How to Budget Travel
Often, budget travel seems impossible. With rising gas prices and a struggling economy, travel costs more than ever. Add to that the lowered value of the American dollar, and for many people, vacations seem like fond memories.
Fortunately, you don't have to wave bon voyage to your holiday plans -- at least, not if you're willing to make a few changes. There are great ways to find travel deals, and with a little patience and effort, you can have a fantastic vacation for the entire family.
There are two ways to travel cheap: save money on the vacation itself, and save money once you're there. Both are great ways to save, and when you combine them, you'll find yourself getting the best travel deals all the time.
When it comes to finding deals, start by looking online. Try to avoid booking your flight and hotel separately -- you'll pay less if you get a package deal, because the airlines and hotels make deals with one another that wind up saving you money.
In addition, when possible, travel in the off season. Depending on where you want to go, the off season varies, but the spring and summer months are typically considered 'high season' and everything will be twice as expensive at this time. If you can get away in the middle of February, you'll get better deals.
It's an undeniable fact that the American dollar has suffered internationally... so why not consider staying at home? Not home home, of course, but the United States has many fantastic tourist attractions that people around the world come to visit. What kind of awesome travel deals can you find in your own backyard?
Also consider why you're going on vacation. For example, if you want to lounge by the pool, there are many places you can do that in the United States. But if you travel to Vegas, for example, most people are there primarily to gamble -- and the hotels, knowing that, often offer great deals on hotels, expecting to recoup their losses from the casino. If you're not a gambler, you can get a great deal and lounge by the pool all day.
Once you're there, you can still get great deals by checking local tours, finding coupons, and the like. Do not, however, let yourself get talked into package deals that contain things you don't really need. Most of the best travel deals try to add things on (like impulse buys at the supermarket checkout) at the end. Refuse them all: you can always find out about them later.
If you follow these tips, you can take a stellar vacation for a surprisingly low amount of money. In fact, your holiday might be cheaper than a weekend at a local hotel. Learning how to budget travel is a fantastic way to save money while still getting a great holiday.