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Guide to Cheap Traveling: How to find the best prices for a vacation

Updated on January 26, 2016

Getting Started

Finding the perfect vacation spot can be tricking on a budget. This guide will help with that, and provide tips to help the reader travel cheap and get going without having to hire a travel planner or spend too many man hours on travel sites looking to cash in on your inexperience. Following the tips below are a great starting place for those looking to travel for their first time, or for people that have traveled and wish to again without spending the same kind of money.

Traveling anywhere can be fun and cheap if the traveler knows what to look for and how to plan the right way, read on to learn how to save money and add some skills to your travel set!

The Duomo in Milan, Italy, provides a magnificent view of the city from its roof for only about $15 USD.
The Duomo in Milan, Italy, provides a magnificent view of the city from its roof for only about $15 USD.

Plan An Off Season Trip

The easiest way to cut down on travel costs is to plan your trip for a time that isn't the peak of the tourist season for your destination. Holidays are always a more expensive time to book flights, motel rooms, and tickets for events that you may wish to go to, so they should be avoided if possible. Spend time with your family in the comfort of your home during the holidays, and use your vacation days at a less conspicuous time instead to take advantage of great deals in the off-season.

A great example of how to utilize this trick is seasonal planning. Many people wish to head down to the Bahamas or South America during what is the summer for the Northern Hemisphere. However, during the Winter months the Southern tourist destinations are less crowded, and a cheaper alternative. They also remain hot enough to enjoy and provide an escape for the cold weather you may have been experiencing.

Get Down South!

beaches remain hot and fun in the Northern Hemispheres winter months, what a great way to spend the holiday break!
beaches remain hot and fun in the Northern Hemispheres winter months, what a great way to spend the holiday break!

A little bit of research can go a long way when planning an off season trip. Just type in the peak tourists months for the destination you're wanting to head to and try to plan for when everyone else isn't. The information is readily and easily available for most tourists destinations. This tip will help get you the cheap travel deals you want with discounts all around to try and draw in more visitors to the local in the off-season!

Remember to be prepared to plan a little in advance for the most savings during your travel!
Remember to be prepared to plan a little in advance for the most savings during your travel!

Buy Everything for your Trip in Advance

Another oft overlooked, but easy way to cash in on cheap travel is to buy everything for the trip well in advance of when you plan on leaving. If you know you wish to travel, then buying tickets for destinations, lodging, and event tickets in advance is sure to save you quite a bit of money. Booking in advance will also help you secure airline tickets on a good flight and time of your choosing, as well as ensure you have room availability for where you are wanting to stay. Look to the guide below for help on when to book every aspect of the trip, and how much money this process can save you!

 
When To Buy:
Average Savings:
Plane Tickets
60-90 days before the trip
$50 USD per person
Lodging
At least one month before trip
$15 USD per person
Event Tickets
As soon as they become available
Depends on the event

Check out this Video from Top Ten Website Reviews, to take a look at the top ten travel websites!

Take Advantage of Travel Friendly Websites and Applications

There are several useful techniques for travelers to use that will help them get cheap deals on everything surrounding their travel, but many people simply don't know about them or don't trust them if they aren't corporate enough. However, taking advantage of these travel-friendly websites and applications can cut down on costs and add a fun experience to any get-a-way.

The most obvious of the travel friendly websites is airbnb.com. This is a website that may greatly reduce the price of accommodation for most vacations. It simply allows verified people in great destinations to provide lodging for those traveling! The sight boasts places to stay in over 190 countries around the world, and holds a very strong track record for customer safety and satisfaction. The website allows you to get the real experience of wherever you stay by spending your stay at a locals residence rather than the corporate whitewashed hotel you may have been at instead. In addition to the better experience, you will also see the benefit in your pocketbook, with much cheaper prices to offer than a traditional hotel. In addition to this service, you may also consider renting an apartment or flat for a short period of time rather than staying at a motel. In pricier cities such as London and Paris, short-term apartment rentals are often cheaper than other alternatives, and provide slightly more in the way of convenience and privacy.

In the same vein as airbnb, Home Exchange.com provides an even cheaper way to stay somewhere on vacation. The website provides the adventurous traveler an opportunity to literally swap homes with another person for an agreed upon amount of time. The idea of this process causes anxiety in some potential users, but actually has proven to be safe and fun for both parties involved. It will also provide all the comforts of home while you are traveling at a much cheaper cost! The cost to you is a one time payment of $150 USD, and after that everything else is included, regardless of the duration of your stay!



Before You Book Anything, Look for Family or Group Deals

Yet another great way to save money on flights or lodging or anything to deal while you are planning your vacation, is to look for group and family deals when doing so. Many sites will provide a discount for a certain number of people signing up for a vacation package, so it might be wise to get a lot of the family or friends together and see if you can all get a nice discount for flying, staying and visiting together.

Student deals often usually abound for cheap travel. Students should of course look towards their schools for trip opportunities and scholarships first, but if they are looking to travel students may also find that they get strong discount rates for themselves. Students should also stay on the lookout for websites that can help them take money off of their trips for their age, for example STA.com often provides deals for younger travelers.

Finally, package deals at resorts may be a good option for groups. Although they may seem pricey at first, all inclusive resorts can provide an amazing all-around experience for a cheaper cost than buying everything involved for the trip separately, and will also provide the connivence of less planning. All inclusive resorts will often offer to package travel costs, meals, lodging, and experiences for one lump sum, and will offer prices for all of this per person or as a group. These deals are easy to come across by simply searching for, "all inclusive resort in (destination)." This option can cut down on hassle in a huge way and might provide a cheaper travel option. Remember, the booking early rule applies to this option as well to save money!

All inclusive resorts can be a convenient option when trying to find cheap and easy travel destinations.
All inclusive resorts can be a convenient option when trying to find cheap and easy travel destinations.
Walking provides the easiest and cheapest way to get around on any trip.
Walking provides the easiest and cheapest way to get around on any trip.

Use Unconventional Methods Of Transportation

When you are finally at your destination, the easiest way to save money on your trip is by using cheap modes of transport. Avoid taxis at all costs, and make sure you know the price of anything before agreeing to it. The best option to get around is by walking. This is always free, and can be a great way to take in a new city or countryside that you may find yourself in. Walking during vacations also have the added benefit or building up an appetite to try new foods, as well as helping burn off some of those calories you've been consuming when you eat that local cuisine.

Another good idea if you are staying in the same place for a period of time is to use the public transportation. Many destinations offer public transportation for daily or weekly rates, that are much cheaper than the cost of a taxi. Using these can be experience all in themselves, whether it is the famous tube in London, or using the all boat public transportation in Venice. Commute like a local and take advantage of whatever cheap public transportation the city you are in has to offer, just make sure you know how to navigate it first!

As a last option, use ride sharing services over cabs. Companies like uber and lyft offer a way to get the convenience of a taxi at much discounted rates. These ride sharing services also offer the added luxary of being able to have one reserved and brought to you instead of hailing a car. Simply download the app and begin using the service. Be careful though, as these services have been known to increase their prices at prime use hours and leave their customers in a jam. Remember to always check the price before using the service, as they can change depending on the time and date, unlike taxis.

Thanks For Reading!

Thank you for reading this article! If you liked it help myself and others below with your thoughts and tips for cheap travel! Please feel free to read and engage in any other posts I have written and thank you for engaging in the HubPages community!

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      Tanner Evans 16 months ago from Riverton

      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment gerimcclym! I'm glad you thought my tips were good ones, it's quite encouraging. Looking forward to reading some of your hubs!

    • gerimcclym profile image

      Geri McClymont 16 months ago from Colorado

      Excellent advice for saving money on travel. I have a lot of family overseas, and have used some of these tips, especially traveling off-season and booking in advance, whenever possible.

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