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Traveling on a Budget: How to Save on Your Next Vacation

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Wanderlust is in high demand these days, causing a lot of people to travel more and more. But while we would all like to take a vacation every other week, most of us don’t have the budget for it. The more you save on a vacation, the more vacations you can take, so learning how to keep your costs down is crucial to be able to satisfy your longings for adventure. Fortunately there are a few tips and tricks that anyone can use to cut back on travel expenses. Savvy travelers know how to keep costs down for travel, lodging, and food, which make up most of your costs on a trip. Follow these handy tips, and you’ll be heading out of town more and more!

Finding Cheap Flights

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The first step in taking a budget vacation is finding a good flight price, as you won’t be going very far without that. Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can utilize to keep the cost of your flight down. The reality is that depending where you are, there are some places that are just going to cost more no matter what. When picking your vacation destination, pick a spot that usually has cheaper flights. Then when it is time to book your flight, look at flights that are on off days, like Tuesday or Wednesday, or in the very early morning or late night. There is less demand during these times, making it much more likely that you will get a good price. By being flexible with your dates and destinations, you will have more options to shop around and find a good deal.

Price Comparison and Fare-Alerts

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When you complete a GoLastMinute flight search, you will be shown several sites that you can book from, so that you can compare prices and find the best deal. In addition to that, you can sign up for Fare Alerts for your destination. Then you will get live pricing sent right to your inbox so that you can see when prices drop. Sign up for Fare Alerts to a few different destinations, and you can take advantage when a really good deal comes in. Comparing prices, keeping up with trends, and being flexible with your destination will give you the best chance to find a stellar flight deal for your budget vacation. 

Package Your Flight and Hotel

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Lodging is often the largest expense for a vacation, so getting a good deal is crucial. Explore all your options, such as motels or Airbnbs, but keep in mind that there may be package deals that include a hotel, as these can also reduce the price of your lodging. Cheap lodging can oftentimes feel unsafe and uncomfortable, so if you can use a package deal to get a real hotel at the price of a cheap motel, you won’t have to sacrifice your comfort for a good deal. Also consider your location, as hotels close to major attractions or the airport will usually cost more. If you book a hotel that is not right next to the beach for instance, and instead rely on public transit to get there, you can potentially save hundreds of dollars.

Avoid Eating Out

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It’s pretty typical to eat out for every meal during a vacation, but this will unnecessarily balloon your expenses. If you can get a hotel with a refrigerator in the room, then you’ll have more options when buying cheap food at a grocery store. Stock up on cheap produce like bananas and apples, packaged food like cereal, and convenient meals like sandwiches or burritos. If your hotel has a microwave, either in the room or in the lobby, then you can get things like instant noodles or oatmeal. Protein bars are also a great option so you will have something substantial to quell your hunger while you are out. Street food can also be pretty cheap in a lot of cities, so try that instead of a sit down restaurant. It may not feel as luxurious as eating out for every meal, but your wallet will thank you!

Pick Destinations with Free Activities and Public Transit

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Finally, it is important to pick a town that has a lot of free attractions and good public transit to get you there. Google any city you are thinking of visiting and use sites like AllTransit to assess how you will be getting around. There are a lot of free hiking trails and natural wonders around a place like Denver, but their public transit won’t get you to many of them, forcing you to rent a car. Do your research ahead of time to make sure you can budget for it. Beach towns are great because beaches are typically free and you can spend all day enjoying the scenery. Mountain towns can also be good for hiking, if the public transit will get you there. You can also go to places like New York City or Chicago, which have great public transit, and just visit landmark sites like the Statue of Liberty or Navy Pier.

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