms with private baths just like a hotel but without the hefty price tag. Hostels may not be the most luxurious of accommodations but traveling cheap requires a few sacrifices. Besides, how much time are you really going to spend in your room anyways?
Eating out for every meal can add up very quickly. Set a budget ahead of time to avoid overspending. Balance out several cheap meals with one nicer one. Scour guide books or ask locals about the tiny restaurants located off the beaten path with the smaller prices. Planning ahead and shopping at grocery stores for snacks, bottled water, and simple items for sandwiches is a great way to travel cheap, as is bringing snacks from home.