By Jesse Clark, from Soulful Travel
Image via Unsplash
For many people, traveling can be a fulfilling experience. Getting to see the world and explore new places is thrilling, though it is sometimes costly. According to research, the average four-night domestic trip costs $581, and a 12-night international trip costs $3,251. Almost half of those costs come from travel expenses. Thankfully, there are ways you can save money on traveling while getting the most out of your trip.
Keeping the Flights Costs Down
The cost of plane tickets can take up a large chunk of your travel costs. If you have the travel bug, it may be worthwhile to take part in a frequent flyer program. Airline cards can help you save money on flights, luggage, and hotel costs. You can earn frequent flyer miles not only through purchases from the airline but also through everyday purchases.
Believe it or not, some days are cheaper to fly than others. If you're looking to save money, you'll want to avoid traveling around major holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Years. Additionally, spring break tickets are also expensive. The cheapest days to fly are often Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Before booking your tickets, use a flight price calculator to experiment with different dates and times to see when you can get the best price.
Be Wise About Accommodations
A hotel stay is another area where your expenses can add up quickly. To keep costs down, use reward programs. Earning points can net you a free night in the hotel. You can also save money by being flexible about when you book. Friday or Saturday are the best days to book a hotel. When booking, choosing a Sunday check-in and a Friday check-out can also save you money.
If you're looking for a cheaper option than a hotel, you may want to try staying in a hostel instead. Hostels offer inexpensive lodging for travelers through shared dormitories and common areas. This option also gives you a chance to meet other travelers and learn their tips for saving money. Wherever you choose to stay, look for places that offer a complimentary breakfast to save on the cost of eating out for each meal. Cooking your own meals can also save you money, so find accommodations with a kitchen.
Another budget-friendly option is to stay local and rent a vacation home in Sarasota. You will save on transportation expenses and have roomier accommodations, and having your own kitchen means you won't have to spend as much dining out. Search for homes near the activities you enjoy the most. According to Turnkey, if long, relaxing days at the beach are how you would like to unwind, you can book a home at Siesta Key for access to Crescent or Turtle Beach. If you would prefer to enjoy the city's shopping, restaurants, and nightlife, look to stay in or near Downtown Saratoga.
Learn About The Area
Take time to learn about the place you are visiting. Since food costs at tourist locations can be high, learn from the locals about the places that they like to eat. Shop at a local grocery store or farmers market, and learn about local food. You may be able to find a food tour that will let you try the local cuisine, and some restaurants offer discounts to people who take the tour.
Even though you're already at your destination, travel costs can still add up. Instead of renting a car, try renting a bike or walking wherever you can. You may also be able to take low-cost rides on trolleys to get around. Research the locations you want to visit. Oftentimes, places such as museums have discounted or free days that you can take advantage of. Look for free or low-cost events that you can add to your itinerary as well.
While traveling will cost you money, it doesn't have to break the bank. Being flexible about your flights and accommodations can bring your costs down, and getting to know the area you're staying in can help you find ways to save. Challenge yourself to reduce your costs. You may end up being able to spend an extra night or treat yourself to an extra activity on your trip.