There’s no doubt traveling is one of the annual rites of spring, especially when the season comes on the heels of a long winter full of polar vortexes and ice storms. For many people, however, a sunny getaway is an expensive luxury that can be hard to afford. Your spring vacation may never be free, but you can make it more affordable. Next to saving up for your trip, there are some things you can do to keep your costs low. Let’s take a look at three of them now.
Take your budget with you
With more than 2 million apps and counting, there’s an app for everything nowadays. That goes for every traveling need as well. From translating services to itinerary organization and everything in between, you can pack your phone full of apps to help while you’re abroad.
Just don’t forget about the more pedestrian needs while you travel. Although you may already use a budgeting app to help you manage your money, there are specialized services designed to help you create a dedicated spending plan for your vacation.
They sync with your mobile bank and credit cards to monitor your spending in real time. With a subtle vibrate or shrill ding, you’ll receive a notification that your last tap for coffee puts you perilously close to overspending in this category.
Most people do overspend, emptying out their savings to create an unforgettable experience. This can make coming home even harder — not only will you say goodbye to a wonderful new place, but you may return without the finances to afford an unexpected expense.
Don’t worry, there’s an app for that too. You can use your phone to apply for installment loans when you return home to an unexpected bill or repair. These online loan apps offer easy access to financial help when you need it, especially in an emergency.
Mix up your accommodations
No matter where you go or what you do on your vacation, you’ll need a place to lay your head. While a hotel is the most common choice amongst travelers, it may not be the best choice for your budget. It’s not unusual for a single hotel room to cost $300 a night — and that’s just a basic room with a double bed. For luxurious experiences that include multiple rooms, kitchenettes, and spa-like bathrooms, you could be spending even more.
With hotel rates expected to rise in 2019, accommodations have the power to bust your travel budget. Luckily, there’s a growing number of hotel alternatives that provide a cheaper way to sleep.
We all know Airbnb, the trailblazing service that lets you rent entire homes across the world — sometimes at a fraction of the price of a hotel room. But it’s not the only way to find accommodations. There are other services like it, including:
- FlipKey Inc
- VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner)
Just like Airbnb, you can search for rentals that fit your budget with a quick adjustment to your preferences.
If you still can’t find the price you want, don’t lose hope just yet. You can check out Couch Surfing, a platform that connects you with hosts willing to put you up in their house for free. There are also several house-sitting apps that, for a small fee, let you find homeowners who need someone to housesit while they travel. You can use their house as a home base on your own trip abroad.
Ditch takeout and expensive dinners
Strictly budgeted meals go out the emergency exit as soon as the flight attendant comes down the aisle charging you an extortionate price for beer and a sandwich. Then, you pick up a quick bite on your way to your lodging, before you head out for dinner and drinks with your travel companions. And it doesn’t stop there — food and drinks flow all vacation long.
To prevent food from taking a huge bite out of your budget, you can try limiting how often you eat out at restaurants, cafés, and diners. This tip will be easier if you manage to snag a full apartment or villa instead of a hotel. That way, you can make use of your rental’s kitchen.
Even if you stay in a hotel, make sure to visit the local grocery store to pick up snacks and other portable, yet cheap foods you can eat on the fly. Use ice from the vending machine to store any dips, deli meats, and other perishable foods safely.
While vacations will always be expensive, these tricks will help you avoid spending too much when you’re abroad. Remember them as you escape to your destination this year, and enjoy your holiday without compromising your budget.