How to Be a Frugal Traveler
Travel may seem like an expensive recreation, especially when you consider popular destinations such as Europe and the Caribbean. However, it can be done on a budget, and it can be inexpensive without being cheap. If you do enough planning and saving, you can travel almost anywhere in the world on a limited budget. Be a frugal traveler by researching, budgeting and managing your money wisely.
Planning A Trip As A Frugal Traveler
Sign up for email discounts and coupons.Sites such as TravelZoo and Gate 1 Travel often send their email subscribers hot deals every week. For example, a recent trip to Ireland was advertised on Travelzoo for 9 and included air, hotel and rental car.
Evaluate any credit card reward points you might have.Check all of your balances and see if you can start your trip off cheaper.
Research affordable destinations.
- Note what it will cost to get there, stay there and enjoy what the area has to offer.
- Look for entertainment and activities that are free. Being frugal means taking advantage of museums, parks, beaches and other sightseeing opportunities that do not cost any money.
Set a travel budget.Be specific about how much you intent to spend on airfare, gas, other transportation costs, hotels and lodging, food and entertainment.
Consider the exchange rate if you are travelling internationally.For example, if you are trying to decide between a trip to Ireland or a trip to Costa Rica, check how much further your money will go in each destination.
- Use an online currency converter such as the one found on www.xe.com/ucc/. This resource will help you figure out what your money will be worth indifferent locations.
Invest in a great guidebook.Whether you are going to the Grand Canyon or the French Riviera, an excellent guidebook will help you be frugal when you travel.
- Search for information on inexpensive places to eat and sleep, as well as tips on the best days to visit popular sites and how to get discounts on admissions, transportation and activities.
- Remember to carry the book with you when you leave. You will need to access the information in it on a daily basis.
Pack light.Most airlines are now charging you for checked luggage. You do not want to waste money on additional bags.
Being Frugal While You Travel
Decide how you will pay for things.When you did your budget, you set aside a specific amount of money for your travel. Learn whether it makes financial sense to pay in cash or with a credit or debit card.
- Check with your credit cards and banks before you use them overseas. They might charge you to convert currency, and it might save you money to pay with your card rather than using it to withdraw cash from ATMs.
Find inexpensive lodging.Centrally located hotels are often more expensive. Use online travel sites such as Hotwire, Priceline, Expedia and Kayak to look for hotels that fit your budget.
- Consider alternative lodging such as hostels and bed & breakfasts. You might also want to try camping or apartments and homes that offer reduced prices on long term rentals.
- Stay with friends and relatives whenever you can. If someone you know is willing to put you up, take advantage of the offer and save some money.
Make your own meals.
- Be frugal by eating at a few good restaurants, and spending the rest of your food money on items you can pick up in grocery stores or farmer's markets.
Try a bus tour.Many cities and destinations have bus tours that you can hop on and hop off. Sites such as Viator offers inexpensive sightseeing opportunities and lists the most affordable tours to take.
Limit the number of souvenirs you buy.You may want to buy 1 or 2 special items, but do not spend a lot of money on things.
- Remember to use up any frequent flyer miles, reward points or other advantages you might have. These perks can help you pay for flights, hotel rooms and other travel necessities.
- Keep your travel itinerary flexible. You might stumble across inexpensive or cheap things to do and see while you are walking around or seeing the sights. Leave yourself plenty of time to explore.
Video: Sipping Sherry in Spain With the Frugal Traveler | The Daily 360 | The New York Times
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