It’s no secret that traveling is hardly cheap. From hotel rooms to airfare to eating out at restaurants to travel insurance to car rentals to public transportation and so on, the costs just really add up.
In fact, it’s becoming extremely difficult to travel anywhere domestically for an extended period of time for less than one thousand dollars, and internationally traveling for less than a grand is practically unheard of (assuming that you’re paying for everything out of pocket).
So to be fully honest with you, if you’re looking to travel for cheap or free, it’s going to be practically impossible assuming you don’t have a boatload of rewards points or someone else paying for your trip.
But still, this doesn’t at all mean that you have to pay a fortune to travel within the United States or outside of the country.
Here are the top tips that anyone can utilize to help them travel cheaply, or at least more cheaply than you may have thought:
Rewards Points Really Do Help
First and foremost, rewards points really do help. In fact, for many people, they are the biggest and most important travel savings option of all.
There are really three different ways that you can accumulate rewards points as well. The first option is to be loyal to certain companies, such as hotels or airlines. The second is to use a credit card that gives you back 1-5% rewards on each purchase you make. And the third and final way is to sign up for a credit card with a nice sign-up bonus offer, such as 50,000 bonus points for a certain airline if you spend a certain amount of money by a certain amount of time, for example.
It’s even possible to accumulate enough rewards points to pay for an entire trip, though most people will only use rewards points to pay for a portion of it.
Book and Pay Earlier
Booking and paying earlier is probably the most effective strategy that you can possibly use to help you save on the cost of airfare. This is because the closer you get to the date of departure, the higher the cost of the airline ticket is going to go up as more people begin to buy it and the demand increases.
As we’ll see later, avoiding peak seasons and being strategic about the time of year you choose to travel is one of the very best tips to save money. But beyond that, simply booking several months ahead of time will almost always save you several hundred dollars on travel too, at least when it comes to airfare.
Use Travel Booking Websites
One of the very best tips to helping you find flight deals will be to use travel booking websites that can search for the very cheapest flights and book them for you.
Travel booking websites allow you to insert your departure and destination locations, as well as the times you would like to be gone. They’ll then scan the web for you for the very cheapest flight deals that are out there, and when you find one that you like they will literally book them for you and send you all of the details through email.
Avoid Peak Seasons Like The Plague
It’s probably one of the most commonly given pieces of advice on how to travel cheaply out there, but avoiding peak seasons if at all possible will go a long way to helping you save money as well.
While this may not be avoidable if you have to travel for business purposes, the beauty of traveling for vacation is that you get to decide where and when you would like to go. Therefore, you don’t have to travel when the price of the airfare is going to be much higher.
Generally speaking, summertime and wintertime are the most expensive times to travel. Specifically, you can expect to see the cost of airfare get much higher during July, August, and December. But on the flip side of things, the cost of airfare should become much, much lower during September and October, as well as after January.
How To Travel Cheaply
The above tips may not make your travel adventures ‘cheap,’ but they should definitely make it cheaper than it otherwise would have been.