Thrifty Travels! (part 2)
Traveling is one of the great joys of life. There are so many incredible experiences to be had, people to meet and cultures in which to immerse oneself. The only drawback is that sometimes those trips can put some major wear and tear on the wallet! However, it’s possible to take those dream trips without having to take out a second mortgage on your home. With a little creativity, pre-planning and resourcefulness, you can save hundreds on your vacations. Of course, this means you may not be able to travel like the Clooney’s or Beyonce and Jay-Z, but that doesn’t mean your experience can’t be just as fun and, perhaps, even more meaningful. We’ve compiled some helpful travel budget hacks that we hope you’ll find helpful! If you love traveling and like saving money, you may want to read on!
Travel Off Season
When my friend retired from teaching, I asked her what the best part of retirement was. She didn’t skip a beat, and said, “I can finally travel off season!” Indeed, traveling during peak times can be very expensive, as everything from flights to car rentals go up in price! A great way to avoid these high prices is planning to travel off-season. You’ll be amazed at how much lower the prices for flights and hotels are (and almost everything else)!
One thing to keep in mind is that not all countries share the same off-season times. So, when you decide on which part of the world you’re going to visit, you’ll want to do a little google research to find this out. A bonus to traveling during the off-peak times is that there are fewer tourists around, providing you with a more authentic travel experience. I recently visited Paris in January, and it was such a joy to be able to walk right into galleries and museums that during peak times would be at least an hour or two wait!
Avoid the Traps!
Whether you’re traveling during peak times or not, one thing you can always do is avoid the touristy areas. In these places, everything is more expensive! I’m not suggesting you bypass iconic places altogether. If it’s your first time in New York City, for example, you’ll want to visit Times Square and The Statue of Liberty, but I’d highly recommend not eating or shopping in those areas, as you’ll pay far more than you should!
Memories Over Money
At the risk of sounding preachy, I would suggest curtailing the shopping and collecting fabulous and meaningful memories instead! The most indelible memory I have of my visit to NYC was not shopping for expensive items on 5th Avenue, but rather a spur-of-the-moment picnic in Central Park eating the most amazing bagels and locks bought from the world-famous Zabars! So, unless you want to travel like the Kardashians (not me!) I would forgo excess shopping and opt for memory making!
It’s a general truth that the earlier you book your flights, hotels, transportation and car rentals, the cheaper their rates are. Don’t be a last-minute Lucy! Book ahead and save!