Top 10 Tips to Plan a Trip on a Budget

I am a huge planner.  I like to go on several big trips a year, I can’t afford not thoroughly planning a trip out.  Here are some tips to planning a trip within budget.

  1. Set the budget and be realistic. Do some research on how much it would cost for the basic things like: flight, hotel and average cost of food.  By doing this research, it usually helps narrow the places that you can afford to go.  It’s easy to say that you will spend $1000 on the trip, but end up spending $2000.  Be realistic with yourself and really think about how much you’re really going to spend.
  2. Check for cheap flights early. As you may know, closer to the date you want to travel, the more expensive the flights are usually.  I often start planning a trip up to 6 months ahead.
  3. Open your mind to possible places to stay. Don’t focus on the luxurious hotels or ocean view rooms.  Instead, look at some more upscale hostels or Air BnBs.
  4. Go with as many people as you can possibly find. It’s nice to have a couples trip once in a while, but if you want to save money, go with more people. That way, you can share the cost of the living situations, car rentals and even food.
  5. Stay somewhere that has a kitchen. Even if it’s just a hot plate, you can save some money by making breakfast at home or making sandwiches for lunch.
  6. Don’t overdo the activities. Find as many free activities as you possibly can.  If you’re on a very tight budget, choose one out of the many possible activities that are paid to do.  Sometimes, thinking that it’s a once in a lifetime thing to walk on the edge of a volcano in Hawaii might not be true if you end up going to Iceland and do it again.  Pick and choose the ‘once in lifetime’ activities carefully.
  7. Travel really light. Often airlines require you to pay extra to check in luggage now.  To save up to $100, you can bring a carry on or a big backpack for your trip instead of a rolling luggage.
  8. Cut the souvenirs.  I love getting souvenirs, but after a few years it goes in the garbage because in the end I didn’t actually go to Bali.  Most times, a postcard would suffice.  You don’t have to buy everyone in your family a shot glass that says you just got back from somewhere they’ve never been.  It’s a gesture that gets less and less important as you get older.

I hope this list helped you try to cut some money out of your trip.  My motto is: research the sh*t out of it.  The more you know, the more you can save.

Bon voyage!

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