The air is getting warmer and the mosquitoes are coming out but you might get bitten by something else this summer: the travel bug. What should you do if you’re itching to hit the road, but can’t afford your dream vacation? Follow these tips to have an amazing summer travel on a budget you can afford.
Sign Up for Deal Alerts
First and foremost, sign up for deal alerts that let you know of huge travel savings for your ideal vacation spots. They’re also a great way to get ideas of where to go if you don’t have a specific place in mind. Look for budget-centric airlines to get cheap tickets or last-minute hotel and car rental deals. You can even get alerts specific to your destination in order to find more savings on food, attractions, and entertainment.
Use Credit Card Travel Rewards
Many credit card companies offer rewards-programs specific to traveling. Purchases made with the card earn you points, and usually accumulate faster if you have travel-related expenses. Not only that, but you can also often find deals if the card provider has a travel platform, and your points go even further when you book through the website. Search for travel credit cards with no annual fee and large signup bonuses. You could easily fund a large chunk of your summer vacation budget with those points alone.
The one catch with a travel credit card is that you usually need good credit to qualify. If you have any credit errors on your credit report or want to improve your credit score with a credit dispute, now is a good time to get started. Using a professional credit repair company can yield better, faster results to get you on the road sooner.
Travel by Bus
Skip the expensive plane tickets and get to your summer destination by booking a bus ticket. You don’t have to worry about arriving hours in advance at the airport or worry about your luggage getting lost. You won’t have to worry about paying for a cab or shuttle from the airport, because most buses usually drop you off right in the heart of the city.
To make sure you’re getting the best deal for your summer travel on a budget, you should be comparing multiple bus carries. There are plenty of reputable, large-scale companies running routes throughout the country. The best way to find the lowest fares amongst multiple bus carriers is to visit a comprehensive price comparison website like BusTickets.com. They do the work for you and you get the lowest price on your bus ticket.
Fix Your Own Meals
Once you’ve arrived at your destination, your budget can take a huge hit when it comes to dining out. Think about how much you’d spend if you ate out for all three meals, plus snacks and the occasional happy hour. Whether you’re traveling alone or with a large family, food can quickly become a budget buster. Instead, head to a local grocery store and stock up on granola bars or trail mix, so you have an easy snack on the go.
You can also prepare your own meals when you stay in a vacation rental like an Airbnb. While hotels certainly have their perks, you can save a lot by having a few meals at home throughout your stay. Plus, many Airbnb hosts include a fully stocked kitchen and you can have extra fun by shopping the city’s local farmers’ market for ingredients.
Find a New Hotel
If you do prefer staying at a hotel, try shopping for a new one. This may sound counterintuitive; after all, wouldn’t a brand new hotel be more expensive than an older one? Actually, many new places lower their prices during their launch period in order to fill rooms while still in the promotion process. So not only can you snag a great nightly rate on new construction, you can also take advantage of brand new facilities before it gains more popularity.
Explore Free Attractions
Our final summer travel on a budget tip is to explore your destination’s free or low-cost attractions. Many museums are open to the public free of charge, as are lovely parks with beautiful gardens. Most state and national parks also only charge a small fee for parking to take advantage of most amenities. You could even just stroll through an architecturally significant neighborhood on your own rather than paying for a guided tour.
No matter where you go, do a little research before you head out of town. You can easily cut your budget with some forethought and planning. After all, oftentimes we all just need a little change of scenery before we’re ready to head back home fully recharged.