Escape the High Price Tags While You Escape for Vacation
Traveling is America’s second favorite pastime. We all love to explore new places and experience new things, and we love to enjoy luxuries that we otherwise wouldn’t enjoy during our everyday lives. There’s nothing we all look forward to more than taking those few days or weeks to take a break from our regular routines and take a trip to the ocean or to the mountains or to wherever our hearts desire. Opportunities to travel, however, are few and far between.
Traveling is not always the most practical thing to do. The biggest obstacles we face are the expenses that come with the journey. Plane tickets and hotel rooms can add up quickly and can leave you with a nearly empty bank account— and that’s before figuring in food and other expenses.
Hotels are nice, mostly clean and quiet homes away from homes; but they normally come with quite a hefty price tag. Luckily, when traveling for work or for pleasure, new age housing offers you more options without breaking the bank. Websites such as VRBO and Airbnb may land you in a charming townhouse in the city, or it may lead you to a tiny apartment on a questionably gloomy street nearby— but it can get you there for as little as $25 a night! That’s considerably less than finding and booking a hotel. The only crutch is— you may be living in a complete stranger’s house for a week or you may be camping out in a tiny loft with noisy neighbors; but you often get what you pay for.
Opt for a Train, Not a Plane:
You can book a round trip flight for one person from Roanoke to La Guardia for close to $300, or you could book a round trip Amtrak train for two people from Roanoke to Penn Station for the same price! Like airfare, the earlier you book, the greater the deal you can find on train tickets. As long as you’re not planning on traveling overseas, you can find trains that can take you across America and just about anywhere you need to be— the amazing views along the way will be well worth it.
Save Uber’s for Emergencies:
Nothing makes us roll our eyes harder than the words “take the F train to…”, but metros and trains are significantly more budget friendly than taxis and Ubers. Most cities have some form of public transportation that will leave you within walking distance of any destination. Not in the city? See about renting bicycles
Eat as the Locals Do:
Food is an area where you can go as cheap or as expensive as you’d like. If you have access to a kitchen, find some deals at local grocers and make your meals at home— this also gives you the control over the nutritional value of the foods you eat while on your trip. Be aware that food and taxes may be more expensive in other places than where you live, so be prepared to fork over $5 for a box of oatmeal rather than the $2 boxes you’re used to. If you’d prefer to enjoy the luxury of sitting down in restaurants and cafes, consider setting a daily budget for each meal. Compare menus and ask the locals to find great hole-in-the-wall restaurants with even better prices.
Travel Out of Season:
Airfare, hotels and activities will be more expensive during peak times for tourists. You’ll be more likely to find better deals on housing and travel if you book when their traffic is light. Plan tropical getaways in late summer or early fall, hotels will lower their prices to entice cheap travelers such as yourself to book their rooms— same goes for airlines.
The ultimate tip for traveling on a tight budget is to lower your standards. Budgeting isn’t glorious, but the experiences you’ll have will be well worth the tiny sacrifices you’ll make.